Announcements

June 2021

Ticket packages available for Stephens performing arts series

Subscription ticket packages are on sale for the 2021-22 performing arts series at Stephens Auditorium. Subscribers can select from 16 shows and will save 20% when purchasing the 4-show Broadway package or 15% when choosing four or more events for a create-your-own-series package. Subscription tickets are available before general public sales begin Aug. 10, offer priority seating, flexibility on exchanging tickets and an invitation to the 2022-23 series preview party.

New Regents grant program supports OER textbooks

A new grant program for small teams of faculty, staff and graduate students at all three state Board of Regents universities will support the creation of open educational resources (OER). The Regents OER Grant Program, established with support from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund, offers up to $7,500 per team member to develop new open textbooks and up to $1,500 per team member to develop materials to accompany an existing open textbook, such as presentations or test banks. Along with financial support, grant winners will receive intensive OER training during a two-day OER workshop in September. More information will be released in a call for proposals June 22. Contact open access and scholarly communication librarian Abbey Elder at aelder@iastate.edu for questions about the program.

Share your plexiglass shield with another employee

ISU units, offices and employees who are ready to discard their pandemic plexiglass are invited to donate it for reuse. ISU recycling coordinator Ayo Oluwalana is organizing a two-day "pick your plexiglass" event on campus for later this summer. To stock that event, a facilities planning and management team is picking up plexiglass shields from building loading docks at no charge. Pending an additional pickup request form on the recycling website, employees may email recycling@iastate.edu with the number and dimensions of the pieces to be picked up. Plexiglass shields that have to be uninstalled or dismantled will require a service request to building maintenance.

A state Board of Regents announcement last month that universities can't require face coverings or social distancing in campus spaces has prompted interest in other ways to promote health safety, particularly in personal office spaces.

Two projects tapped for library's Tracing Race initiative

Two projects have been selected as the first installments in the university library's Tracing Race at ISU initiative, an effort to support and encourage digital scholarship that reveals the history of racism, inequality and activism at Iowa State and the underdocumented accomplishments and experiences of people of color.

Teaching professor in English Gloria Betcher and assistant professor of community and regional planning Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock will partner with the Ames History Museum to map the off-campus housing experiences of Black students before 1940.

Associate professor Deni Chamberlin and associate teaching professor Brenda Witherspoon of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication will have students in their Advanced Photojournalism and The Digital Newsroom courses this fall explore a variety of topics related to race and racism, activism and accomplishments to create an interactive, layered map narrative.

Order your ISU calendars in time for the academic year

Produced by the ISU Alumni Association, the 2021-22 ISU wall calendar features campus images captured by university employees Matt Van Winkle and Christopher Gannon. Calendars are $15 each, or $10 for quantities of 10 or more for your department or unit. Order calendars online with a P-card or Worktag/DD#.

Provost funds will help with faculty mentoring program fee

The provost's office will partially sponsor up to five tenure-track or tenured faculty in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity's 12-week online Faculty Success Program this fall by contributing $2,500 toward the $4,150 registration. Participants cover the remaining program fee through other sources (e.g. matching department or college funds, professional development funds, grants, startup funds). Priority will be given to early career faculty. The online mentoring program teaches faculty skills to increase both their research and writing productivity while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. To apply for the funding support, complete the application form by June 22. Questions may be directed to Katharine Hensley in the provost's office.

Iowa State is an institutional member of the NCFDD, an independent center that supports academics' transitions throughout their careers. ISU faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students are eligible for individual memberships free of cost.

Nominations due Aug. 1 for alumni association awards

Online nominations will be accepted through Aug. 1 for two ISU Alumni Association awards:

  • Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given to alumni by the university through the ISU Alumni Association. It recognizes ISU alumni who are nationally or internationally recognized for preeminent contributions to their professions or life's work.
  • Honorary Alumni Award, the highest honor given by the university through the ISU Alumni Association to individuals who are not graduates of Iowa State and have made significant contributions to the university's welfare, reputation, prestige and pursuit of excellence.

Questions may be directed to Katie Lickteig.

FPM service request website deactivated June 25-30

As part of the process of implementing a new work management system July 1, facilities planning and management will freeze its online service request option from 5 p.m. June 25 to 11:59 p.m. June 30. If you need immediate assistance during this period, call the appropriate service desk, FPM 294-5100 or EHS  294-5359. You also may use FPM's Report a problem online form. All employees will receive an email with a job aid on submitting and monitoring requests in the new system, FAMIS 360.

Cyclone football schedule T-shirts on sale now

The Iowa State Spirit Squad is selling short sleeved Cyclone football schedule T-shirts for the 2021 season. The cost is $15, which includes shipping. Funds raised directly benefit the operations of the spirt squad, including participation in the college national competition. Orders won't ship until after June 14.

Meat Lab restocks several pork favorites

The ISU Meat Lab has been able to return to its stock several pork products (all $4.29 per pound): Canadian bacon, smoked-cured pork loin roasts and boneless smoked pork loin chops. The sales room, Kildee Hall atrium, is open Fridays (11 a.m.-1 p.m.). Shop in person or online for curbside pick-up. Regardless of method, checks are the only accepted form of payment.

Protect yourself against heat-related illnesses, sun damage to skin

Hot and humid weather conditions have arrived! If your work for the university (or hobbies away from campus) take you outside, it's wise to review the risk factors associated with spending time in hot environments and in the sun. The links below provide useful information for avoiding heat-related illness.

Heat stress includes a series of conditions where the body is under stress from overheating. Symptoms can range from profuse sweating to dizziness, cessation of sweating and collapse.

Sun safety. Protection from UV rays is important all year, not just during the summer. UV rays can reach you on cloudy and cool days, and they reflect off -- and are amplified by -- surfaces such as water, cement, sand and snow.

Questions may be directed to environmental health and safety, 294-5359.

Reminder: Flex changes allowed at any time in 2021

A one-year change in federal rules allows employees to make changes to flexible spending accounts at any time in 2021, such as increasing contributions to the dependent care assistance program (DCAP) to reimburse child care costs with tax-free payroll deductions. Another one-year federal change for 2021 raised the DCAP annual maximum from $5,000 to $10,500.  

Detailed instructions for making DCAP changes in Workday can be found here. Use "Change in Dependent Care Provider" as the event type, and enter an effective date of April 1 or later to access the higher limit. Employees will be asked to complete and upload this form in order to process the event in Workday.

For questions regarding flex account changes, contact the university human resources benefits team at 294-4800 or benefits@iastate.edu.  For questions about plan rules and tax impacts, contact the payroll, benefits and tax office at fbac@iastate.edu

Scoops of the day at the ISU Creamery

The ISU Creamery, 2953 Food Sciences, is continuing its regular hours this summer (noon-4:30 p.m. weekdays except Wednesday, 2-6 p.m. Saturdays). You can purchase freshly scooped cones and bowls for now ($3-5) or 8-ounce cups ($5.50) and quart cartons ($12) to take home. The creamery posts its daily featured flavors (of 15 possibilities) each week on its website.

University's COVID-19 health data posted to public archive

Iowa State COVID-19 public health data for spring 2021 and fall 2020 is now accessible through the archive tab on the university's COVID-19 dashboard. State and county data is available from the Iowa Department of Public Health. The university's public health team continues to monitor COVID-19 trends and is prepared to respond if needed.

The next vaccination clinics on campus will resume in August. Story County Public Health also is currently taking vaccine appointments. ISU students with COVID-19 symptoms may schedule a test through the Thielen Student Health Center. Faculty and staff seeking a test should contact their primary care physician or Test Iowa to find the nearest location.

Child care-aged children in your family? Take this survey

The Ames Chamber of Commerce is conducting an online survey about the community's post-pandemic needs and challenges for providing care to children ages infant through 12 years old. ISU employees with children in this age range are encouraged to participate in the survey as part of collaborative efforts among local government and businesses. It will remain available through June 11. Questions about the survey may be emailed to ISU's WorkLife and Family Services.

Free speech website goes live

The state Board of Regents' new free speech standing committee, led by new regent and Iowa State alumna Greta Rouse, received campus updates on several recommendations the full board approved in February. These included mandatory syllabus statements on free speech (which Iowa State has used since winter session), designated free speech websites (which went live this week), a review of national and regent university campus surveys (as background information for a planning process to regularly survey the campus communities) and an initial report on efforts to develop a 15-20 module all three universities could use for annual campus training on the First Amendment and free speech.

Similar to sites at the universities of Iowa and Northern Iowa, Iowa State's free speech site features sections on policy and reporting, resources and services, and an FAQ. Iowa State's also includes a link to the campus climate website.

Summer schedule for Inside

Inside Iowa State will experiment with an every-other-week summer publication schedule during the next three months. Remaining publication dates are:

  • June 17
  • July 1
  • July 15
  • July 29
  • Aug. 12

Weekly publication resumes Aug. 19. The submission deadline will remain noon on those Wednesdays preceding a Thursday publication date; send items to inside@iastate.edu.

Evening 'picnic in the gardens' is June 11

Reiman Gardens' first Picnic in the Gardens of 2021 is scheduled for Friday, June 11 (5-8 p.m.) for families and other groups to enjoy the gardens at dusk. Table and bench seating will be available in many areas of the gardens. Guests are invited to bring blankets, chairs, food and drinks. No preregistration  is required. Regular admission prices apply (free for members and ISU students with I.D.).

All Iowa youth invited to 4-H camp on campus

The one-day Iowa 4-H Youth Conference will be offered three times (9 a.m.-6 p.m., June 29-July 1, ISU campus). It's open to all Iowa youth who have completed grades 8-12 (4-H membership isn't required). Registration through June 7 is $50 and includes two meals, conference shirt and swag. Students with an interest in animal science might register instead for the one-day Animal Science Round Up (same dates, Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center) and select from eight species to study and experience for a day. Questions may be directed to Haley Jones, 4-H youth development.