Getting ready, one book at a time


Boxes of completed orders are brought to the Multicultural Center on the main level of the Memorial Union, where they will be distributed to students Aug. 15-18. Below, each student order is hand picked by a team member, double checked by another and charged to a student's U-Bill or credit card by a third member. Photos by Bob Elbert.

A small, well-trained army (27 students and four bookstore employees) is putting in 10-hour workdays in the University Book Store's textbook section Aug. 6-14 to tackle a not-small assignment: Pull, box and assess payment on textbook orders for nearly 5,900 students. That's a noticeable increase over last fall, when about 4,300 students signed up for the free service, said Heather Dean, the bookstore's CourseWorks specialist, who also coordinates pre-orders each semester. She attributes at least some of the increase to students' ability, for the first time this year, to charge their textbook packages to their U-Bills. Nearly 75 percent of this month's orders are going on U-Bills.

Over the first few days, Dean's army is packaging, processing and storing (upstairs in the Multicultural Center) 750 to 800 orders, on average, a day. From Aug. 15-18, this same team will hand out individual boxes to students from the front of the Multicultural Center. The process has outgrown other locations in the MU over the years, including the Gold, Cardinal and Campanile rooms.

"It's about making the experience better for our students," Dean said, noting it also eases -- slightly-- the space crunch in the bookstore during the first week of classes.


Iowa State at the fair


Iowa State Fair goers will enjoy the exhibit created by an Iowa State team for the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival held last month in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kanji Takeno.

Visitors to Iowa State's exhibit at the Iowa State Fair (Aug. 9-19) can share the experience enjoyed by a million people this summer on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The university's 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival exhibit will be featured in the "Celebrating our Morrill Act Heritage" display in the air-conditioned Varied Industries Building. The exhibit was selected to be part of the national celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which laid the foundation for land-grant universities. It showcases how Iowa State faculty, staff and students apply design to help communities solve problems.

"Our exhibit celebrates what makes Iowa State special for students and the taxpayers of Iowa," said university marketing director Carole Custer.

"Iowa State is one of the most accomplished land-grant schools in the nation -- open to students without regard to gender or economic or social class. It's where students learn how to apply their knowledge to be job-ready upon graduation, where we make major research breakthroughs and discoveries and then take that knowledge to the citizens of Iowa for their betterment," Custer said.

Interactive games let visitors think like designers

Using advanced digital technology and old-fashioned conversation, the featured exhibit demonstrates the techniques and processes designers use to create, innovate and transform communities.

Interactive games and activities led by design and ISU extension and outreach faculty and staff let visitors explore the world of design and think like designers.

Exhibit staff will demonstrate how designers use technology like a MakerBot to create prototypes and models. A MakerBot is a 3D printer that uses thermoplastic extrusion to make 3D objects.

The exhibit also shares examples of projects generated through collaborations between the university and Iowa communities -- including before-and-after photos from the Extension and Outreach Community Visioning program and work from design students' studio class projects.


Giveaways, special guests and merchandise

Iowa State also will celebrate the Cyclones' athletic success of the past year with a display of the CyHawk football game trophy, the CyHawk series trophy, the Big 12 women's cross country championship trophy and a video of athletic highlights.

Women's basketball head coach Bill Fennelly will greet fans Sunday afternoon, Aug. 12 (2-3 p.m.). The University Book Store portion of the exhibit will offer special Iowa State merchandise for the fair, and Cy will make periodic appearances.

Visitors can sign up at the ISU exhibit for prize drawings held daily. Visitors can win a pair of football game tickets, a pair of volleyball game tickets, two tickets to a show from the Stephens Auditorium 2012-13 Performing Arts Series, or a copy of the new book, The Land-Grant Act and the People's College: Iowa State University.

Post your fan photo to Iowa State's Facebook page

Tens of thousands of Iowa State tattoos, football posters and football schedule cards will be given away. And this year, Cyclone fans can snap photos of their tattoos or pose beside the athletic trophies and upload the shots to Iowa State 's Facebook page. Each day during the fair, one fairgoer fan snapshot from the online photo album will be chosen for Iowa State's profile picture.

4-H: More than livestock

You can't have a fair without 4-H. The 4-H Exhibits Building will be packed with projects, displays and interactive learning presentations. This year's events include:

  • Robotics Challenge, Aug. 10-11 (9 a.m.): 11 teams of Iowa youth show off their robot designing and programming skills in a live challenge
  • Cook This! 4-H Culinary Challenge, Aug. 12-14 (10 a.m.): 25 teams of fifth through 12th graders demonstrate their creativity in the kitchen
  • 4-H Hall of Fame inductions, Aug. 19 (1:30 and 3:30 p.m.): A program will honor the dedicated adults who contribute tirelessly to the development of Iowa's youth

And in the 4-H Exhibits Building, displays from each college at Iowa State will give fairgoers the opportunity to learn more about majors and degree programs on campus.

Food finder App

Developed by the Des Moines Register and sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach, the Food Finder app for the iPhone is the fairgoers' guide to all things edible. The app can search and map foods at the fair by type or vendor, find healthy fare and nutrition information, and calculate how much activity it takes to burn calories. The app will be available at the App Store or at

Go on a scavenger hunt and visit the CyCone

Fairgoers can discover more about ISU Extension and Outreach with a scavenger hunt, beginning at the 4-H Exhibits Building and continuing around the fairgrounds. Completed scavenger hunt forms can be submitted for a chance to win an iPad. And ISU Extension and Outreach has again participated in the fair's concrete sculpture painting event. This year's sculptures are ice cream cones, and the "CyCone" is located outside the 4-H Exhibits Building.

Show your Cyclone pride on Aug. 11

On Saturday, Aug. 11, visitors are invited to help turn the fairgrounds into a sea of cardinal by wearing their Iowa State colors.

Doctor making house calls

Dr. Bruce Leuschen, a clinician in the department of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine, once again will serve as the Iowa State Fair's veterinarian. Veterinarian and ISU alum Dr. Courtney Blake and four ISU veterinary medicine students will assist him. They are responsible for the health of the thousands of animals being exhibited, as well as those participating in special events such as the rodeo and harness racing.

Big energy savings anticipated from light swap

A handful of students will walk through some 50 buildings on campus this summer and fall, counting lights. That count is the first step in a multiyear light replacement project that eventually may yield $300,000 in energy savings annually.

Specifically, the students will tally the number of T12 fluorescent lights in university buildings. Bob Currie, director of facilities, said the university will systematically replace all T12 lights with their bright energy-efficient cousins -- T8 lights -- over the next few years.

Lights out for T12

For decades, T12 lights have been a staple in buildings all over the world. But the lights are inefficient by today's energy standards, and their days are numbered.  The U.S. Department of Energy mandated that manufacturers stop producing T12 lights as of July 2012.

What's on your ceiling?

Energy-efficient T8 lights are a skinnier version of the older, less-efficient T12s. Both are long tubes, but the diameter of a T12 (1.5 inch) is similar to that of an old silver dollar. For the T8, think quarter-sized diameter (1 inch).

Iowa State has enough T12 replacements to light classrooms and offices over the next few years, Currie said.  However, the energy savings from swapping out the old T12s provides plenty of incentive to make the switch at Iowa State as soon as it's financially feasible.

"T8s use 35 percent less energy," Currie said, "and that's a conservative estimate. If Iowa State were to replace all of its estimated 30,000 T12 fixtures and 60,000 lights, the energy savings would add up to about $300,000 a year."

It's unlikely the university can retire all inefficient lights in a short time. Currie estimates that replacing all T12 fixtures with new T8 fixtures could cost up to $10 million. However, facilities staff have been and will continue to chip away at the massive project.

The focus is on buildings built before the eighties, all of which were equipped with T12 fixtures. Facilities that were constructed or renovated over the last three decades should have the T8 fixtures. Of the 100 most heavily used buildings on campus, approximately half already have the more efficient T8s, Currie said,

With a $200,000 allocation this year to the lighting project, facilities staff will convert a number of buildings across campus to efficient lighting. Additionally, FPM staff will continue to make spot light replacements in offices when, for example, a T12 fixture loses a ballast. T12 fixtures that need a fix generally get upgraded to T8 status.

LEDs on the horizon

The big emphasis is on installing T8 lighting, but LED lights also are getting a test run in a few places around campus.

Commonly used for traffic signals, LED lights have moved indoors in recent years and are yielding energy savings of 50 to 85 percent over the old T12 lights, Currie said.

A couple of barriers to widespread indoor use of LED lights exist, Currie said.  The LEDs are expensive, although recent analyses indicate the lights may yield a competitive payback  in some instances.

Another question mark is how people will like living and working under LED lights.

"We don't yet know about LEDs," Currie said. "They look the same as other fluorescents, but there haven't been any real long-term trials."

A couple of trials are under way at Iowa State, he said. LED lighting has been installed in several places on campus, including new classrooms in Physics Hall and hallways in the General Services Building.

FY13 budget priorities: Student experience, research, salaries

Iowa State will invest additional dollars this year to bolster the educational experience for students, its research enterprise, and compensation for faculty and staff. These were tapped as priorities since early in the budget planning process and are part of Iowa State's FY13 budget approved Aug. 3 by the state Board of Regents.

The university's total budget for the year that began July 1 is just over $1.2 billion, which includes sponsored research and auxiliary units such as athletics, utilities, residence and dining. The general fund operating budget of $574.5 million is supported by $221.8 million in state support, an estimated $13.7 million in direct federal appropriations, $317.6 million in tuition and $21.4 million in indirect cost recovery and other revenue.

New revenues and reallocations total $42.3 million above the final FY12 budget. (The board requests net changes from the revised FY12 budget, rather than original FY12 figures.)

The university will use about one-fourth of new and reallocated funds for compensation increases for current faculty and staff -- $8.4 million for faculty and professional and scientific staff and $1.8 million for merit staff covered by the state's contract with AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees).

In May, the regents directed each university to cap its university-wide average salary increase for nonunion employees at 2.5 percent or lower. At Iowa State, that average turned out to be 2.44 percent. 

Additional faculty and staff

In response to growing student enrollments and new focus areas in research, Iowa State has designated another $8.2 million for new faculty positions and the accompanying support necessary in lab space, computers and other equipment, and graduate assistants.

The provost's office reports 82 new tenured or tenure-track faculty hires so far this year, with smaller numbers than recent years of faculty retirements and resignations. Because the university doesn't maintain a position inventory, it's difficult to track new positions vs. replacement positions. However, the net increase in faculty positions is counted every fall from the October payroll. Some of the units hiring multiple tenured or tenure-track faculty members include aerospace engineering; apparel, events and hospitality management; the School of Education; English; graphic design; industrial and manufacturing systems engineering; interior design; and mechanical engineering.

Also intended to provide a quality experience for a growing student body, Iowa State will invest $2.6 million in positions targeting undergraduate education and another $1.3 million in student support. People in these jobs will teach additional sections of high-demand courses and labs, especially in the life sciences, chemistry and engineering. There will be more academic advisers and financial aid advisers. There will be additional staff in student activities and the registrar's office, and more support for international students and students who are war veterans. There also will be more support in room scheduling and custodial care in high-use student areas.

Research enterprise

Iowa State will commit $5.3 million to strengthening research efforts, including $2.5 million to seed new initiatives in research innovation, technology transfer and economic development. The remaining $2.8 million will support additional library resources, databases, graduate assistants and research support staff.

Other commitments

New funds -- $1.37 million each -- will complete annual commitments to university marketing efforts ($2.5 million) and the development of university-wide administrative software systems ($2 million). The FY13 budget also restores some permanent funding to several outreach units hit hard by state funding cuts in FY10 and FY11, including Reiman Gardens and University Museums.

FY13 Summary: New revenues and reallocations

Strategic investments
Salary, benefits increases
      Faculty and P&S staff $8.4 million
      Merit staff $1.8 million
New positions $10.8 million
Research enterprise $5.3 million
Student financial aid $5.5 million
Provide recurring funding $3.0 million
     for central functions*
Services to support students $1.3 million
Restore recurring funding** $0.9 million
Deferred maintenance fund $1.0 million
Subtotal $38.0 million
Cost increases
Administrative activities*** $1.3 million
Regulatory compliance, insurance $0.9 million
Campus grounds, utilities $2.1 million
Subtotal $4.3 million
Total $42.3 million

*Administrative systems, marketing, ombuds, sustainability
**Reiman Gardens, University Museums
***Examples: software license fees, HR, IT

Regents approve new programs, give first green light to more student apartments

Meeting Aug. 3 in Cedar Falls, the state Board of Regents approved Iowa State requests to:

  • Begin planning to add up to seven apartment buildings to the Frederiksen Court student community to respond to higher enrollments -- and strong student demand for on-campus housing. Since 2005, on-campus occupancy rates have outpaced enrollment growth by 12 percentage points. The department will use construction documents for the existing buildings, making minor floor plan modifications and other changes for greater energy efficiency. Even so, the first new building likely won't open until early 2014.

  • Purchase 17 acres of woodland and a lodge from the YMCA of Greater Des Moines for approximately $120,000. The land is located between Veenker golf course and the Applied Sciences Complex. Purchase funds would come from ISU's facilities overhead use fund.

  • Award an honorary Doctor of Science degree for James Barnard, a leading environmental engineer in the world, at this fall's commencement ceremony. The South Africa native is renowned for his innovative research in water quality, particularly wastewater treatment. He focuses on using biological methods, such as algae, on a massive scale instead of expensive chemicals to remove nutrients from wastewater.

  • Name the outdoor track at the Cyclone Sports Complex for former ISU coach Bill Bergan and his wife Karen, who provided a lead gift of $1 million for the complex. In 23 years of coaching at Iowa State (1971-94), Bergan brought unprecedented success to the cross country and track and field programs that included two NCAA titles and 25 conference championships.

  • Name the athletics department's combined football facilities – the existing Steve and Debbie Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility and the nearly completed football training facility addition -- the Bergstrom Football Complex. As on the indoor training facility, the Bergstroms provided the lead gift, $2 million, for the football addition.

  • Establish three new master's programs:

    • Master of Engineering in engineering management (developed in the industrial and manufacturing systems engineering department with assistance from the College of Business)

    • Master of Urban Design (interdisciplinary program in the College of Design)

    • Master of Design in Sustainable Environments (interdisciplinary program in the College of Design)

  • Move an NSF-supported center, the Center for e-Design, from the Virginia Tech campus to Iowa State's industrial and manufacturing systems engineering department. Janis Terpenny, who came to Iowa State last August as department chair, has directed the center for several years. The center applies principles of science, math and engineering to help develop and implement new methods and technologies for improved product design.

Innovation funding

The board approved Iowa State's proposed use of its $1.05 million portion of the Regents Innovation Fund appropriation from the state (replacing the former Grow Iowa Values Fund of FY06-FY12). The innovation funds require a 1:1 match.

Funding summary

Innovate Iowa Proof of Concept pilot $500,000
Entrepreneurial support* $245,000
Infrastructure projects/programs $200,000
Small Business Development Center (regional centers) $105,000
Total $1,050,000

 *Shared by the ISU Research Park, ISU Pappajohn Center, Biobased Foundry pilot project and VP for Research/Economic Development

The board also approved schematic designs for:

  • A remodel of the MacKay Hall auditorium. The room currently seats up to 370 students on two levels; the renovation would convert the room to a contemporary, interactive classroom with seats for 215 students. The board approved the $3.2 million budget in March. Construction will begin next May.
  • A new facility south of campus on Mortensen Road, the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. All but $300,000 of the $7.3 million budget is covered by private gifts, including the Hansens' lead gift of $2 million. Construction could begin in late fall.

Presidential salaries

Following his evaluation with the board on Thursday, president Steven Leath received a 2 percent increase to his base salary, bringing his FY13 salary to $448,800. University of Iowa president Sally Mason and University of Northern Iowa president Ben Allen also were awarded 2 percent salary increases, which board president Craig Lang characterized as "cost of living" increases.

Lang announced Allen's decision to retire from UNI by July 1, 2013. Allen, who has served as president since 2006, earlier served for 26 years (1979-90, 1991-2006) at Iowa State as a faculty member, department chair, center director, dean of the College of Business, interim vice president for external affairs and provost.

Public protest

About three dozen members of the group Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement loudly protested Regent Bruce Rastetter's status as a regent during the early portion of the meeting. The group filed a complaint in June with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board claiming that Rastetter abused his position as a regent to negotiate a business deal in Tanzania between his company, Agrisol Energy, and Iowa State. Group members also said Friday that Rastetter is violating the board's own conflict of interest policy.

UNI campus police escorted out more than a dozen protesters who shouted at board members or tried to advance to the board's table, and shortly after, the remaining protesters left the room. Lang said it would be premature for the board to take any action until the ethics board rules later this month on the complaint against Rastetter.

Professional development is a council priority

Members of the Professional and Scientific Council kicked off the semester Aug. 8 with their first meeting of the academic year. Council president David Orman reminded members to consider the council's five priority issues in their committee work.

The issues, taken from a collective "visioning" list developed earlier this year, include:

  • Salaries
  • Effective implementation of a performance management program
  • Professional development
  • Position descriptions
  • Inequities in the resource management model

Professional development

The newly named professional development committee worked on several initiatives through the summer months. Committee member Mary Beth Kaufman said the group generated goals and objectives for a "holistic" model of professional development. Three subcommittees (incentive, communication and administration) also were established to address specific initiatives.

Work is under way on a one- or two-day professional development conference -- including a draft of content and format. Kaufman said the group also is working with the council's communications committee to include professional development activities in its monthly open forums.