Almost ready

Studying in the MU west lounge

Students prepared for final exams in the Memorial Union west lounge earlier this week. In response to concerns about long waits to take online exams, the university added four online testing centers this month, doubling the seating capacity. Final exams run through Friday afternoon and most ISU residence halls will close by 6 p.m. Saturday. An all-university graduation ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Hilton Coliseum; all are welcome to attend. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Emptying Davidson Hall

Habitat crew at Davidson

The 92-year-old Davidson Hall -- former home of the agricultural and biosystems engineering department -- is being prepped for demolition, which gets underway in early January. An asbestos abatement crew will complete its work later this month.

This week, a team from Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity (pictured above) was in the building to salvage an assortment of well-used items, including cabinets, laminate counter tops, bulletin boards, white boards and a 10-inch-thick freezer room door. These will be sold at Habitat's ReStore (I-235 and Euclid) in Des Moines, which supports the organization's affordable housing projects while keeping tons of reusable building materials out of landfills.

Previously, ISU asset recovery removed 20 truckloads of office furniture and Bell Salvage purchased about 10 tons of metal removed from the building. The ABE department relocated about 50 pieces of teaching and research equipment to Sukup Hall, and plans to repurpose the "Agricultural Engineering" engraved limestone piece above the Davidson south entrance. Still other items, including fire alarm panels, exit signs, two dozen door locksets, an overhead garage door opener, white boards and a glass display cabinet, will be reused by facilities planning and management or other ISU units.

The building demolition -- a dismantling, sorting and recycling process, really -- is expected to take about 3.5 months to complete. The parking row immediately next to the building on both the east (lot 25) and west (lot 23) sides, will be unusable during this time.
Photos by Christopher Gannon.

Davidson main hall

First floor hallway in Davidson Hall.

Davidson directory

The Davidson Hall directory.


Remember these tips before you leave for winter break

Winter break starts next week, and university administrators have authorized a partial closing for an 11.5-day stretch during the break, beginning at noon on Dec. 24 through Jan. 4. This period includes:

  • Three university holidays (Dec. 25, 26 and Jan. 1)
  • 4.5 regular work days (Dec. 24 at noon, Dec. 29-31 and Jan. 2)
  • Two weekends (Dec. 27-28 and Jan. 3-4)

Check this list twice, too

Winter break schedules

Employees who choose not to work on regular work days may use vacation time or take unpaid leave. The shutdown is optional; the university is not requiring departments to close. Units involved in critical services, maintenance and research will remain open. If you need to get into your building, bring your key or access card. University officials expect many ISU facilities will be closed and locked during the 11.5-day period, similar to holidays and weekends.

Last one out, shut the lights off (and more)

The partial shutdown isn't mandatory but university officials encourage employees to take some time off while the students are away, which also helps conserve energy. Last year, Iowa State reduced its energy costs by about $40,000 during the partial shutdown.

Building supervisors should contact Bob Currie in facilities planning and management by 5 p.m. on Dec. 19 to indicate if a building will be closed or to request a temperature setback.

Remember these tips when you leave for winter break to keep your office energy-efficient and safe.

  • Shut down all computers, printers and other accessories. Leave your office computer on if you need remote access from home, but power off the monitor, printer, speakers, etc. A computer's sleep mode uses less energy than full power, but information technology services guidelines recommend shutting down computers completely to protect data. A machine may be left on during break if it's providing access to a critical application. If possible, plug computers and printers into a power strip and then shut off the power strip before you leave.
  • Turn off and unplug copiers
  • Shut off and unplug small appliances, like coffeepots and microwaves
  • Unplug chargers for electronic devices
  • Check faucets in restrooms and break rooms to make sure they are completely turned off and not dripping. If you notice a dripping faucet, contact the FPM Service Center, 294-5100.
  • If you can manually adjust the thermostat in your office, turn it down to 65 degrees
  • Close fume hood sashes completely or open them only minimally
  • Shut down unnecessary climate-controlled plant growth chambers
  • Shut down cooling water systems to eliminate potential flooding issues
  • Remember to turn off your office lights and as much public lighting (hallways, restrooms, conference rooms) as possible 
  • Check windows to make sure they're tightly closed

Phone coverage still is important

If your department is closing over break, discuss how to handle incoming phone calls. One option is to direct all departmental calls to one voicemail box to be checked periodically by designated employees during the break.

Employees also should change their personal voicemail and email messages. Consider stating the dates you will be absent, and if you'll be checking your messages. If necessary, include an off-campus number where you can be reached. Also consider posting holiday hours on your department's website.

Wear boots, if necessary

FPM crews will work reduced hours during the partial shutdown. Snow removal will be limited from Dec. 24 through Jan. 2, which means parking lots and secondary buildings may not be plowed by 8 a.m. FPM staff also will not plow lots or sweep sidewalks for less than 2 inches of snow outside of weekday business hours (Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Check this list twice, too

Following is a list of closures and holiday schedules for high-traffic campus facilities during winter break. You may want to call ahead or check websites before venturing to campus.

Are you prepared?

Winter break reminders

Athletics ticket offices

Jacobson Building

Closed: Dec. 24-26, Jan. 1-2
Winter break hours: Noon-3 p.m., Dec. 29-31

Hilton Coliseum ticket office (southwest corner)

Open one hour prior to events:

  • Dec. 29 (4 p.m.)
  • Dec. 30 (4 p.m.)
  • Dec. 31 (5 p.m.)
  • Jan. 3 (noon)

Brunnier Art Museum (290 Scheman)

Closed: Dec. 22-Jan. 12

Christian Petersen Art Museum (1017 Morrill)

Closed: Dec. 20-Jan. 11

Farm House Museum (central campus)

Closed: Through Jan. 11

ISU Dining

Winter break hours (cafés, dining centers and C-stores)

ISU Postal and Parcel

Operating from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays (except for university holidays). Service will continue to accessible buildings. Details.

Lied Center/Beyer Hall/State Gym

Winter break hours

Memorial Union

Closed: 5 p.m., Dec. 24 through 8 a.m., Dec. 26

  • Hotel Memorial Union, Closed: 5 p.m., Dec. 24 through Dec. 25
  • Maintenance Shop, Closed: Through Jan. 11
  • Workspace, Closed: Dec. 19-Jan. 12

Reiman Gardens

Closed: Dec. 25 and Jan. 1

University Book Store, Memorial Union

Closed: Dec. 25-28, Jan. 1 and Jan. 4
Winter break hours:

  • 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday-Friday
  • 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Dec. 20
  • noon-4 p.m., Dec. 21
  • 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Dec. 24
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Jan. 3
  • 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Jan. 10
  • 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Jan. 11

University Library (all sites)

Closed: 3 p.m., Dec. 24 through Jan. 5. Details

Nearly 1,800 will graduate this week

Spring 2014 commencement

File photo.

An estimated 1,792 students are completing their Iowa State degrees this semester. Many of them, as well as some students who finished degree programs last summer, will be recognized during an all-university commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 20 (1:30 p.m., Hilton Coliseum).

Students on schedule to finish degrees this week include recipients of 1,465 bachelor's, 216 master's and 111 doctoral degrees. Tickets are not required for the ceremony.

Honorary degree

During the ceremony, Cedar Falls native and U.S. State Department attorney Stephen Rapp will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters from Iowa State for his leadership in prosecuting individuals for crimes against innocent people. Rapp also will give the commencement address.


Stephen Rapp

Since 2009, Rapp has served as the U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues in the state department's Office of Global Criminal Justice. He advises the secretary of state and under secretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights, and works to formulate U.S. policy on prevention, response and accountability for mass atrocities.

Previously, in the United Nations' Special Court for Sierra Leone, beginning in 2007 he prosecuted former Liberian president Charles Taylor and others responsible for atrocities committed during the Sierra Leone civil war (1991-2002). In 2001, Rapp joined the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, serving as lead prosecutor in a trial of three Rwandan media executives. He successfully prosecuted them for inciting fellow Hutus to commit genocide on Tutsis and Tutsi sympathizers in the spring and summer of 1994.

Rapp is a former Iowa legislator (1973-75, 1979-83) and former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa (1993-2001). Faculty members in the anthropology department nominated Rapp for the honor; the state Board of Regents approved the request last March.

College events

Iowa State's colleges will honor their graduating students during separate convocations and receptions, Dec. 19-20. At approximately 4 p.m. Saturday, following the all-university ceremony, ISU Alumni Association staff and Cy will host a free reception for all graduates and their families at the ISU Alumni Center.

Social media, video feed at graduation

The registrar's office invites graduating students, family and friends to participate in a live Twitter feed before and after the ceremony (tweets won't be posted during the ceremony). Include #cyclONEgrad in your tweet and it may appear on the big screen in Hilton. Graduating students are asked to not bring their mobile devices to the stage. Those who can't attend the ceremony and don't have a Twitter account may follow the conversation on the #cyclONEgrad Tagboard site.

The university will stream a live video of the ceremony on the registrar's graduation website. A video replay will be available on the same site by Dec. 23.