Diversity recommendations, faculty development requests on next week's regents agenda

Faculty professional development assignment requests for next year and the schematic design for a $66.5 million phase two of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) are on the agenda when the state Board of Regents meets Nov. 15-16 at the University of Northern Iowa. Additionally, the three-regent task force reviewing diversity, equity and inclusion programs and initiatives at the three regent campuses since last spring will present its report and recommendations to the full board as the last agenda item on Thursday. Senior leaders shared the task force's work with the university community earlier this week.

The meeting agenda is online, and public portions of the meeting will be livestreamed on the board's website.

A 78,500-square-foot addition to the south side of the VDL will move remaining lab functions still housed across the street at the College of Veterinary Medicine, including diagnostic research, laboratory testing sections and administrative staff. The additional space also means safer biocontainment and biosafety, an efficient process flow of samples and additional program space to meet growth and more effectively integrate diagnostic medicine education.

Construction could begin next summer and last two years. Funding comes from dollars directed to Iowa in the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and pledged last winter by Gov. Kim Reynolds ($40 million), an $18 million state appropriation (Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund) this year, university funds ($6.5 million) and private gifts ($2 million).

Faculty professional development, 2024-25

A request for professional development assignments (PDA) next year for 38 Iowa State faculty -- 2.3% of eligible faculty -- is on the agenda. The list includes seven assignment requests for the full 2024-25 academic year, 18 for fall semester 2024 and 13 for spring semester 2025 assignments. The appointment length at Iowa State of the faculty requestors varies from five to 25 years.

Each of the regent universities has its own criteria for the faculty professional development program. At Iowa State, all faculty employed half-time or more are eligible to apply. There is no requirement on length of service, however priority is given to accomplished senior faculty, faculty who are seeking competitive fellowships (for example, a Fulbright Award), and faculty who haven't received a PDA in the last five years.

Customized instruction plan for Business faculty

Following a one-year pilot (calendar year 2023), Iowa State will seek approval for a three-year proposal (2024-26) that provides additional pay to tenured and tenure-track faculty in the Ivy College of Business who develop and lead custom seminars, workshops or other professional education services for corporate clients. The faculty receive a portion of the registration fees collected for the sessions they teach, with compensation based on contact hours delivered. Additional compensation through this program would be capped at 20% of a faculty member's base salary. Custom Education Services Incentive Plans are a tool for improving faculty retention, and also provide an opportunity to promote the college's graduate programs.

More space for veterinary oncology

Iowa State will seek permission to begin planning phase two of the pet cancer clinic at the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center. The proposed project includes remodeling 3,600 square feet and building a 2,000-square-foot addition to the northeast corner of the small animal hospital, estimated to cost up to $6.75 million. University funds and private gifts would pay for the project. Phase one, a radiation therapy facility, opened in February 2019. Iowa State is the only veterinary facility in the state with oncologists providing cancer care.

In other business, the board will receive these reports from the three universities:

  • Biennial faculty activities (self-reported), Wednesday afternoon, academic affairs committee
  • Fiscal year 2023 summary: Faculty professional development assignments, Wednesday afternoon, academic affairs committee
  • 2022-31 strategic plan update, Wednesday afternoon, full board
  • University president campus updates, Thursday morning, full board
  • Fall 2023 enrollment, Thursday morning, full board
  • Annual economic development and technology transfer, Thursday morning, full board