Antimicrobial research institute, athletics facility proposals go to regents

Iowa State will begin the approval process for a new institute in the College of Veterinary Medicine when the state Board of Regents meets Nov. 15-16 in Cedar Falls.  ISU would be the host university for the National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education, overseen by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and the American Association of Veterinary Medicine Colleges. The institute expands Iowa State's three-year-old Antimicrobial Resistance Research (AMR) Consortium, which includes partners from the universities of Iowa and Nebraska, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Mayo Clinic and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Ames. Iowa State and the University of Nebraska would provide annual startup funding of $275,000 and $250,000, respectively, for three years.

Dr. Paul Plummer, associate professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal science, would serve as institute director, a part-time position. Full-time positions include associate director, program assistant and communications specialist. As proposed, the staff would have offices in the ISU Research Park.

The proposal goes to the board's academic affairs committee this month and to the full board in February 2019.

The full meeting agenda is online, and audio of all open portions of the meeting will be livestreamed on the board's website.

Faculty professional development

Iowa State will seek academic affairs committee and full board approval for 50 faculty professional development assignment (PDA) requests for the year that begins July 1, 2019. A year ago, there were 43 faculty requests. The requests include 16 for fall semester 2019, 17 for spring semester 2020 and 17 for the full academic year.

At Iowa State, all faculty members employed at least half time are eligible to apply for a PDA. There is no requirement for length of service; however, priority may be given to tenured faculty over term faculty and to individuals who have not received a PDA in the past five years. Whenever possible, department chairs and deans approve flexible approaches to managing the workload and associated costs, including reassignment or alternate scheduling of courses. Salary savings from faculty members on assignment for a full year offset the replacement costs for other faculty members. The FY2020 estimated cost is $36,649 ($397,950 in costs and $361,301 in salary savings).

Building projects

Iowa State will seek final board approval, including budgets and schematic designs, of three projects:

  • A $90 million athletics plan to update and expand the area north of the football stadium. The proposal would build a four-story sports performance center east of the Bergstrom football complex; demolish the Olsen building and build a stadium entry plaza in its place; remodel part of the ground level of the Jacobsen Building for football game day use by the visiting team, officials, media and marching band; extend the stadium concourse around the north side of the Jacobsen Building; and add a one-story equipment and storage space to the west side of the Bergstrom complex. The work would be done in four phases between June 2019 and August 2021. Athletics department operating funds and private gifts would pay for the project.
  • A $7 million plan to finish the fifth floor of the Advanced Teaching and Research Building for the Nanovaccine Institute. Funding features $4.5 million in private gifts and $2.5 million in university funds. As proposed, construction would begin in April and wrap up one year later (April 2019).
  • A $3.2 million residence plan for life cycle improvements in Helser Hall, including replacing the asbestos-containing tile floor, repairing and painting interior walls, installing LED lighting and new room furnishings. The residence department's improvement funds would cover the cost.

Iowa State also will ask the board to approve a revised budget and plan for the previously approved poultry farm on South State Avenue, due to higher than anticipated costs. The budget goes up $750,000, to $5.75 million. Six buildings for teaching and research functions will be merged into one, eliminating duplicate mechanical spaces, restrooms, showers and public spaces. The project will be covered by private gifts. Construction is scheduled to begin yet this fall, with completion next fall.


The board or its committees will hear multiple presentations over two days. They include:

  • ISU admissions director Katharine Johnson Suski and her peers from Iowa and Northern Iowa will share highlights of the undergraduate admissions landscape, including aspects of recruiting. They'll present to the board's academic affairs and campus/student affairs committees at approximately 9:30 a.m. Friday.
  • David Spalding, interim vice president for economic development and business engagement, will present Iowa State's economic development and technology transfer annual report to the full board at approximately 1 p.m. Friday.
  • Police chief Michael Newton and his colleagues will give a presentation on campus safety, with a focus on physical safety and the campus response when tragedies occur. They'll speak to the campus and student affairs committee at approximately 10:15 a.m. Friday.
  • Mark Wiederspan, executive research officer at the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, will present the commission's biennial report, The Condition of Higher Education in Iowa 2018, to the full board Thursday afternoon, approximately 1:30 pm. The report describes the current state of demographics, college readiness and success, financial aid and student debt in Iowa.
  • Todd Pettys, professor of law at the University of Iowa, will give a presentation on freedom of expression issues that arise frequently on university campuses. He's scheduled to present at approximately 1:30 p.m. Friday.
  • Board office staff will present an annual enrollment report on the three regent universities to the full board at approximately 1:15 p.m. Thursday. The chart below captures a small fraction of the data in the report.

2018 fall enrollment shifts (compared to 2017)


Iowa State


Northern Iowa

Total headcount








Graduate/professional students




First-year students




Resident students




Out-of-state students*




*Domestic non-Iowans, excludes international students