December 2016

Don't bite on the latest phishing scams

The scammers have been active lately, filling Iowa State in-boxes with numerous phishing emails. A common email, pretending to come from ISU officials:

  • Carries the subject line "Unusual sign in activity"
  • Announces that your account is "on limitation" and
  • Urges you to click a button to "verify your password"

It's all bogus. If you get such mail, forward it to as soon as possible and DON'T click any buttons or message content. Solution Center staff are available to answer your questions (294-4000 or IT staff also recommend this phishing email tutorial.

Leath apologizes, regents say it's time to move forward

President Steven Leath told the state Board of Regents that this experience -- an audit of ISU flight service that included Leath's use of university aircraft -- will make him a better, more conscientious leader.

Another record graduation group

Iowa State will award an estimated 2,136 diplomas this month, another record for December commencement. The class includes an anticipated 1,759 bachelor's, 257 master's and 120 doctoral students.

Mitchellville to Uganda: FundISU's far-flung first year

ISU Foundation provided the crowdfunding platform and university teams took it from there, raising dollars for all kinds of projects -- from putting on the Fashion Show to expanding a garden at a state prison to continuing development work abroad. In a banner first year for FundISU, 16 teams raised more than $190,000.

Memorial scholarship honors Dean Crabtree

Former dean of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences (1987-97) Beverly Crabtree, age 79, died Dec. 7 in Springfield, Missouri, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Her funeral was held Dec. 14 in Nevada, Iowa, with burial also in Nevada. Memorial contributions may be made to the Beverly and R. Jewell Crabtree Scholarship fund at the ISU Foundation. Obituary.

Tickets on sale Dec. 16 for May Julianne and Derek Hough show

Siblings Julianne and Derek Hough are bringing their Move -- Beyond -- Live on Tour to Ames' Stephens Audiorium on May 26. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performance go on sale Dec. 16 at Ticket prices range from $54.50 to $124.50. 

Chemistry stores' customer appreciation event is Dec. 20

Fisher Scientific will sponsor a customer appreciation/open house in chemistry stores on Dec. 20 (8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 1400 Gilman). Breakfast and lunch items will be served throughout the day.

FLSA changes still on hold

Changes to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations continue to be on hold following an injunction ordered in a U.S. district court on Nov. 22. The decision halted planned changes at Iowa State, including overtime tracking and salary adjustments. University human resources will post FLSA updates on its website if and when new information becomes available. 

Amara Piano Quartet completes first CD

The Amara Piano Quartet, a chamber group in residence in the music department (and successor to the Ames Piano Quartet), released its debut CD this fall. "American Piano Quartets"  features four compositions by Americans Paul Schoenfield, Lee Hoiby and Walter Piston, and a premier recording of George Tsontakis' Piano Quartet No. 3.

Blackboard Learn unavailable on Dec. 27 for upgrade

Blackboard Learn will be unavailable Tuesday, Dec. 27, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a software upgrade and the installation of a redesigned ISU Admin Tools interface. Following the Dec. 27 upgrade, all ISU Blackboard instructors will be required to use the new ISU Admin Tools for spring semester courses to electronically enroll students in their Blackboard courses and submit midterm and final grades. More information on the new ISU Admin Tools interface and new features in Blackboard Learn is on the ISU Blackboard login page.

Library will operate during winter break

Parks Library will be open on weekdays (7:30 am.-5 p.m.) during the three-week semester break, with the exception of the Dec. 23, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 university holidays.

EH&S offers winter safety tips

Environmental health and safety (EH&S) wants to remind the university community to take care when walking across campus this winter. Plan your route, be alert for icy patches and wear appropriate footwear. Over-the-shoe traction devices, such as Yaktrax, Trex, etc., are available through Central Stores and cyBUY.

Contact EH&S (294-5359) or facilities planning and management (294-5100) to report snow and ice problems on sidewalks or at building entrances. Winter safety tips for walking, driving and general winter weather preparedness are available on the EH&S website. 

Enterprise software system choice is Workday

Streamlined business processes, instant access to data and mobile friendly software are some of the much anticipated outcomes of Iowa State's collaboration with Workday, an international enterprise software firm.

Regents approve tuition hike, differential tuitions

Meeting Dec. 5-6 in Cedar Falls, the state Board of Regents also approved faculty professional development assignments for next year and residence hall renovation plans, added George Jackson's name to the black cultural center, and gave its final green light to the Student Innovation Center.

Student projects on display

Mechanical engineering undergraduates wrapped up a semester's worth of teamwork Tuesday in an expo of helpful ideas aimed at making daily life easier in developing countries.

Inclusive excellence award added to fall ceremony

New award will honor faculty and staff who've advanced diversity, equity and inclusion.

Submit spring requests for library reserve materials now

Instructors who wish to place required materials on reserve for spring semester should submit requests now. Information and forms are available online. 

Center announces faculty recipients of arts, humanities grants

The Center for Excellence in Arts and Humanities has made seven grant awards to support faculty research and scholarly activity and one award to support organizing a symposium. Proposals for the spring 2017 round of awards in research, proposal planning and symposium development are due Feb. 7.

VPR invites proposals for internal funding programs

The office of the vice president for research invites proposals for three internal funding programs. More information is online for the:

  • Presidential Interdisciplinary Research Initiative, due Feb. 15, 2017
  • Bailey Research Career Development Award, due Jan. 31
  • Brown Graduate Fellowships, due Jan. 15

Parks Library hosts Dec. 9 party for students

The staff at Parks Library invites students to relax at Party at Parks Library on Friday, Dec. 9 (6-10 p.m., Rooms 198 and 199). The evening kicks off with pizza and a showing of "Secret Life of Pets" at 6 p.m. A second showing begins at 8 p.m. Popcorn and ice cream also will be available during the movie. Other activities include coloring pages, board games and giant chess. From 6 to 9 p.m., students can enjoy chair massages and an evening edition of Barks@Parks. Cy will stop by between 6 and 7 p.m. to pose for pictures. More information is online. 

Madrigal Dinner tickets are on sale

Tickets for two performances of the music department's annual Madgrigal Dinner (Jan. 13 and 14, MU Great Hall) are on sale now. Tickets are $50 each ($46 for seniors, ISU students and groups of 10 or more), and may be purchased online through, by phone (294-8349) or in person at the MU ticket office (11 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday). Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., preceded by a social hour at 5:30 p.m. Ticket sales end at noon Jan. 11 for the Friday performance, and at noon Jan. 12 for the Saturday performance.

Inside takes a break this month

The last issue of "Inside Iowa State" this calendar year will publish on Thursday, Dec. 15. There will be no editions on Dec. 22 or 29. Publication will resume on Jan. 5, 2017; submit your news items by 10 a.m. Jan. 4.

New university award: Inclusive excellence

Nominate deserving individuals for the newly-created University Award for Inclusive Excellence. This award recognizes faculty and P&S staff for their commitment to inclusion initiatives and for advancing the university’s mission of diversity, equity and inclusion. Questions may be emailed to the office of the vice president for diversity and inclusion.  Nominations are due by Feb. 10, 2017. 

Have 'Coffee with a Cop' Dec. 7

As part of a national initiative, the ISU Police are hosting a Coffee with a Cop conversation on Wednesday, Dec. 7 (7:30-9:30 a.m., Memorial Union Café). Members of the Iowa State and Ames communities are invited to stop by to ask questions and learn more about the department's work on campus. Officers will be available for informal, drop-in discussions about issues and concerns.

Recycle your greeting cards

The Office of Sustainability will collect holiday greeting cards for upcycling Dec. 12-Jan. 23. Cards will be sent to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children to be made into new holiday cards, with proceeds supporting St. Jude’s work with children. (St. Jude’s is not able to use Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards.) Collection is open to all ISU students, faculty and staff; there is no per person limit. Send card fronts only to Merry Rankin, 108 General Services, or drop them in collection boxes located in the General Services Building. Holiday cards are being targeted, but other occasion cards (birthday, thank you, etc.) will be accepted.

All-school rally scheduled for Hy-Vee basketball classic

The ISU Alumni Association will co-host an all-school pregame spirit rally prior to the men's basketball Hy-Vee Classic on Saturday, Dec. 17 (1:30-3 p.m., Memorial Hall, Veterans Memorial convention center, Des Moines). Iowa State plays Drake at 6 p.m. (preceded by Iowa vs Northern Iowa at 3:30 p.m.). Enjoy free snacks and appetizers while supplies last, a cash bar, live DJ, giveaways and rallies with each university's pep band and cheer squad. As in the past, new hats, gloves and mittens will be collected and donated to a central Iowa agency. Admission to the rally is free; game tickets may be purchased through the Iowa Events Center.

Intro to Digital Accessibility webinar Dec. 9

ISU's web accessibility coordinator (WAC) Zayira Jordan will present on the basics of digital accessibility and answer questions about making your digital content accessible during a live video session Friday, Dec. 9 (12-1 p.m.). Please, fill out the registration form and you will receive a confirmation with information on how to connect. There is no cost for the webinar.

Enterprise software system choice is Workday

Streamlined business processes, instant access to data and mobile friendly software are some of the much anticipated features of Iowa State's collaboration with Workday, an international enterprise software firm.  Officials selected the firm to help the university transform its aging human resources, finance and student records operations into a seamless, cloud-based system.

Wickert reappointed as senior VP/provost

President Steven Leath has reappointed senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert to a second five-year term, effective July 30, 2017. Wickert became provost on July 30, 2012; at the time, he was completing his third year as Engineering dean.

Tuition increases, faculty professional development proposals on regents agenda

The state Board of Regents also is expected to take action on the Student Innovation Center proposal, a name for the Black Cultural Center, residence hall renovations and a land purchase to expand the research park.