Announcements

Instructions for joining Monday's town hall

Faculty and staff can join the virtual town hall with university leaders Monday, March 30 (9-10 a.m.) through Adobe Connect with this meeting URL: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/isuadmin. To install Adobe Connect on a desktop or laptop in advance, go to: https://helpx.adobe.com/adobe-connect/connect-downloads-updates.html#Application. For questions or assistance installing Adobe Connect, contact your local IT support or the ITS Solution Center, solution@iastate.edu. A few tips for the event:

  • To watch on a mobile device: The Adobe Connect app is available for free in the App Store or Google Play.
  • To ask a question during the town hall: Type your question into Adobe Connect's chat box.
  • To use captioning: Adobe Connect features a captioning box and live captioning will be available.
  • For technical issues during the town hall: Call ISU Extension and Outreach's IT hotline, 294-1725.
  • To submit a question: If you are unable to participate in the town hall or your question is not answered, please direct human resources-specific questions to HR_delivery@iastate.edu. All other questions may be directed to COVID-19@iastate.edu.

CELT has a solution to "bombers" in Zoom, Webex

Some Zoom users are experiencing "Zoombombing," where non-students join your Zoom session to disrupt a class or a meeting. These disruptions may involve sharing of racist, misogynistic or vulgar content. This also is possible for those using WebEx outside its Canvas integration. The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching has posted a workaround for both Zoom and WebEx to prevent these interruptions.

CIRAS to coordinate ISU help for COVID-19 manufacturing needs

The Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) will be Iowa State's primary point of contact for manufacturing requests related to COVID-19 health care needs. Faculty and staff who receive such a request should send it to ciras.info@iastate.edu so it can be logged and reviewed. CIRAS will coordinate assistance as appropriate. CIRAS also is gathering information about the potential need in Iowa for personal protective equipment and identifying other health care industry needs. Faculty and staff who have a desire to help and the relevant research capabilities -- such as medical device manufacturing, rapid factory changeover or 3-D printing -- should contact Jake Behrens, jbehrens@iastate.edu.

Harmon accepts leadership post at Michigan

Senior vice president for student affairs Martino Harmon has accepted the position of vice president for student life at the University of Michigan, effective July 1. Harmon arrived at Iowa State in September 2013, serving first as associate vice president for student affairs before being promoted to his current role in 2016. His last day at Iowa State will be June 5.

"Martino has excelled at leading the division of student affairs, building a strong team that is committed and cares deeply about our students," said President Wendy Wintersteen. "He has been a key member of my leadership team, bringing personal insight, wisdom and analytical skills to every discussion about the critical issues of the university." 

Harmon said the decision to leave Ames was difficult, but influenced by the chance to be closer to his family.

"I have loved every moment of my time at Iowa State University. I am so proud of how our student affairs team cares for our students and enhances their Iowa State experience. I will deeply miss my team, our students, and all of my campus and community colleagues," he said.

Wintersteen said she will begin the search for Harmon's successor in the very near future.

Out-of-pocket telemedicine costs waived through June 16

Under ISU employee health insurance plans, out-of-pocket costs will be waived for telemedicine services for 90 days, effective March 16. The temporary elimination of copayment and co-insurance for virtual doctor visits, such as those available through Doctor on Demand, will be in place through June 16 to help avoid spreading COVID-19.

You're invited: Town hall for faculty and staff is March 30

Faculty and staff are invited to join President Wendy Wintersteen and senior leaders for a virtual town hall Monday, March 30 (9-10 a.m.). This will be an opportunity to discuss the university's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and issues shared in the coping with COVID challenges employee survey, and take participants' questions.

To join the town hall, click this link or copy and paste the URL into your web browser: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/isuadmin. You may test the link in advance to ensure Adobe Connect is downloaded on your computer. The town hall will be recorded and posted on the campus safety page for later viewing.

Sign template helps units communicate closures

If your office or building is closed to walk-in traffic, facilities planning and management created a sign template to help employees share that message on doors. Simply download the PDF, type in specifics about your building in the fields indicated, print it (8.5"x11") and post it.

Implementation of P&S classification/compensation structure continues

In the implementation timeline for the new professional and scientific classification and compensation system, March was to be filled with meetings among HR delivery staff and local leaders. With coaching from the HR staff on the jobs framework, leaders (from the division to department level) are linking their P&S employees to job titles in the new structure. UHR leaders have asked teams to complete these meetings as much as they're able in an unprecedented work environment. After March 31, UHR leaders will assess progress and consult with university senior leadership on whether the implementation timeline needs to be adjusted. Implementation Q&A

COVID-19 wellness campaign launches for students and employees

Student Health and Wellness and ISU WellBeing have launched a campaign to help students and employees navigate the changes caused by virtual instruction, remote work and social distancing. The website for the "Keep Community, Stay Informed, and Be Well" campaign offers work groups an employee action plan to fill out collaboratively. Daily tips also will be shared on social media emphasizing one of the campaign's three pillars.

VP for research search is suspended

The search for Iowa State's next vice president for research has been suspended until the COVID-19 outbreak has passed. Information about campus visits for the finalists, which had begun, will be shared at a later date.

HR service center, benefits office temporarily require appointments

Effective March 26 and until further notice, in order to follow CDC guidelines on social distancing, university human resources' service center and benefits office will be open by appointment only. This is an effort to limit the number of people in the office at any given time, therefore reducing the potential spread of COVID-19. Employees who need to meet with either service center or benefit team staff should call 294-4800 to schedule an appointment. Employees also may email hrshelp@iastate.edu or benefits@iastate.edu for assistance.

Local hospitals ask for blood donations

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for blood donations at most hospitals, including Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames. LifeServe Blood Center, 819 Wheeler St. in the Northern Lights Center, is the donation center servicing MGMC. To donate, call 800-287-4903 or go online to make an appointment -- so social distancing can be maintained (walk-ins are discouraged for this reason). You will be asked screening questions about travel and health.

ISU Foundation establishes emergency aid fund for students

The ISU Foundation is seeking donations for an emergency fund it has created to support students adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cyclone Strong Fund will provide emergency aid for students with unexpected financial obstacles to staying in school, such as paying for rent, food and technology expenses for online learning. Donations can be made online.

New name: Office of Student Financial Success

The Student Loan Education Office, a unit within student financial aid, is changing its name to the Office of Student Financial Success, effective March 30. The rationale for the change is:

  • We discuss much more than just student loans in our conversations with students, and we need to share that message.
  • Students who do not or can not borrow don't seek our expertise because the name implies we only discuss student loans.
  • We believe this title will broaden our reach and have a wider impact on campus.

Key desk tweaks procedures

In response to the COVID -19 pandemic, Building Security Services, General Services Building, has implemented these changes to limit its desk staff's exposure from walk-in traffic:

  • Department key coordinators should continue to request key or access card changes online or via email.
  • Limit key requests, including temporary access card requests, to immediate necessity.
  • For key returns, if possible, turn in keys to your key coordinator, who can return them at a later time.
  • If this option is not possible, email buildingsecurity@iastate.edu or call 515-294-4211 prior to your arrival. While classes are online, the key desk is open 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • If you visit the desk, respect the distance between you and the key desk employee, who may step back from the counter while you sign forms.

Refunds not available for faculty and staff parking permits

The university has suspended the parking refund policy for faculty and staff during the COVID-19 emergency. This means employees can't receive a prorated refund or stop payroll deductions for returning parking permits unless their employment at the university is ending. Campus and Memorial Union parking lots remain open. 

Share your strategies for staying connected to colleagues

Faculty and staff, are you finding ways to stay connected with your ISU colleagues when you're also striving to keep some distance? We've heard of a few good ones already, like: online staff meetings that start with good-natured puns, humorous GIFs and home office photos, and faculty inviting colleagues to virtual after-hours gatherings to unwind and talk about their day. Tell us about your strategies and successes for staying engaged and helpful to one another, and we'll share them in the upcoming edition of Inside Iowa State. Email your story to inside@iastate.edu.

TIAA providing information on market volatility

TIAA is offering guidance on navigating investment uncertainty in a webinar called "Dealing with Market Volatility: What You Need to Know." A live version of the webinar will be held 5-5:45 p.m. March 18. Register online here. Recordings of prior versions of the same webinar held March 16 and March 17 also are available online. TIAA representatives remain available to consult with Iowa State employees by phone, email and virtual meetings. Face-to-face meetings have been suspended. Set up a meeting with a TIAA representative online or by calling 800-732-8353.

Regents add emergency authorization guidelines to manual

Following a closed session discussion, the state Board of Regents voted unanimously March 17 to add language to its policy manual that gives the board president (currently Mike Richards) authority to declare a state of emergency at one or more of the three regent universities. In such an emergency, the board president also is authorized to make decisions to "safeguard persons or property" at the impacted school(s), and seek full board ratification later, but no later than the board's next regular meeting.

The board's vote adds a new section, E, to chapter 1.1 in its policy manual.

Tips for working remotely

IT Services maintains a website specifically about employees working remotely (at home or another off-campus location). It includes considerations for hardware, software, file backup and email access. Employees who need or want to work remotely are encouraged to consult the site and work their way through the checklist. This page is being updated regularly as more resources become available.

Business operations can continue in Workday

Because it's a cloud-based system, Workday can accommodate teleworking scenarios. Employees can access Workday online from anywhere for uninterrupted business operations. Guidance for Workday business continuity -- including delegation of approvals or a temporary role reassignment if the assigned individual isn't able to complete tasks -- is available on the WorkCyte website.

City bike trail to Vet Med campus closes March 16

The city trail from near South Third Street to South 16th Street closed March 16 and will remain closed for 16-18 months as part of the road project to extend South Grand Avenue to South 16th Street. The trail, which helps connect central Ames to the Veterinary Medicine campus, will be closed for the entire project because the existing pedestrian bridge will be removed and replaced with a new pedestrian bridge.

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