Anticipating the maiden sculptures

Employee observing fountain efficiency speaks into walkie talkie

Sam Smith (right), sophomore in construction engineering and a summer intern with the project contractor, Neumann Brothers of Des Moines, communicates via radio with plumbing adjustors inside the Memorial Union. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Orientation families last week who passed the Memorial Union basin with a splashing fountain perhaps didn't realize its novelty. The new fountain mechanism and plumbing system are receiving a 30-day (8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily) operational test prior to the arrival of four limestone sculptures the first week of August. The fountain last ran in November 2022.

The process of replicating the four Native American maidens in Christian Petersen's iconic 80-year-old Fountain of the Four Seasons sculpture should wrap up in early July in a Barre, Vermont, studio. University Museums, which celebrates 50 years in September, opted to have Petersen's originals replicated while it's still possible to detect detail on their surfaces.

Weather permitting, the new sculptures are scheduled to be set in place the week of Aug. 5.

 


Reorganization in facilities unit will enhance efficiency and service

Facilities, planning and management (FPM) is restructuring its service teams and processes in an effort to improve customer service and efficiencies across the department.

Wendy Kisch, FPM associate vice president, shared the reorganization plan with members of the department on June 5. The effort has been a priority for Kisch since she returned to FPM in July 2023.

"We take a lot of pride in our work and the services we provide for the campus community," Kisch said. "We also recognize there are areas in which we can improve, and the goal of this reorganization is to improve collaboration, communication and the overall experience for our customers."

Cross-functional teams

As part of the reorganization, FPM will create cross-functional service teams serving a portion of campus, rather than siloed functions serving all of campus. This will combine expertise from all areas -- project services, facilities services, trades and building systems -- on a single team assigned to a designated service area (see organizational chart below). Kisch said the new team structure will allow FPM to provide a holistic approach to the services it provides.

The cross-functional teams will require the creation of new positions and the elimination of others, but the reorganization will remain budget-neutral. FPM leadership will work with the employees directly impacted by the reorganization to discuss any changes to their positions. Implementation of the plan will take place in phases and may take up to a year to complete.

Phased timeline

The first phase began June 14 when the director and associate director positions were posted to Workday. The project will progress as leadership positions are filled.

"I appreciate the team's hard work to get to this point and the ongoing commitment to complete the reorganization plan. This is a complex process," said Heather Paris, interim senior vice president for operations and finance. "We also appreciate the patience and partnership of the campus community."

FPM will provide updates as the new service teams are created. Leaders do not anticipate any service disruptions to campus during the reorganization process.

 

FPM reorganization: Six service teams

Organization chart with service assignments for six teams

The broadly defined "auxiliaries" will be expanded and refined as implementation progresses. Larger image of organization chart.

 


A new era in university billing: The transition to Workday

As the implementation of Workday for student information and receivables progresses, the Accounts Receivable office team is preparing for the Student Financials and Customer Accounts components to go live in Workday at the end of July. The last university bill (U-Bill) generated in AccessPlus for students, employees and external billing customers will be on July 1. The billing for Aug. 1 will mark the first time it's generated in Workday.

The accounts receivable team will implement three products in the Workday student and receivables conversion:

  1. Workday Student Financials: Student billing
  2. Workday Customer Accounts: External customer billing
  3. Nelnet Campus Commerce (current vendor for these functions): Payment and student refund portal

The key dates for this conversion are:

  • July 1: Final electronic and paper billing statement will be generated in AccessPlus.
  • July 17: Last day for billing departments to transfer charges and payments into the university receivables system (file upload, batch loads and manual entry).
  • July 19: Final day to make or post a payment in AccessPlus.
  • July 20-25: University receivable systems will be offline for conversion activities.
  • July 26: Student Financials and Customer Accounts billing goes live in Workday for the first use of billing and payments.

Employee billing: Are you a student or a customer?

If you missed it

The May edition of the Workday Wednesday workshop featured customer accounts and student financials specialists who provided a first look at accounts receivable billing. Their slides and a recording of their presentation can be reviewed online.

Whether employees take classes at ISU and use campus services will determine how they access their U-Bill in the future.

Employees who have been students in the past seven years and had billing charges during that period will access their billing items through the Student Financials app in Workday. These individuals can get to the Student Financials app in Workday by opening the main menu (also called the global navigation menu) and finding Student Financials in the dropdown options.

Employees who never have been a student at Iowa State or haven't had billing activity in the last seven years will be assigned a customer number in Workday (CST-XXXXXXX). Employees billed as customers will access billing through the customer portal in Workday. Instructions for using this portal will be shared in the coming weeks. When they have billing activity, this group of employees will receive a billing notification to their ISU email that guides them on how to access their U-Bill.

As part of the employee billing changes in Workday, payroll deduction no longer will be an option for paying U-Bills. Employees will be able to pay online via electronic check/ACH or credit/debit card, or they still may submit a check to the treasurer's office.


David Spalding, Rick Sanders named to interim leadership roles

President Wendy Wintersteen has appointed David Spalding to serve as interim senior vice president for operations and finance, effective July 1, pending approval by the state Board of Regents.

Spalding will assume the interim role from Heather Paris, who is returning to her permanent position as associate vice president for finance services.

"Heather has provided strong leadership in this interim role and remains a key member of the division's leadership team and a valuable resource for the university in all respects of finance," Wintersteen said. "This decision is timed to enable Heather to devote herself full time to the critically important finance role as we begin the new fiscal year."

White man in navy blazer, red and gold-striped tie

David Spalding

Spalding will retain his role as Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the Ivy College of Business and temporarily leave his post as vice president for economic development and industry relations. Rick Sanders, president of the ISU Research Park, will take over as interim vice president on July 1.

"I appreciate that David and Rick have agreed to take on these interim roles until a new senior vice president for operations and finance is in place in the coming months," Wintersteen said. "I know David will do an excellent job helping the division navigate this transition as they continue providing critical services that support the university's financial and daily operations. Rick will help our economic development and industry relations team maintain its momentum to support business and industry and generate economic growth."

Spalding, who is a professor of finance, spent the first 29 years of his career in banking and investing, holding positions with Chase Manhattan Bank, First National Bank of Chicago, GE Capital Corporate Finance Group, Lehman Brothers and the Cypress Group, a private equity firm he co-founded and co-managed.

White male in Iowa State branded jacket

Rick Sanders

Sanders has led the ISU Research Park since 2019. Previously, he served three elected terms on the Story County Board of Supervisors where he was part of the National Association of Counties' International Economic Development task force and the Central Iowa Workforce Development Board.

The search for a new senior vice president for operations and finance is progressing. The search committee, chaired by Jason Henderson, is working with the Academic Search firm to identify high-quality candidates. Campus interviews are anticipated to be held in mid-July.


App scrubbing precedes sign-on dashboard move to Microsoft

As part of the university's commitment to using a single enterprise system (Microsoft), the sign-on dashboard and multifactor authentication will move from Okta to Microsoft by late summer. The dashboard site itself will look very similar to its current version and the sign-in location (login.iastate.edu) won't change.

"This is about all campus users working together in a secure and functional environment," said Amy Ward, manager of the identity services team in information technology services (IT). "Getting everyone in the same place means we can offer more enterprise options -- those that serve the whole campus."

Any software transition typically includes cleanup to get ready, so Ward and her team have spent more than a year reviewing for security purposes and removing hundreds of applications that were in the dashboard. The next proposed set is about 100 apps scheduled for removal on June 25. Employees or departments who use any of them should plan to transition to approved apps that will remain available, including the Microsoft collection.

Email address, not-Net ID, gets you in

Another change coming with the dashboard migration is that an individual's full ISU email address -- not just Net-ID -- will become the standard for signing in to applications and systems. The first change takes effect on Thursday, June 20, only for those signing in to campus networks via the VPN (virtual private network), typically from off campus. The change takes effect later this summer to provide consistency across all systems, from the sign-on dashboard to ISU's eduroam mobile connection. The campus community will receive more information prior to this change so all Cyclones are aware and sign-ons continue smoothly.

Better security with fewer apps

Apps placed on a removal list never were vetted for security, content or accessibility, Ward said. Some aren't being used at all or perhaps duplicate a service provided by Microsoft or another vetted app. Calendar, email and to-do list apps appear frequently on the removal list. Examples include Fantastical (a calendar app) or Bluemail (an email app). Others slated for removal are personal-use apps that don't serve a business purpose.

"Our goal is to focus our support on the enterprise applications, especially Microsoft," Ward explained. "For example, the functions in Outlook have expanded and improved so much in the last five years. I encourage employees to give these options a chance and to ask about options to fit their needs before requesting another application be installed."

Prior to last May, employees could use their Iowa State email to add applications to the dashboard. That liberty added nearly 2,800 apps to the platform, Ward said, thus the need to reduce the volume prior to the transition.

A window for rebuilding

The identity services team will move an estimated 800 approved apps to the Microsoft dashboard for university users. The late summer/early fall dates for that migration will be chosen with input from colleges and departments, Ward said.

An overlap from when the MS dashboard launches, tentatively late summer, and the Okta dashboard closes (by Dec. 31) will give individuals time to compare the two and manage their apps. Instructions will be shared later this summer.

To maintain the security and usability established in the Okta environment, once an app is removed, employees won't be able to access it with their Iowa State credentials.

What happens during vetting?

The current applications in Okta have been reviewed by a subject matter expert, IT security, IT digital accessibility and procurement (for its terms and conditions). Generally, to be approved an application must:

  • Serve a university business or academic purpose
  • Be in a secure environment
  • Not duplicate a function or service that's available in a vetted app

Questions about the dashboard move to Microsoft may be emailed to identitygovernance.


Deadline moves up for digital accessibility

The implementation of Iowa State's digital accessibility policy will occur a couple of months earlier because of a new federal deadline.

Toolkit

A digital accessibility toolkit is available and includes guidelines, resources and tools to assist faculty and staff in numerous areas. It has LinkedIn Learning pathways with curated courses. A required training module also is being developed in Workday Learning similar to Title IX and free speech training.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently updated regulations in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure that public entities' web content and mobile apps are accessible and compliant by April 24, 2026. ISU's policy was set for full implementation by July 1, 2026, but the federal rule supersedes university policy. Ensuring all ISU courses satisfy regulations will be key for departments and instructors between now and the deadline.

"This is not a major change (except in the case of course materials), and we have already started updating our university policy. We are working with university counsel, spoken with senior leadership and have been working toward this for some time," said Cyndi Wiley, digital accessibility lead for Information Technology Services. "Federal rules align the web content accessibility guidelines -- which have become the global standard -- specifically to the ADA for the first time."

Wiley said the regulations impact nearly all campus communication that occurs on a screen. The pressing issue for departments and instructors is to determine updates needed in their courses to comply and identify funds to accomplish it. The DOJ recommends $2,000 per course for the first year, in addition to a 10-year sustainability plan. The bulk of the cost is employee hours to ensure compliance.

“The cost for the first two years is so departments can create an inventory of its courses and software that is required for classes (like external apps -- referred to as LTIs -- in Canvas)," Wiley said. "It is also for remediating course content and building new courses that are accessible from the start.”

Digital accessibility ensures all students can learn to the best of their ability. Wiley said digital accessibility standards also factor in program and university accreditation.

Helpful software

The most significant change between the proposed changes made by the DOJ and those adopted in April is the addition of course materials, which were not part of the proposed changes. 

Anthology Ally is software that works in Canvas to automatically check course content and files for accessibility issues and delivers guidance to instructors to improve it.

"We work with the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching to use Ally, which has the capability to do institutional reporting. We know how many courses we have in Canvas each semester, which courses have some accessibility issues and what departments those fall under," Wiley said.

Wiley presented the information to college associate deans who shared it with department chairs to work with faculty. A communications plan is being developed to alert faculty to the new requirements and ways to incorporate them when most return to campus this fall.

Siteimprove is ISU's tool to ensure web accessibility and compliance for public facing and internal websites, such as Workday, ServiceNow and others. Wiley said work continues to ensure compliance.

Department liaisons

Wiley recommends departments select a liaison to join a digital accessibility work group that will launch this fall.

"The digital accessibility team will share information and updates with the liaison group, who will pass it on to their departments," Wiley said. "It will allow us to set up a regular meeting schedule and discuss tools that have been or will be developed to help departments with the change. If additional tools are necessary, this is where that could be brought to the group."

Timeline         

ISU has had a digital accessibility policy with stepped implementation since February 2022. The next benchmark is Aug. 1 for all Canvas courses to have a score of 80% or higher.

After that, the next benchmark is Aug. 1, 2025, when all public-facing webpage content must have a 95% or higher score in Siteimprove and all online courses must be at 85% or higher in Ally.


New unit will manage student information system needs

As more than 300 Iowa State faculty and staff prepare to complete their work this fall on the Workday Student launch, a new focus has emerged: Managing campus needs and software updates on an ongoing basis.

The university has created a new unit, the Office of Student Information (OSI), to maintain and enhance Iowa State's experience with Workday Student after the formal implementation of the project. OSI will help the university get the most from its investment by leading continuous improvement initiatives from configuration to implementation.

The scale of these efforts is significant. More than 350 post-implementation projects already have been identified, each with its own degree of complexity and integration with our current systems. Examples include:

  • Integrating graduate-level academic requirements to help faculty and graduate students better track their progress.
  • Adding "journeys" to guide students as they navigate multi-step processes such as onboarding, registering for classes and preparing for graduation.
  • Developing tools that help department chairs and classroom schedulers assess student demand for courses to ensure an appropriate number of sections and spaces are available.

"Workday Student will continue to evolve and improve as we gain more experience with the software and as additional capabilities are offered," said senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert. "Bringing together a team of experts from academics, financials, enrollment and engagement will help ensure we're providing the best service to students throughout their time on campus -- from recruitment to graduation -- as well as to our campus partners."

OSI will be led by Steve Kish, Workday Student project director, who will report to the provost. OSI team members will come from enrollment management and the Graduate College, and they'll collaborate with administrators of systems connected to Workday Student, including Salesforce, DocFinity, EAB Navigate and OneApp. The OSI team also will coordinate its efforts with campus stakeholders in human capital management, finance and information technology services.

OSI team members will be housed on the second floor of the Kingland Building on Lincoln Way, joining the offices of institutional research, research ethics, and strategic relations and communications.


Regents approve CYTown agreements

Iowa State's resident undergraduates will pay $10,787 in tuition and mandatory fees this fall, a 2.8% increase over last fall. Meeting June 13 in Iowa City, the state Board of Regents approved combined tuition and fee increases of 2.8% to 4.8% for Iowa State students for the upcoming academic year. Nonresident undergraduates will pay $28,881 in tuition and fees, a 4.3% increase.

These rates don't reflect supplemental tuition ranging from $1,914 to $3,734 paid by undergraduates and graduate students in specific majors and programs or non-first year students in certain majors and programs.

Second-year students in the Ivy College of Business are in the second of three annual increments to align their supplemental tuition with that for juniors and seniors. This fall's increment is $1,340 for second-year residents and $2,476 for nonresidents.

Students, both resident and nonresident, in the Business college's executive MBA program will pay $37,728 in tuition and fees, a 9.9% increase to catch up with five years of inflationary increases to materials, instruction and participant travel.

Prior to their vote on the tuition and fee increases, board members received comments from student leaders at the three universities.

Quinn Margrett, vice president of Iowa State's Student Government, told regents that, at current on-campus hourly wages, a resident undergraduate would have to work 43 hours/week to cover tuition, campus housing and a meal plan. With classes, coursework and a 20-hour-per-week cap on campus employment, that's impossible, he said.

Considering state funding support for Iowa State in fiscal year 2025, "the board made the best of a less-than-ideal situation, and we thank you for that," Margrett added.

The real task, he said, is to convey to legislators the importance of higher education and its contributions to the state's economy and workforce. Student leaders stand ready to help with that, he pledged.

Wren Bouwman, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, asked the board for a tuition freeze. She said the realities of inflation impact everyone and every industry. But, she said, forcing students to shoulder the weight of inflation can't continue to be the state's solution. Tuition rates this year will impact student enrollment decisions next year, she said.

For graduate students, tuition increases represent dollars they should be spending on rent, utilities, childcare, groceries, social activities; in other words, supporting the state's economy. The long-term solution is to convince legislators to invest more state funds in the regent universities, she said.

Regent Jim Lindenmayer told student leaders that university leaders and board members don't want to raise tuition. The complete flip since about 2000 in state appropriation and tuition contribution levels for operational funding reflects "the priorities that go on at the state level," he said.

"The only thing that affects priorities are voices, so don't stop telling your story," he told them.

 

Approved base tuition and fees: 2024-25 academic year

 

Tuition

Increase

Tuition and fees

Increase

In-state

 

 

 

 

    Undergraduate

$9,252

3.0%

$10,787

2.8%

    Graduate

$11,492

4.5%

$12,967

4.1%

    Professional*

$29,134

5.0%

$30,669

4.8%

Out of state

 

 

 

 

    Undergraduate

$27,346

4.5%

$28,881

4.3%

    Graduate

$29,102

4.5%

$30,577

4.3%

    Professional*

$61,554

3.5%

$63,089

3.4%

*Years 1-3 in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program, fourth year is a 12-month curriculum

 

First building for CYTown

The regents approved several contractual documents for constructing the first building in the CYTown development at the Iowa State Center and generating revenues to invest in the development and rehabilitate the center's four existing buildings (Scheman, Fisher, Stephens and Hilton). They are:

  • A 30-year land lease agreement between Iowa State and McFarland Clinic (PDF) (attachment A) for 30,000 square feet in the south end of the under-development CYTown district. McFarland will pay Iowa State $50,000 per year in land rent, increasing $5,000 each year. McFarland also will pay to construct the building to its needs and then transfer ownership to Iowa State, with the construction costs essentially serving as a prepaid lease for the use of the building. All property and facilities in the CYTown area will be owned by the university and remain property tax-exempt.
  • A memorandum of understanding between Iowa State and the city of Ames (PDF) (attachment B) that establishes a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) for 35 years from the opening of the first building. The Ames city council approved the memorandum last month. McFarland (and subsequent tenants) will pay the university PILOT in the amount it would pay in property taxes if its new building was on private property. PILOT revenue will go into two funds: One-third goes into a capital improvement fund to be used only for renovating the existing Iowa State Center buildings. Two-thirds of the PILOT revenue goes into an operations fund to support overall development of CYTown, including the infrastructure and parking phases that are wrapping up by fall semester. The amount of PILOT collected for each building each year will be calculated similarly to the assessment and collection of property taxes in Ames.

FY25 salary policy

Board executive director Mark Braun will approve the salary policy for faculty, professional and scientific staff, contract staff and post docs when the university submits it later this summer or fall. As announced in November 2022 and following a transition this fiscal year, Iowa State will implement FY25 salary increases on Jan. 1, 2025. The timing shift puts some time between external decisions on state appropriations and tuition rates and an internal decision about parameters for employee salary increases.

Iowa State's approximately 1,100 merit employees will receive a 3% increase on July 1, according to the state's two year contract (PDF) with Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. In FY25, merit employees not at the top of their pay grade also are eligible for a performance-based increase of 1% to 2% on their anniversary date, at the university's discretion. Iowa State requested, and the board office approved, a 1% performance-based increase for merit employees.

In other Iowa State business, the regents approved:

  • A 3% adjustment to the P&S pay grade structure (PDF), effective July 1. The increase is based on median increases for higher education and general industry since the last adjustment to the matrix in March 2022. Adjusting the pay matrix raises the earning potential over time of all P&S employees. An estimated 58 P&S employees (as of June 11) whose current salary falls below the new minimum in their grade will be increased to at least the minimum by Oct.1. University human resources will notify the managers of impacted P&S employees the week of June 24 and individual employees the week of July 1.
  • A $60,000 increase to President Wendy Wintersteen's base salary, effective July 1. The new base salary will be $710,000. Her current (three-year) employment agreement with the board runs through June 30, 2026. A two-year deferred compensation plan that concludes this month pays her $80,000 on June 30.

The June meeting was the last one for student regent Abby Crow, who graduated in May 2023 from the University of Iowa and had served on the board since 2021. The nine-member board currently has two vacancies, including the seat formerly held by Michael Richards, who resigned from the board in April.

The meeting also was the last one for Jonathan Wickert as ISU provost. The academic affairs committee thanked him for his 12 years of service, as did Wintersteen in her campus update to the regents.


Have you considered a vanpool for your commute?

The transportation services team is finalizing university-sponsored vanpool routes for the new fiscal year and invites employees to review this commuting option.

The basics

Full-time faculty or staff members who work a regular 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. schedule are eligible to join a vanpool as a full-time rider. A vanpool is not intended for short-term or month-to-month ridership. Transportation services coordinates the vanpools and provides the vehicles, either a 15-passenger van, minivan or midsize sedan. The goal is to have at least five riders per route. Drivers, who are vanpool members, work with their passengers to set pick-up and drop-off locations and times. Four routes to campus currently are available, arriving from:

  • Des Moines
  • Urbandale
  • Ankeny
  • Jefferson/Ogden/Boone

Calculating your cost

Transportation services calculates the rider fees based on vehicle type, mileage and number of riders. Riders pay a flat monthly fee via pre-tax payroll deduction. It covers fuel, vehicle depreciation, maintenance, individual parking passes (see below), van parking pass, insurance and program administration. The more riders, the lower the monthly fee.

The perks

Employees said they chose to join a vanpool for the:

  • Cost savings -- that can run into hundreds of dollars each month.
  • Benefits to the environment with fewer vehicles in use.
  • Low-stress commute.
  • Opportunity for relationships among university employees who otherwise might never meet or interact.

A few common questions

Ride sharing isn't for everyone. There are constraints inherent to not having your own vehicle on campus. The transportation services team addresses a few common ones below.

Issue: I don't like not having access to a vehicle during the day. What if I need to leave campus for an emergency?

Response: Transportation services works with vanpool riders in emergency situations. A staff member can bring a university vehicle to you so you can drive home to retrieve your own vehicle and tend to your emergency. These incidents are rare, so we don't charge for this service.

 

Issue: Some days I need to drive to campus because I need to arrive early or stay later than normal.

Response: Transportation Services doesn't provide a complimentary vehicle for these situations. However, your rider fee includes 10 scratch-off, one-day parking passes per year to use on days when you need to bring your vehicle to campus.

 

Issue: I'm not comfortable with a year-long commitment. What if I move or something changes with my work?

Response: We recognize that situations change. Transportation services requires a 30-day notice if you must leave your vanpool. The payroll deductions are taken out a month in advance, hence the 30-day requirement.

Questions about employee vanpools may be directed to Andrea Weber, transportation services, 294-0181.