Scheman planning, parking rates go to regents next week

Iowa State will seek state Board of Regents permission to begin planning for an estimated $10 million-$12 million in renovations to the ground and first floors of the Iowa State Center's Scheman Building when the board meets Feb. 22 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) in its Urbandale office. The agenda is online, and all open portions of the meeting are livestreamed on the board website.

The athletics department, which manages the Iowa State Center, proposes improvements to the 48-year-old conference facility that would include the entrance lobby, restrooms and event and circulation spaces. Benton auditorium on the east side of the building would be converted to an open, flexible event space. The project also would upgrade building entrances, interior finishes, lighting, wayfinding and food and beverage amenities. The design process would include an evaluation of the center's exterior elevated walkway network. If repairs are required and funding permits, those would be a final piece of this project.

Parking rates for FY2024

Iowa State is proposing a 3% increase to campus parking permits and a 25-cent hourly increase (to $1.50) for metered stalls and lots for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The parking division also seeks to increase the penalty for three parking violations by $5 each: overtime on parking meters (to $20), failure to purchase a parking receipt (to $20) and improper parking (to $30). The last violation excludes improperly using a space designated for people with disabilities, for which the fine remains $200.

The board will approve parking rates at its April meeting.


Proposed permit increases: ISU lots

Permit type

Proposed FY24


24-hour reserved






General staff*









Motorcycle, employee



Parking meters, metered lots



*Includes residence and Ames Lab staff permits


Memorial Union staff manage that building's parking ramp. As proposed, MU ramp permits generally would go up $20-$50. The MU isn't proposing any changes to hourly rates in the ramp.


Proposed permit increases: Memorial Union ramp

Permit type

Proposed FY24


Annual, MU employee



Fall or spring



Winter (Nov-Feb)






Universities' value to Iowa

Hannah Ruffridge, an economist and director of higher education consulting for the labor market analytics firm, Lightcast, will summarize findings related to its new report on the economic value of the Iowa regent universities to the state. She'll present to the full board near the end of the meeting.

Other ISU items

In other business, Iowa State will seek board permission to:

  • Beginning this fall, offer a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering through the chemical and biological engineering department, with support from the mechanical, electrical and computer, and materials science engineering departments. The degree program would have three emphasis areas: biomaterials, biomechanics and bioinstrumentation. Biomedical engineering is the sixth most popular engineering degree in the country. Its addition strengthens the College of Engineering, meets workforce demand and offers another ISU pathway to medical school.
  • Reset its group of 10 peer institutions. Three of the current 10 would remain: Michigan State, North Carolina State and Purdue universities. Seven different universities would be added whose missions and goals align more closely with Iowa State.
  • Close two centers: Plant Genomics Center and Plant Transformation Center, effective May 31. Remaining relevant research activity has been integrated into the Plant Sciences Institute.
  • Award two honorary degrees at spring commencement events: A Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Trudy Huskamp Peterson, 1967 alumna and first woman archivist of the United States, for her advocacy in maintaining and preserving archives that involve the human rights of individuals around the world and her commitment to publicly sharing, in documents, as much of the nation's heritage as possible. History faculty members nominated her for the award. The second is a Doctor of Science degree to Temple Grandin, distinguished professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, animal welfare pioneer and activist for people with autism, for an outstanding career in humane animal handling, animal welfare and related facilities design, and using her experience living with autism to influence her understanding of animal behavior. Faculty in animal science nominated her for the award.

The board also receives a set of mandatory annual reports in the February docket: