A good season for walking

excavator digs up road surface behind "road closed" sign

As promised, several central campus roads closed Monday, either for pavement replacement or major utility projects beneath them. Pictured is the beginning of a project to reconstruct the south end of Farm House Lane and reconfigure its intersection with Wallace Road. Here's a reminder of how long several key routes will be out of use:

  • Osborn Drive: 50-foot section north of Snedecor Hall, May 11-June 1
  • Beach Road: between power plant and Forker Building, May 11-June 26
  • Wallace Road: from Union Drive intersection east to the parking deck entrance, May 11 to early July

CyRide created detours for most of its routes on campus. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Uncertainty about state funding, tuition revenue shapes salary parameters

In the face of uncertain state funding and tuition revenue, Iowa State leaders have shared partial salary increase parameters for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Additional guidelines will be shared later – likely not until early November.

Faculty, professional and scientific staff, contract employees and post docs with satisfactory performance evaluations are to receive a minimum performance-based salary increase of 1 percent on July 1. Employees who receive evaluations that are less than satisfactory will not receive a salary increase in July.

This information was shared with employees this morning in an email co-authored by President Steven Leath, Faculty Senate past-president Kevin Schalinske and P&S Council president Amy Tehan.

Helpful info for supervisors and employees

The salary parameters document, an FAQ and SVP-level approval form for market, retention or equity-based salary increases above 1 percent are online.

They advised units that want to recognize above-satisfactory work performances among their employees to hold off on increases above 1 percent until Iowa State's funding picture is clearer. However, salary increases above 1 percent to address market, equity or retention issues are possible on July 1 with approval from a senior vice president.

"Additional guidance with respect to salaries will be issued by Nov. 2," they wrote.

"We understand this is not an ideal policy, but we believe it is necessary as the university works to balance funding uncertainties with mandatory cost increases," they added.

Iowa State's salary adjustment policy, which applies to all funding sources, requires university leaders each year to set minimum and maximum increases (or parameters) for employees receiving a satisfactory performance evaluation. This year is unusual in that the minimum and the threshold, increases above which require senior vice president-level approval, are the same, 1 percent.

Other budget variables

Lengthy appropriations debates at the statehouse and uncertainty about legislators' support for the state Board of Regents' performance-based funding model are not the only issues creating budget questions for ISU leaders.

  • In December, the regents approved a third straight tuition freeze for resident undergraduates, which last fall accounted for 54 percent of all Iowa State students.
  • Two initiatives designed to better serve Iowa State's student veterans, military personnel and their family members by assessing in-state tuition rates take effect on July 1 and will further reduce tuition revenue by an estimated $4.5-$5.5 million. The actual impact won't be known until the eligible students arrive in August. The initiatives are the federal Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 and the university's state designation as a Home Base Iowa Certified Higher Academic Military Partner.
  • Inflationary and mandatory cost increases for services and supplies -- such as software licenses, city services, insurance -- will require an estimated $2.3 million in FY16.

Merit employees contract

July 1 marks the start of a new two-year contract between the state of Iowa and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Iowa chapter, which covers nearly all university merit employees. Merit salary increases at Iowa State in FY16 will cost an estimated $2 million. The contract calls for an increase of 2.5 percent on July 1. Merit employees who haven't reached the maximum salary in their pay grades will receive a 4.5 percent "step" increase on their anniversary dates at the university.

Promotion increases

Salary increases associated with FY16 faculty promotions ($6,500 for Distinguished Professors, $6,000 for University and Morrill Professors, $5,675 for full professors and $4,700 for associate professors) and increases due to P&S reclassifications don't replace or eliminate performance-based increases.

Council approves salary recommendation

A salary recommendation introduced by the compensation and benefits committee was unanimously approved at the May 7 Professional and Scientific Council meeting. The annual recommendation was shared with university administration.

"Keep in mind that the salary increase that we are recommending is not necessarily what we think we'll get, it's what we think we're worth," said committee chair Bart Dobson.

The recommendation for the university's FY16 salary parameters outlined three priorities:

  • Compensate P&S employees for continued high performance
  • Change how P&S employees advance within classifications
  • Achieve equity in salary increases for P&S staff, faculty and merit employees

It called for a 4 percent increase for staff who earned a satisfactory evaluation, with an additional 2 percent average increase for individuals with continued high performance. No increase is recommended for employees who "do not meet job expectations."

In addition to salary increases, the recommendation also calls for a 3 percent bump across all pay grades to adjust for market trends.

Hello, doctor

Professor places academic hood on graduating student

The College of Veterinary Medicine conferred 147 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees on May 9 during a Stephens Auditorium ceremony. The class of 2015 included 24 Nebraska residents who completed their veterinary curriculum at Iowa State through a cooperative agreement with the University of Nebraska.

Above, associate professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine Alex Ramirez hoods D.V.M. graduate Charlie Bahnson. Below, candidates gather backstage at Stephens prior to the ceremony. Photos by Christopher Gannon.

Iowa State also held separate commencement ceremonies for master's and doctoral students and for undergraduate students. Videos of those events are available now on the registrar's YouTube website.

Graduates in academic gowns wait backstage

Riders sought for new east vanpool

An Iowa State vanpool for employees who commute from the east along the U.S. Highway 30 corridor is gaining momentum. With a few more riders, university transportation services hopes to start the service soon.

Manager Kathy Wellik said that, depending on interest, the route could start as far east as State Center, with stops in Colo and Nevada. She estimated a monthly cost of approximately $80 per rider, which covers fuel, insurance, parking and weekly servicing of the vehicle. The cost depends on the number of riders, van size and the route's starting point.

All ISU vanpools follow these guidelines:

  • The monthly fee is waived for one primary driver in the vanpool
  • Each member receives 10 one-day parking permits to use on campus during the year (additional permits may be purchased in the parking office, Armory)
  • Transportation services guarantees any vanpool member a ride home if an emergency occurs
  • The monthly fee doesn't fluctuate unless a new vehicle is issued to the pool or fuel prices rise dramatically and a fuel surcharge becomes necessary

Employees who would like more information about this option may contact Wellik, 294-1657.

Road, lot closures during Special Olympics

Special Olympics venues

  • Beyer Hall pool
  • Forker Building
  • Forker tennis courts
  • Hilton Coliseum
  • Iowa State Center parking lots
  • Lied Center
  • Lied fields
  • MWL fields

The Iowa Special Olympics summer games return to Ames May 21-23, with events and activities in several campus venues. Hundreds of Iowa Staters -- staff, faculty and students -- serve as volunteers for the event, which boasts more than 2,600 competitors and 1,200 coaches. All events, including Thursday's opening ceremonies (7-9 p.m., Hilton Coliseum), are free and open to the public.

Volunteer changes

All volunteers must check in Thursday and Friday at the tent in lot S8, east of Jack Trice Stadium. Volunteers are asked to use the bus shuttles, which run from lot S8 to the competition venues on Thursday and Friday. Shuttles will not operate on Saturday and volunteer check-in moves to the Lied Center.

Parking, road closures

In addition to construction closures near the venues, several parking lots and roads will be impacted by the summer games.

Road closures

  • Beach Road: Closed to through traffic from Lincoln Way to the Lied Center, 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday 

  • South Fourth Street: Closed from Beach Avenue to just west of entrance to stadium parking lots, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday 

Parking lot closures

  • Beyer Hall: Lot 3, Friday (all day); open to 24-hour Reserve or handicap permit holders
  • Forker Building: Lot 50A, Thursday and Friday (all day); open to handicap permit holders
  • Iowa State Center: All lots, Thursday (12:01 a.m.-5 p.m.); commuter parking will move to the football stadium parking lots for Thursday and CyRide will be routed through lots S3-S8
  • Lied Center: Lots 57 and 100, Thursday and Friday (all day, all vehicles)
  • Maple-Willow-Larch residence halls: Lots 56, 63, 80, 89, 90 and 91, Thursday and Friday (all day); open to Lot 66 and 67 24-hour Reserve permit holders
  • Richardson Court residence area: Lots 54, 54A, 66, 67, 82, 83 and all stalls, Thursday and Friday (all day); open to Special Olympics or handicap permit holders

Big 12's best will compete in Ames

Edward Kemboi running the 800 meters.
Christina Hillman throwing the shot put.

Iowa State will host the men's and women's Big 12 Conference Track and Field Championships May 15-17 at the Cyclone Sports Complex. ISU last hosted an outdoor track and field championship in 1995 (Big Eight Conference).

Single-session tickets are $10 ($5 for youth) at the gate.

The Cyclone men look to improve on last year's ninth-place finish behind four-time 800-meter league champ Edward Kemboi (above). The ISU women, who placed sixth last year, return two-time Big 12 shot put titlist Christina Hillman (right).

Real-time results and live video (Friday and Saturday only) will be available on the Big 12 website.  Photo courtesy of athletics communications.