Citing a lack of high-quality, affordable child care available to employees and students as a "critical problem," President Wendy Wintersteen formed a task force last fall to study the issue. A report with recommendations is expected in March.
Kristi Darr, interim vice president for university human resources, said the report will include both short-term and long-term recommendations. Darr is serving as a task force co-chair with associate provost for faculty Dawn Bratsch-Prince and Graduate College associate dean Carolyn Cutrona.
"As the task force works through its recommendations, we have been focusing on creating strong community partnerships and talking about how to sustain the momentum from the group," Darr said. "Appropriately addressing the childcare needs is not a 'one-size-fits-all' solution. It will take a collaborative effort over a long period of time to address the needs that we have as a community."
The task force is reviewing recommendations from the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, a report compiled by a faculty experience workgroup, and input from the university child care committee and ISU's child care and family resources (CCFR) office, including its 2015 feasibility study. Child care access also was a common issue identified in the 2017 campus climate survey.
This month, CCFR is conducting a survey of undergraduate and graduate students. Darr asked faculty and staff to encourage students who are pregnant or parenting a child to complete the survey. The responses will provide the task force with data about the number of parents in the student population.
"With this survey, we hope to obtain direct information regarding the lives and experiences of student parents, determine the current status of and reveal gaps in institutional resources, guide development of additional supports and provide data for student-parent advocacy," said Cris Broshar, program assistant in CCFR.
Child care task force
Co-chair: Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost for faculty
Co-chair: Carolyn Cutrona, associate dean, Graduate College
Co-chair: Kristi Darr, interim vice president, university human resources
- Milly Agai, program assistant, student assistance
- Chelsey Aisenbrey, human resources and diversity director, Ames Laboratory
- Claire Andreasen, director, veterinary pathology, Faculty Senate representative
- Tim Ashley, interim vice president, operations and finance
- Cris Broshar, program assistant, child care and family resources
- Norin Chaudhry Yasin, past-president, Graduate and Professional Student Senate
- Eleanor Field, president, Graduate and Professional Student Senate
- Austin Graber, president, Student Government
- Julie Graden, program manager, child care and family resources
- Susan Lammers, residence life coordinator, residence department
- Christine Lippard, assistant professor, human development and family studies, Faculty Senate representative
- Ruxandra Looft, director, Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity
- Lindsay Moeller, staff recruiting specialist, university human resources, Professional and Scientific Council
- Deb Schildroth, assistant city manager, City of Ames
- Molly Seaboch, program coordinator, Ames Laboratory
- Ashley St. Clair, graduate student, ecology, evolution and organismal biology department
- Julia Sullivan, program manager, student financial aid, university child care committee member