Summer synopsis


The Hotel Memorial Union was transformed over the summer into residential space for more than 70 students. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Fall semester 2016 has commenced, and campus is alive with students, faculty and staff.  There's anticipation for what lies ahead, but that doesn't mean summer was uneventful. Here's a look at some of the changes that took place at Iowa State the past few months.

Old is new again

  • After nearly two years of reconstruction, College of Engineering administrative offices are home again in Marston Hall. Move-in occurred from mid- to late-July, and the historic campus building is open to the public. Key elements of the new Marston are three state-of-the-art classrooms seating up to 80 students each; a 177-seat auditorium; special events center; student lounge/welcome center; office suites for the Engineering's dean, communications, career services, student services and development staffs; and lots of space for students. A building rededication is planned for 4 p.m. on Sept. 29.
  • Heads up on Pammel Drive. The former four-lane road was repaired, resurfaced and restriped as a two-lane road with left turn lanes and painted center medians. The change is intended to improve pedestrian safety and help Pammel function like other campus roads.
  • Students took up residence in the former Hotel Memorial Union. The hotel, which closed July 1 to make more room on campus for student housing, is home to more than 70 students on the Memorial Union's top three floors. ISU Surplus organized a rummage sale of hotel furniture in July.
  • Work wrapped up on the plaza area surrounding the Fountain of the Four Seasons, just north of the Memorial Union. The renovation, part of President Steven Leath's campus beautification initiative, included stone benches, pavers, additional sidewalks and landscaping. An irrigation system also was added.
  • In June, crews finished installing new panels featuring building street addresses and the university template on 170 building signs. Entries in the university's directory also include the new addresses. Employees should become familiar with their full office addresses, and share them with outside vendors, publications, associations and others who send mail or packages.
  • The 49,210-square-foot Economic Development Core Facility on the south edge of the ISU Research Park opened in late June. President Leath, Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and members of the state Board of Regents were among the first to tour the $12 million facility.

Comings and goings

  • Warren Madden's 50-year career at Iowa State was capped off at a public retirement reception June 24. Madden, a 1961 graduate of the Engineering college, began his ISU career in 1966 as the contracts and grants officer. He was named vice president in 1984 and promoted to senior vice president in 2012.
  • Retired Navy Rear Adm. Kate Gregory became Iowa State's first senior vice president for university services on July 11. The university services division was created as part of the reorganization of the business and finance office as a result of Madden's retirement. Gregory oversees seven campus service units: business services, environmental health and safety, facilities planning and management, public safety, Reiman Gardens, University Museums and WOI radio group.
  • Laura Dunn Jolly became the third dean of the College of Human Sciences on July 5. Prior to joining Iowa State, she served as dean of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia, Athens, since 2007.
  • Michael Norton joined Iowa State July 11 as university counsel. He serves as Iowa State's legal adviser and oversees the university counsel office. Norton has extensive experience with Title IX compliance, employment law, data protection, policy development and training. He replaces Paul Tanaka, who retired in May.
  • Kristi Darr, director of human resources, was named interim vice president for university human resources on Aug. 1. The position had been held by Julie Nuter, who resigned in July to accept a position with Argonne National Laboratory, near Chicago.

Regents' decisions

  • On the heels of a smaller-than-requested increase in state funding, the state Board of Regents approved a $250 tuition increase for resident undergraduates, effective this fall. (Last December, the board had approved a tuition freeze for resident undergraduates). The board approved additional tuition increases of $100 for nonresident undergraduates and all graduate students, and $50 for all veterinary medicine students (in addition to increases approved last December).
  • The board approved Iowa State's FY 2017-22 strategic plan. The plan encompasses four goals, each of which includes subgoals and metrics for measuring achievement.
  • Nontenure eligible faculty, primarily in the College of Veterinary Medicine, have a new appointment option: clinical faculty at the assistant, associate and full professor levels. The new appointment responds to a need for clinical and diagnostic specialists working in service and teaching roles.
  • The board accepted a final report from MGT of America consultants that said a downtown Des Moines location is the best spot for Iowa's regent universities to provide degree and certificate opportunities for working adults and high school and community college graduates. A West Des Moines location ranked second and the former American Institute of Business (AIB) campus (now owned by the University of Iowa) was third. The board took no further action on the report.

Employees, take note

  • Iowa State's equal opportunity office needs all employees to complete online training on Title IX and unlawful harassment by the end of August. All employees are required to complete the training every two years; managers are required to take an additional course. Look for an email dated Aug. 5 from ISU's online training vendor, Workplace Answers. Click on the link in the email to access the training. New employees should contact for instructions.
  • The University Benefits Committee approved a request from the Professional and Scientific Council to increase employee tuition reimbursements from a three- to four-credit maximum each semester. In addition, the application period opens 10 weeks prior to the start of classes at ISU each semester and closes the Friday before the term starts. In the past, application deadlines varied.
  • Iowa State's employee assistance program (EAP) now offers up to three additional free counseling sessions annually to benefits-eligible faculty and staff and their family members. The change doubles the number of free counseling sessions from three to six per incident, per year.
  • SafeRide ISU, a new Uber-like service, was launched Aug. 22. Students, faculty and staff can summon rides at night (6 p.m. to 6 a.m.) on campus using their Net-IDs and the SafeRide ISU app. The app is available for Android devices now and should be available soon through Apple's app store. SafeRide is offered through Iowa State's department of public safety. 

And one for the calendar

  • The student Homecoming committee's proposal to add a parade to this fall's celebration received a green light from administrators. The date: Sunday, Oct. 23 (2 p.m. start, downtown Ames). The intent: Create more opportunities for ISU students not affiliated with a Greek sorority or fraternity to get involved in Homecoming.