Longer class passing is standard

After meeting with leaders across campus, including the Professional and Scientific Council, vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert explained the decision to permanently increase the passing time between classes from 10 to 15 minutes at the council's Dec. 1 meeting.

It allows more time before and after class for students to interact with an instructor, gives instructors more time to disconnect and connect to classroom technology and helps instructors and students navigate campus for back-to-back classes, Wickert said. The longer passing time also allows CyRide to add an additional bus to the orange route, which travels from central campus to the Iowa State Center.

"We have gotten the sense that this change lowers stress during class changes, especially during the winter months," Wickert said.

The additional five minutes between classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday began in fall 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Classes on those days begin 15 minutes earlier (7:45 a.m.) and end 20 minutes later (6:20 p.m.). Classes remain 50 minutes long and the 10 class periods begin every 65 minutes. Tuesday and Thursday classes already have a 15-minute passing time, and the summer schedule has 60-minute classes with a 10-minute transition time. Those won't change. 

Iowa State Online

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) executive director Sara Marcketti provided an update on staff hiring for Iowa State Online, which launches Jan. 3.

The unit has grown from 12 people to 45 through about 70 interviews, Marcketti said. Those hires included two senior managers and nine supervisory manager positions. There still are 10 open positions -- instructional design, instructional technology and others -- that can be found internally through Workday.

"We have about 25 employees coming from units that are joining CELT and Iowa State Online," she said. "We were thrilled we were able to offer a position to every internal individual who applied for one."

SHOP donation

The council's university community relations committee sponsored a food donation drive throughout November to benefit SHOP, the campus food pantry. The effort collected 2,726 pounds of nonperishable food items for SHOP, easily meeting the council's goal of one ton. Some council members want to make the food drive an annual event, given its success.