Council puts diversity, inclusion among priorities

The Professional and Scientific Council will vote next month on a statement that supports and emphasizes a commitment to campus diversity and inclusion. A motion to include language advocating diversity and inclusion in the council's FY 2017 priorities and strategic initiatives was introduced at the Dec. 1 council meeting.

The proposed language encourages council to "identify available resources and create new opportunities for advocacy, education and professional development" related to diversity and inclusion. It also reinforces the council's role in ensuring ISU "is a safe, welcoming and inclusive place to work and learn."

The motion comes on the heels of Iowa State's new strategic plan, which also includes diversity and inclusion among its priorities.

Administrative updates

  • Chief information officer Jim Kurtenbach on the new enterprise resource planning and software system: "It is a state-of-art system where everything that we do will be done through a web browser or on a mobile device."
  • University counsel Michael Norton on changes to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act overtime guidelines that were halted by a court-issued injunction: "The next step in that litigation is the permanent [court] decision based on plaintiff's claims. That will likely take some period of time."
  • Interim vice president for university human resources Kristi Darr on a timeline for a comprehensive review of P&S classification and compensation system: "Likely it's at least 18 months. Once we get [the consultant] on board, then we start working with them to establish a structure -- meetings, timeline -- all those kinds of milestone activities."
  • Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert on a new collaborative initiative (between academic and student affairs) to streamline "onboarding" for new students: "Everybody can appreciate the importance of creating a successful transition. If your transition doesn't go well, you're always one step behind."