Research office vision includes interdisciplinary collaboration

Meeting coverage

In a report to the Faculty Senate on Jan. 16, vice president for research Sarah Nusser said a team worked last spring on a vision and ideas for the arts and humanities on campus.

"The focus was really creating and increasing the engagement and vibrancy of the arts and humanities community, through continuing support of the core programs that help artists, humanists and designers pursue their research careers," Nusser said. "Also building more events to create engagement across the arts and humanities, and connecting the arts and humanities to other parts of campus."

An internal seed funding program, Bridging the Divide, has been established by the research office to encourage collaboration of arts, humanities and design researchers with STEM colleagues. Nusser said lunch-and-learn events (Jan. 23 and Feb. 2) have been scheduled for faculty interested in the program. This year's ISU Research Day also will focus on interdisciplinary collaborations. Gregory Petsko, a biochemist who holds appointments at three institutions, will deliver the keynote address at the March 27 event.

During her report, Nusser said her office is working to improve the pre-award processes, a common "pain point" for researchers. The quality and quantity of facilities -- especially greenhouses and animal facilities -- also are being examined.

Title IX update

Associate provost Dawn Bratsch-Prince spoke about Title IX issues, including discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment. She said all ISU employees are responsible for reporting misconduct -- with or without firsthand knowledge -- to the equal opportunity office.

"It's important to create a culture here at Iowa State where all of us can do our best work and be successful," she said. "We can do this by acting civilly and abiding by Title IX."

Other business

Senators unanimously approved two new academic programs:

  • A master's degree in real estate development -- an interdisciplinary program that draws from five departments in the colleges of Business and Design. The degree, aimed at working professionals, includes 33 hours of online and on-campus courses.
  • A doctoral degree in population sciences in animal health, offered by the veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine department. The degree is designed for individuals (not just veterinarians) who respond to issues in animal populations such as livestock and poultry.

Senators also approved three other motions:

  • Course catalog updates, giving instructors and departments an administrative option to drop students from courses if they don't meet the prerequisites
  • Revised eligibility requirements -- a minimum 2.0 grade point average after one semester, rather than one year -- for students returning after a minimum five-year absence
  • Change to the major sanction process, removing a state-level review that already is included in the Administrative Procedure Act from ISU's outline of internal and peer-review procedures

Jonathan Sturm, a professor of music who served as senate president in 2016-17, won a runoff in a three-person field to become the next president-elect. He will take office in May, when current president Tim Day (biomedical sciences) passes the gavel to Peter Martin (human development and family studies).