Regents meet on campus next week

Parking permit rate increases, several 2014-15 annual reports (diversity, faculty resignations, residence system, distance education) and a proposal for an all-Iowa chapter of a national higher education recruitment consortium are on the agenda when the state Board of Regents meets Feb. 24-25 in Ames. Wednesday's committee meetings and mid-year evaluations of institution heads will take place at the alumni center; Thursday's activities will take place in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The agenda and agenda items are online. Audio of public portions of the meeting will be live-streamed on the board's website.

Parking permits

The prices for employee parking permits would go up about 3.5 percent next year under proposed increases. General staff and departmental permits would go up $6, reserved permits would go up $18 and 24-hour reserved permits would go up $31, as proposed. Commuter parking in the Iowa State Center lot and the CyRide orange shuttle service to central campus would remain free.

The board will vote on the proposed increases at its April meeting.

The Transportation Advisory Council recommended a 3.5 percent across-the-board increase, rounded to the nearest dollar. The additional revenue would be used to construct a new lot in the northeast part of campus and upgrade existing lots.

Permits for the Memorial Union ramp, which is not managed by the ISU parking division, would go up about 2.5 percent, as proposed. The increase is $12 on an annual permit and $5-6 on a seasonal permit.

Recruitment consortium

A planning group with representatives from all three regent universities has been investigating an all-Iowa chapter in the National Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), and will present its findings to the board's academic and student affairs committee. HERC is a nonprofit group of 700+ universities, colleges, research labs, government agencies, hospitals and related organizations. It maintains a large database of jobs in higher education and related fields. It also offers members tools to be more successful at recruiting diverse and talented faculty, staff and executives. Membership is expected to result in human resources cost savings on several fronts, including discounts with HR vendors, job postings on heavily used sites and free monthly webinars with continuing education credits. Seventeen regional groups covering 25 states currently belong to HERC.

On March 29, all colleges and universities in the state, along with select government, nonprofit and private sector employers, will be invited to an informational event at the Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny campus. They'll discuss a HERC chapter's capacity to serve their needs; some may decide to form a regional Iowa chapter. At a follow-up meeting in May of interested institutions and employers, a membership fee structure will be set. Annual membership fees are projected to range between $500 and $7,000 per institution, calculated from an FTE tiered model.

ISU presenters

Iowa State faculty and staff will give several presentations to the board:

  • "Enhancing affordability through student financial aid and bookstore operations," director of student financial aid Roberta Johnson and University Book Store director Rita Phillips (Wednesday afternoon)
  • "Biobased chemicals through advanced biomanufacturing," Brent Shanks, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering and Center for Biorenewable Chemicals director (Thursday afternoon)
  • "Science with synergy: U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University," Ames Lab director Adam Schwartz and Wilkinson Professor of Interdisciplinary Engineering and materials science and engineering department chair Kristin Constant (Thursday afternoon)

Program changes

The board also is expected to give final approval to these academic program changes:

  • A new bachelor of arts program in criminal justice in the sociology department, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to complete the transition from one of several tracks in the interdisciplinary studies major the LAS college currently offers. The focus will be on criminal justice, not criminology (the focus of programs at Northern Iowa and Iowa). Implementation would begin this fall.
  • A name change for the bachelor of science in culinary science (department of food science and human nutrition), to culinary food science, to better indicate students' academic preparation to would-be employers.