A new Cyclone home


Work continues on the athletics department's state-of-the-art Cyclone Sports Complex east of the Towers residence halls. The soccer squad expects to open its 2012 home season Aug. 31 on the soccer field (pictured) against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Leath to testify before Senate committee on college affordability

President Steven Leath will testify Thursday (July 19) before a U.S. Senate committee on the importance of making college more affordable.

Leath is scheduled to appear before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which convenes at 10 a.m. (EDT) at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin is committee chairman.

The committee invited Leath and four other higher education officials to explain their strategies to improve affordability and deal with financial pressures facing higher education. In addition, the committee is seeking recommendations for federal policy on student financial aid.

President Steven Leath


“I appreciate this opportunity to talk about the importance of an affordable college education and what we at Iowa State are doing to minimize the debt that students and their parents accumulate,” Leath said. “Higher education is a critical component in our nation’s future and in our ability to maintain our leadership position in the world.”

Also scheduled to appear before the committee are:

  • Don Heller, dean of the college of education, Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Jim Murdaugh, president of Tallahassee , Fla. Community College
  • Thomas Snyder, president of Ivy Tech Community College, Bloomington, Indiana
  • Carol Twigg, president and CEO, National Center for Academic Transformation, Saratoga Springs, New York

The Senate committee hearing will be live-streamed at: http://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=771d2600-5056-9502-5dd7-a8bf4f40f911.

Leath assumed leadership of Iowa State University on Jan. 16, 2012. Prior to coming to Iowa State, Leath was vice president for research and sponsored programs for the 16-campus University of North Carolina system. He holds a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Illinois, Urbana.

Federal funds stimulate energy savings

Facilities officials are beginning to see some savings from energy-efficient projects that were partially funded by government stimulus funds.

Jeff Witt, director of utilities, estimates that Iowa State will save some $460,000 in energy costs annually as a result of projects funded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (2009).

In 2010, Iowa State received a $2.3 million grant through the Iowa Office of Energy Independence, which distributed ARRA grants to the Regents institutions. The grants could be used to fund up to one-third of the cost of energy-efficient projects.

"With the grant money and a $4.6 million university investment, we were able to replace inefficient equipment -- boilers, chillers, steam lines and lights -- that were well past their normal life spans," Witt said. "The new equipment was selected to maximize efficiency and minimize emissions. It will serve the university for many years, providing ongoing benefits of lower energy costs."

Energy-efficient projects

Following are projects that received ARRA funding:

PROJECT: Install new high-efficiency hot water boilers and water heaters to serve the Jacobson Athletics Building and Olsen Building, and replace aging Veterinary Medicine boilers with high-efficiency steam generators.

  • Need: This project allowed Iowa State to abandon a mile of buried steam line that was connecting the three facilities to the coal-burning power plant. The 1970s-era steam line, drenched by floods in the past, had lost insulating capacity, and energy losses in the line were estimated at $250,000 annually. New equipment in the three facilities is efficient, uses natural gas and reduces the amount of coal burned on campus by approximately 6,000 tons.
  • Project cost: $4.8 million.
  • Savings: $410,000 annually. Additionally, ISU received two rebates for energy efficiency from Alliant Energy -- $19,000 for the Jacobson/Olsen improvements and $92,000 for Veterinary Medicine.

PROJECT: New lights, chiller and boilers at the Applied Sciences Center.

  • Need: The installation of more efficient lights and occupancy sensors in Buildings 2 and 3 reduced energy consumption 10 percent from the previous year. Two inefficient, 1980s era chillers cooling the center were replaced with more efficient equipment that uses a more environmentally friendly refrigerant. Energy consumption for the chiller plant is down 33 percent. In a third project under way now, two old, inefficient boilers will be replaced with high-efficiency steam generators.
  • Project cost: $2.1 million
  • Savings:  $48,300 annually.  Additionally, the university received an $18,000 rebate for the lighting project and has applied to the City of Ames and Alliant Energy for rebates for the other projects.

License plates with a story

Get your own

Interested in purchasing your own Cyclone plates? More information is on the Iowa DOT website. Half ($25) of the one-time purchase fee comes to Iowa State, where it becomes student financial aid.

We promote our families, our careers, our hobbies, our achievements. We tease, we remind, we rejoice, we lament. We get all that done in seven characters – or less – on our Cyclone personalized vehicle plates. Wow.

Following up on a popular 2006 summer feature, the staff of Inside Iowa State took to campus parking lots again this week, looking for Cyclone vanity plates that made us smile ... or simply made us wonder.

Here are some we found, accompanied by their owners' explanations of what they mean or why they were selected.



My plate means "Meat Science," which is my field of expertise for research and teaching at ISU. It's not "Empty Science" or "Mountain Science" as some might interpret.

-- Joe Sebranek
Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences
Professor of animal science




Read as "Three True Fans." My husband and I are both ISU grads. Shortly after my son was born in 2006, my husband gave me personalized plates as a gift to represent our new family of three. We are starting our little guy on the path to being a Cyclone.

-- Lindsey Richey
Ph.D. student and T.A., School of Education




The message is straightforward -- I help bring the "news to you," and the "news to U" (as in, the university). The personalized Cyclone plates were an early birthday gift from my husband in 2009.

-- Annette Hacker
News Service director, University Relations




As a boarded veterinary surgeon, I wanted a license plate to reflect my alumna status at ISU and also my love for all things surgical. The license plate was my incentive to study for and pass my surgery board exam. "I incise" refers to making a surgical incision. My husband’s license plate reads I EXCYZ because he's a small animal veterinarian who performs many spays and neuters. We are probably the cheesiest veterinarians in the state, but we think our plates are pretty clever!

-- Dr. Jennifer Schleining
Clinician, Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center




I have always been a big ISU fan. With my last name being Speicher ("Spiker"), the nickname Spike has followed me and many others in my family over the years. Mr. Spike is something a younger cousin would call me. Many spike-related themes had already been swooped up by other vehicle owners in the state. My buddies give me grief and call me MRS-PIKE from time to time. Oh well ...

-- Matt Speicher
Mail room distributor, ISU Postal and Parcel




It stands for "Please Neuter." [Before coming to Iowa State] I worked and volunteered at the Boone and Story County animal shelters, and I have been a long-time advocate of reducing pet overpopulation. I thought if my plate saved one litter, it would be worth it.

-- Jane Linn
Secretary, animal science department




It reads "Cy Tennis." I am the coach of the women's tennis team at Iowa State. I like to promote our sport and our athletics department around town.

-- Armando Espinosa
Athletics department




These plates were a birthday gift from my parents in high school. The message is short for "Got Agriculture?" because I was heavily involved in FFA and 4-H programs, serving as an FFA chapter president. I graduated in animal and dairy science (BS) and animal science (MS). I have always been an advocate for agriculture, and wanted to extend my passion for agriculture and Iowa State to my vehicle.

-- Jessie Juarez
Third-year veterinary medicine student




It's a reminder to laugh . . . often. When my husband convinced me to get vanity plates, I decided that I wanted to put something on them that would make people smile.  I hope LAFALOT does this. We receive so many blessings; why not smile and enjoy them?

-- Michele Kostelecky
Program coordinator, ISU Extension and Outreach to Families




I wanted a unique way to show that I am both a Cy fan and a fan of science so I came up with SCI FAN. My degrees from ISU are in the life sciences and I have worked as a scientist for more than 20 years. It also is a great way to show my support for the university!

-- Kellie Winter
Biological science lab technician, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment




We were trying to find a way to incorporate our last name on our plate. Everyone knows there aren't many Hansons in
Iowa . . . :) My wife came up with this idea.

-- Cory Hanson
Director of development, ISU Foundation




It's short for "d20 roller" which relates to role-playing games, in particular Dungeons and Dragons. It means someone who rolls 20-sided dice (most role-playing games use polyhedral dice with more than six sides). So basically my license plate is a shout-out to other gaming nerds.

-- Jeff Sorensen
Web Development Services manager, IT Services




I debated what my plate should say and I wanted something appropriate. [ISU Alumni Association president] Jeff Johnson suggested [the Roman numeral] and I really liked it.

-- Steven Leath
15th president of Iowa State

Wohlgemuth named interim director of admissions



Longtime enrollment services staff member Darin Wohlgemuth has been named interim director of admissions. He steps into the director post formerly held by assistant vice president for enrollment Marc Harding, who left Iowa State recently to join the University of Pittsburgh.

Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Tom Hill appointed Wohlgemuth to the interim position after the previously named interim Phil Caffrey opted to remain in his current post -- director of admissions operations and policy.

Since 2006, Wohlgemuth has held a joint appointment with Enrollment Services and the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, Budget and Planning. He leads the Enrollment Research Team, conducting research and analysis on a variety of enrollment issues, including pricing, budgeting and strategic recruitment.

Wohlgemuth holds master of science and doctoral degrees in economics from Iowa State University. He earned a bachelor's degree in secondary math education from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and an associate's degree from Hesston College, Hesston, Kan.

Marc Harding, who joined Iowa State's admissions office in 1997, now leads the University of Pittsburgh's office of admissions and financial aid.

External funding reaches $360.2 million in FY12

External funding at Iowa State rose to $360.2 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, an increase of $17.9 million over last year and the second highest total achieved by the university.

The external funding includes grants, contracts, gifts and cooperative agreements from federal, state and local government sources and from corporations, foundations and other universities.

The increase this fiscal year reverses a downward trend following a record high of $388.2 million in 2010 after federal stimulus programs expired, according to Sharron Quisenberry, vice president for research and economic development.

The external funding supports Iowa State students — including student financial aid — and researchers, equipment purchases, education programs, buildings and extension activities. The funding is in addition to state appropriations totaling $216.6 million that supported daily operations of the university.

Quisenberry: Positive sign for university, state

"I see this increase in funding over last year's total as a very positive sign for our university and state, especially given how competitive the environment has become for attracting these dollars," Quisenberry said. "First and foremost, it takes talent on the part of our faculty, researchers, staff and students to be successful in attracting this funding, and then it takes determination and persistence. I appreciate their efforts on behalf of Iowa State."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture was the single largest source of federal agency funding in FY12, at $56.8 million. The second highest source was the U.S. Department of Energy at $46.3 million. The third highest was the National Science Foundation at $37.4 million.

"The strength of Iowa State University's research enterprise is evident in our success in obtaining funding from external sources," said president Steven Leath. "This success is very important to the State of Iowa as we continue to build our research in areas critical to the state's economic future."

Funding from federal agencies totaled $208.7 million, up nearly 10 percent from $189.9 million the previous fiscal year. Non-federal funding, which includes state and local government, businesses and corporations, foundations, and universities and colleges, totaled $151.5 million, down from $152.4 million the previous fiscal year.

Iowa State University sponsored funding

  FY12 FY11 FY10 FY09

Federal agency

Dept. of Agriculture $56,823,321 $33,771,291 $51,883,266 $35,666,132
Dept. of Defense $8,519,936 $13,379,745 $10,945,023 $7,321,064
Dept. of Health and Human Services $21,812,010 $23,305,165 $20,533,625 $16,594,149
Dept. of Education $28,718,612 $31,694,140 $28,662,828 $20,867,672
Dept. of Commerce $2,687,877 $2,295,450 $3,122,887 $2,869,301
Dept. of Interior $709,986 $311,590 $388,796 $333,635
Dept. of Transportation $386,838 $4,578,223 $7,986,419 $6,172,517
Dept. of Energy $46,334,616 $36,169,324 $59,267,985 $28,091,177
National Science Foundation $37,448,520 $37,872,682 $46,797,648 $28,171,325
NASA $1,316,772 $1,023,479 $1,529,047 $1,369,318
Environmental Protection Agency $1,071,204 $472,392 $245,462 $854,432
Other $2,860,274 $5,026,203 $5,631,671 $3,668,217
Subtotal $208,689,966 $189,899,684 $236,994,657 $151,978,939

Non-federal agency

State, county, city government $32,053,027 $32,156,259 $35,139,824 $33,034,881
Businesses, corporations $45,467,779 $43,130,632 $38,681,411 $39,365,249
Foundations, associations $50,793,212 $57,396,777 $55,899,785 $62,558,955
Individuals $0 $90,000 $120,800 $160,000
Universities, colleges $18,710,706 $16,216,380 $17,757,528 $14,566,162
Other $4,454,790 $3,401,065 $3,593,586 $3,565,019
Subtotal $151,479,514 $152,391,113 $151,192,934 $153,250,266
Sponsored funding total $360,169,480 $342,290,797 $388,187,591 $305,229,205