June 2020

Approvals to hire extended through December

University human resources announced June 25 that requests to post position vacancies will require approval from the respective president/senior VP (or delegate) through at least Dec. 31. This applies to faculty, P&S, merit, contract, postdoc, resident/intern, temporary and emergency employees.

For positions with approval to proceed, units should exercise discretion on whether to conduct interviews virtually or in-person. Department circumstances will vary, but the top priority should be each candidate's comfort level and preference for interviewing virtually or on campus. For on-campus interviews, all related COVID-19 safety protocols outlined by the university must be followed.

Hiring units also should have plans in place to properly welcome and onboard any new hires during this time. University orientation presentations now can be found online.

P&S job profiles will arrive in June 29 emails

Professional and scientific (P&S) employees will receive emails June 29 that inform them of their placement in the new P&S jobs framework, part of a market-based classification and compensation system on track for full implementation by Aug. 30. Managers received early notice June 22 for the employees they supervise. University human resources created several title review resources that will help guide conversations between employees and managers about the accuracy of their placement. Employees also will receive directions for accessing the full list of job families and job profiles in Workday. Those who conclude another job profile more accurately describes the work they do may submit a request for further review by Friday, July 24. More information about the review request process will be shared in Inside Iowa State July 2.

Lab safety orientation for graduate students goes virtual for fall

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) will host virtual Laboratory Safety Orientation Aug. 6, 11, 12 or 13 for incoming graduate students who will be working in a lab. Participants will need to complete three online safety training courses before registering for orientation:

  • Laboratory Safety: Core Concepts
  • Fire Safety and Extinguisher training
  • Emergency Response Guide video

During the virtual orientation session, students will participate in a live discussion with EHS safety professionals, engage in group activities and test their knowledge of skills learned. The three prerequisites and registration for the virtual session all can be completed in Learn@ISU under Environmental Health and Safety courses.

Process improvement challenges sought for student class projects

The faculty instructors for Industrial Engineering 361 (Statistical Quality Assurance) are asking for the ISU community's assistance to identify internal projects for students for the 2020-21 academic year. As part of the course requirements, students conduct a process-oriented quality improvement project with a client. The project goal is to make data-driven recommendations to improve the quality of a process the client cares about. Examples could be something you need assistance with in your group, team, office, lab or department -- on or off campus. Instructors estimate they'll need 15 projects for fall term and 22 for spring semester. Send your ideas (or questions) to

Preparing your children for school during a pandemic

A June 26 (10-11 a.m.) Zoom webinar sponsored by Iowa State's WorkLife team will help families and support networks learn how to nurture the learning of children who will enter an uncharted world when they return to school this fall. A global pandemic and socio-political uprising means that many of the old rules are inapplicable. Our job is to help them make sense of things that don't even make sense to us. The presenter for "What Happens When My Child Learns Things I Didn't Teach Them at Home" is Monic Behnken, associate professor of sociology, leadership studies director and Ames Community School Board member. Register. View additional webinars sponsored by the WorkLife team at

Parents: Your ideas sought at June 30 conversation on child care

Iowa State's WorkLife Team continues to explore solutions to the many child care challenges presented by COVID-19. On Tuesday, June 30 (3-4 p.m.), the ISU community of parents is invited to partipate in a brainstorming session via Zoom to discuss:

  • What families need now and, as we approach school this fall, accommodations for more COVID-related challenges.
  • Information about resources available.
  • How our ISU community could create support systems for child care.
  • Ways to go forward and advocate for our families as we address uncertainties and challenges around school and child care.

The discussion will be cohosted by Cris Broshar, worklife specialist in university human resources, and Dara Wald, assistant professor in the Greenlee School. Register for the session.

July 3 is university holiday

Friday, July 3, is a university holiday in observance of the national Independence Day on July 4. Classes will not be in session.

ISD advisory committee releases third quarter report

The improved service delivery advisory committee has released its third quarter 2020 report, covering January through March. The committee monitors the performance of the teams that provide human resources and finance services. Campus satisfaction with service delivery was high, with 97% of ServiceNow survey respondents indicating their interaction with a finance team was helpful and 91% indicating their HR service was helpful. Two issues were identified as top priorities for improvement: optimizing the hiring process for graduate assistants and student employees and simplifying financial reporting for faculty, particularly related to grants.

City-university summer rummage sale canceled

Rummage Rampage, the joint city of Ames-Iowa State University project to find second homes for reusable household items and reduce the waste stream, has been canceled for 2020 as a precaution against COVID-19. Launched in 2016, it's typically held during the annual lease turnover time in Ames (last week of July). As an option this year, the city provides a list on its website of locations that accept various items.

Nomination deadline is Aug. 1 for alumni association awards

Nominations are due Aug. 1 for these two ISU Alumni Association awards. Forms are online; questions may be directed to Katie Lickteig.

  • Distinguished Alumni Award: The highest award the association presents to honor alumni who are nationally or internationally recognized for preeminent contributions to their profession or life's work.
  • Honorary Alumni Award: The highest honor the university presents through the alumni association to honor individuals who are not ISU graduates and have made significant contributions to the university's welfare, reputation, prestige and pursuit of excellence.

Pre-order your ISU calendars in time for the academic year

Produced by the ISU Alumni Association, the 2020-21 ISU wall calendar features the award-winning photography of Jim Heemstra and is populated with dozens of university events. 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#. Delivery is via campus mail while the Alumni Center is closed.

Visitation for Wally Huffman is June 18

A visition for Wallace Huffman, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences and professor of economics, will be held Thursday, June 18 (3-7 p.m., prayer service at 7 p.m., Reiman Ballroom, ISU Alumni Center, 420 Beach Ave.). A public burial will be held Friday, June 19 (2 p.m.) in the ISU Cemetery, following a private funeral service in Des Moines in the morning. Social distancing and face coverings are requested at all events.

Huffman died June 10 at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn. He earned his undergraduate degree at Iowa State in 1966 and joined the ISU faculty in 1974. Memorial contributions may be directed to the family to be used for a future memorial in Huffman's name. Obituary.

Building openings will be phased over summer

Opening/unlocking campus buildings will be a phased process over the summer as employees return to their campus workspaces. Building supervisors will make these decisions as departments in their buildings become ready. Changes to campus buildings' closed/open status will be updated in the building information website.

Next campus conversation is June 17

The next campus conversation, an online event for faculty and staff, will be hosted Wednesday, June 17 (3-5 p.m.) by the office of diversity and inclusion. The topic is "What should I do? White action and accountability to combat anti-blackness and systems-based racism." An employee panel will present, followed by moderated Q&A and small group discussion. Register online.

Help wanted for annual College Creek cleanup June 27

Volunteers are invited to help with the annual cleanup of designated campus sections of College Creek Saturday, June 27 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.). Physical distancing will be practiced. No minimum time is required; all help is appreciated. Supplies (gloves, bags and trash grabbers) will be provided or volunteers may bring their own; refreshments will be provided. Registration is requested. Volunteer check-in will start at 9:30 a.m. in the Forker parking lot.

Public Vet Med webinar addresses periodontal disease in cats, dogs

Faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine are hosting a series of free webinars for the public via Zoom; the next one is Thursday, June 11 (1 p.m.). This week's topic is periodontal disease in dogs and cats, presented by Dr. Brenda Mulherin, associate clinical professor of veterinary clinical sciences and board-certified veterinary dentist at the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center. Sign up at the registration link.

Join the third town hall for ISU faculty and staff

President Wendy Wintersteen and other senior leaders will hold a virtual town hall for faculty and staff on fall semester plans Friday, June 12 (2-3 p.m.). There are several options for joining (Webex Events can accommodate up to 1,000 participants):

  • Webex Events. Click here to join. The event password should auto-populate, then attendees will register with their name and email address. Type your questions for leaders into the Q&A box.
  • Webex Events call-in option (audio only). Call: 415-655-0001; event number/access code: 120 692 5212.
  • Overflow viewing on this YouTube channel. (There's no vehicle to ask questions live, but questions submitted to will be answered following the town hall.)

The town hall will be recorded and posted on the COVID-19 safety page within two days.

Fall study abroad programs canceled

Fall study abroad programs that were scheduled to depart before Dec. 1, 2020, have been canceled. Iowa State made this difficult decision as a result of continued global concerns with COVID-19 and to allow students ample time to defer their study abroad to another semester and register for fall classes on campus. The university will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates when decisions are made on study abroad programs scheduled after Dec. 1.

Workspace planning form has PDF and Word versions

The Supervisor Workspace Plan document now exists in PDF and Word versions; use the version you prefer. Supervisors should use the form in developing a return-to-work proposal for their unit's workspace. A few kinks have been worked out of the original version of the PDF version. Both are available for download on the COVID-19 summer planning website.

Worktag details for pandemic-related cleaning, safety purchases

As departments and units plan for a return to campus, they should be using the department detail DD11790 worktag for any expenses, credits and refunds directly related to the COVID-19 response. This includes cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and other personal protective equipment outside of their routine purchases. The DD11790 worktag also should be used for:

  • Cancellation costs and travel change fees
  • Refunds and credits for travel
  • Refunds and credits from canceled events

For additional information, including how to document, see

Students have counseling options for pandemic concerns

Members of the Iowa State community with questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic or who just need to talk with someone can receive free virtual counseling and assistance via COVID Recovery Iowa. The service is provided by the Iowa Department of Human Services with support from FEMA. Counselors are available 24/7 to talk and offer strategies for coping with the pandemic. To request free assistance, call 1-844-775-9276 or fill out the online form.

Student Counseling Services also offers telehealth services including video-based counseling sessions and phone consultations. Iowa State students can call 515-294-5056 Monday through Friday (7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.) to determine what type of service is the best fit.

State offers free virtual counseling on pandemic concerns

Members of the Iowa State community with questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic or who just need to talk with someone can receive free virtual counseling and assistance via COVID Recovery Iowa. The service is provided by the Iowa Department of Human Services with support from FEMA. Counselors are available 24/7 to talk and offer strategies for coping with the pandemic. To request free assistance, call 1-844-775-9276 or fill out the online form.