Cyclone nation ovation

Warren Madden

Photo by Luke Lu.

The man getting applause and cheers at Hilton Coliseum center court Tuesday night surely triggered a few tears as well. Warren Madden, senior vice president for business and finance, will wind down a 50-year Iowa State career when he retires this summer.

Back then

When Madden began his ISU professional career, 15,000 students were traversing a considerably smaller campus and future NBA-er Zaid Abdul-Aziz was playing for the Cyclones in the Armory. Shortly after arriving on campus, the young Madden was enlisted to help those planning and developing the Iowa State Center.

As President Steven Leath noted the impending retirement and began his remarks about the longtime VP, generations of Cyclones erupted into a standing ovation.

Madden, a 1961 ISU industrial engineering grad, had embarked on a career in industry and was mulling law school when he returned to Iowa State in 1966 at the request of ISU VP Wayne Moore. Madden became the first contracts and grants officer, was named VP for business and finance in 1984, and the rest is a whole lot of Iowa State history.

Madden and his wife Bev, former food science and human nutrition professor and career services director, plan to remain in Ames and continue volunteering in the university and community.

Bessey addition project begins this month

Architect sketch of addition on east side of Bessey Hall

Architect's drawing of the four-story addition to Bessey Hall. Work begins later this month. Submitted image.

An 18-month project to build a four-story addition to the east side of Bessey Hall will get underway later this month. All east entries to the building will close on Monday, Feb. 22 -- also the date crews will begin installing construction site fencing. Site clearing work will begin the week of March 3.

The addition

The Bessey Hall addition is one of two biosciences projects, totaling $80 million, approved by the state Board of Regents and partially supported with state funds ($50 million over three years). The site for the other project, a five-story teaching and research facility, is being prepared at the northwest corner of Stange Road and Pammel Drive where Industrial Education II formerly stood.

Learn more

project website includes the architect's building sketches and pedestrian/vehicle circulation plans (four) throughout the project.

Key pieces in the Bessey addition include eight teaching labs and six research labs for two departments (ecology, evolution and organismal biology, and genetics, development and cell biology), and two first-floor general university classrooms, each with seating for 90. The fourth floor will remain unfinished initially, pending future needs in the biosciences program.

Construction of the addition will take place adjacent to and largely outside of Bessey Hall until around Jan. 1 next year, when work begins on a 16-foot wide atrium that will connect the addition to the existing building on all four levels.

The project is scheduled for completion by August 2017, with phased move-in taking place during July and early August.

"One of our project goals is to minimize the impact on pedestrians and vehicles that need to use or pass through this part of campus," said construction manager Rob Ebel, facilities planning and management. Updates to the university community will be posted in Inside Iowa State.

Tips for getting around

Faculty and staff in Bessey Hall will receive regular progress updates, but here are some tips for the campus community for maneuvering around the site:

  • The north end of Farm House Lane will be inside the construction fence, closing that segment of the road for the duration of the project.
  • The east entrance to the reserved parking lot (43) south of Bessey also will be closed, temporarily removing about 14 parking stalls. Once construction is complete, the net loss to the lot will be about five stalls.
  • A sidewalk corridor in the vicinity of the construction site will remain open at all times in both directions (north-south and east-west). Pedestrians should be alert to changes and signs/barriers indicating the changes. Last summer's phased project to widen sidewalks along Osborn Drive will resume in May and June. That work also will impact the designated east-west corridor.
  • Although the sidewalk on the north side of Bessey Hall will be closed and inside the construction fence, the north Bessey doors will remain accessible from the west via the building's existing covered walkway.
  • The CyRide stop in front of Bessey will be moved west, to the front of MacKay Hall.
  • All construction vehicles will arrive at the site from the south end of Farm House Lane, via Wallace Road and University Boulevard. Construction traffic will exit to the northeast on Osborn Drive.

Osborn closure

This June, a section of Osborn Drive west of the Farm House Lane intersection will close for three weeks for underground utility work. The Stange Road barricades in front of Lagomarcino Hall will be removed and vehicle traffic, including CyRide buses, will be diverted to Stange between Osborn and Pammel drives. The road closure has been coordinated with both CyRide and ISU admissions.

Food vendors relocated

B Fabulous BBQ and Burgies food trucks, which were located along Farm House Lane east of Bessey, will relocate to the street space between Kildee and Lagomarcino halls. Two other vendors will remain there.

So much snow to blow

Ken Mueller blowing snow off the steps of the Food Sciences Buil

Ken Mueller, shown here outside the Food Sciences Building, was just one of the many facilities planning and management employees tackling the snow and ice left behind from the storm that rolled through Ames with a one-two punch on Feb. 2 and 3. FPM director Dave Miller said it was "all hands on deck" to clear and treat ISU's 34 miles of sidewalks and 162 acres of parking surfaces.

Bob Currie, director of facilities services, said the timing of the snow made for tough conditions.

"Tuesday's wet snow came during one of the peaks relative to traffic -- vehicles and pedestrians -- arriving on campus. Before the snow could be removed, it was being driven on and walked on and turned to ice," Currie said. "Wednesday's snow event didn’t stop in time for crews to remove the snow and treat for slippery conditions before the start of the day, and campus life was well underway before the treatment phase."

Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Enrollment sets spring semester record

Iowa State set another spring enrollment record this semester. Our 33,659 total students reflects an increase of 865 students over last spring's previous record. Undergraduate spring enrollment is up 847 students, graduate enrollment is up 58 students, professional enrollment is down 10 students and the number of post docs is down 30.

Following December commencement, spring semester enrollments are notably smaller than the previous fall. Fall 2015's overall enrollment -- an all-time high -- was 36,001.

Overall, the number of off-campus students (those enrolled only in distance education course sections) decreased by just two students from spring 2015 to spring 2016 (1,466 and 1,464, respectively). Nineteen fewer undergraduate off-campus only students were nearly offset by 17 additional off-campus only grad students.

Spring enrollment by college


Spring 2016

Spring 2015





































Human Sciences


















Veterinary Medicine









Interdisciplinary (grad)  






Post docs







Employee assistance program: Help when you need it

Life can be hard, sometimes when we least expect it. The sudden illness of a friend or family member, financial hardship or a bout of depression can send us into a tailspin. If that happens, Iowa State encourages its benefits-eligible employees and their immediate family members to seek help through the university's employee assistance program (EAP), offered through a private provider, Employee and Family Resources, Des Moines.

"It's important for employers to provide a voluntary program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems," said Ed Holland, director of benefits. "Iowa State's EAP program does just that to help employees through difficult or unforeseen life issues."

EAP is designed to help employees deal with stressful situations before they impact job performance. Examples include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Career struggles
  • Work/life balance
  • Finances
  • Health or stress concerns
  • Legal issues (not employment related)
  • Family/relationship difficulties
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Workplace conflicts

Employee and Family Resources' professional counselors are available 24/7 at no cost to assist employees and their immediate family members. Calls are confidential; EFR will not release your information to the university or anyone else without your written permission, unless a legal exception occurs. Legal exceptions could include child or dependent adult abuse or neglect, or other life-threatening situations.

In-person counseling sessions are free but limited to three sessions per incident. For example, you can use EAP counseling services for a financial hardship, and six months later, use those resources again for a workplace conflict. If an EAP counselor suggests you seek additional help, charges may apply for those services. However, counselors will help identify resources that are affordable or may be partially covered by health insurance. There is no limit to the number of times employees may use EAP services.

For more information or to receive EAP assistance, contact Employee and Family Resources at 800-327-4692. 

Barjché celebrates 70th anniversary


Members of Orchesis I rehearse a dance routine. Contributed photo.

This year marks the 70th time members of Iowa State's Orchesis I Dance Company will perform in Barjché, a modern dance concert started in 1944 by Iowa State students Barbara Sgarlat Drexler, Jean Ringoen Williams and Charlotte Ann Stuart. The name Barjché is a combination of the threesome's first names. This year's theme, "Modern Dance Through the Ages," reflects the modern dance movement from the 1940s to the present.

A total of 37 Iowa State students will perform 13 dances and several historical-moment pieces, such as World War II soldiers returning home in 1945 and the Challenger space shuttle explosion in 1986.  Student-dancers choreographed several pieces for the performance.

"The production also sneaks in short historical moments using choreography inspired by specific iconic historical figures in modern dance," said Cynthia Adams, lecturer in kinesiology and Barjché's artistic director.

Orchesis I will stage three Barjché performances on Feb. 5 and 6 (7:30 p.m.) and Feb. 7 (2 p.m.) in the Iowa State Center's Fisher Theater. Tickets are $12 ($10 for students) and are available through Ticketmaster

'Varieties' talent competition opens this weekend

Varieties, Iowa State's annual student talent competition, turns 85 this year. The semifinals (two performances nightly) are scheduled for Friday-Saturday, Feb. 5-6. The finals show will be presented twice two weeks later, on Feb. 19-20. All performances are in the Memorial Union Great Hall.

Varieties logo

"Let the Beat Rock" is this year's theme, and performers were encouraged to incorporate it into their performances. Varieties director and senior Rachel Welsh said students also are welcome -- though not required -- to note the 85th anniversary milestone in their material.

What you'll see

Any Varieties show lasts about two hours and includes a set of mini-musicals alternating with vignettes, all pulled together and introduced by emcee teams of two or three people. ISU students compete in all three categories.

Musicals are up to 22 minutes in length and feature original lyrics and choreography performed by groups of 30 to 60 students, largely members of ISU Greek fraternities and sororities. Vignettes, with a time limit of 10 minutes, showcase a wide range of student talents, from comedy to juggling, dancing and singing. Welsh said all seven vignettes this year are music-based performances, either vocal or vocal with instrument accompaniment.

Students in this year's seven musicals, seven vignettes and four emcee teams first performed in December during an exhibition. Welsh said it was a chance for the students to practice on a stage in front of judges who critiqued them as part of their preparation for the competition rounds.

Friday's semifinal performances will feature three of the musicals, four vignettes and two different emcee teams. Saturday's semifinals will feature the other four musicals, three vignettes and two emcees.

The top four musicals, four vignettes and two emcee teams will advance to the finals round and compete for the top trophy in each category.


  • Semifinals (Feb. 5-6): 6 and 9 p.m., doors open 30 minutes prior to each performance
  • Finals (Feb. 19-20): 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m.


Tickets are $10 for the semifinal performances and $13 for the finals. ISU students with ID and children 12 years or younger receive a $2 discount on both, and group tickets (10 or more guests) receive a $1 discount. Tickets are available online via Midwestix, at the Maintenance Shop box office in the Memorial Union or by phone, 294-8349, weekdays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Varieties is organized by the Student Union Board.