Fall enrollment tops 31,000


A record number of students -- including a record freshman class -- are attending Iowa State this fall. Photo by Bob Elbert.

It's another one for the record books at Iowa State University. This fall's student body of 31,040 is the largest in school history.

It's the fourth year of record enrollment and the sixth consecutive year of growth at Iowa State.

"Since fall 2006, our enrollment has grown by more than 21 percent, a significant increase that reflects the confidence students and their families have in Iowa State," said president Steven Leath.

Overall, enrollment is up 3.9 percent (1,153 students) over the previous record of 29,887 in fall 2011. The student body represents every Iowa county, all 50 states, and 101 countries.

Iowa State has attracted its largest freshman class ever -- 5,366 -- and 3,251 (61 percent) are Iowans.

"Our robust fall enrollment speaks to the value students and their families see in a degree from Iowa State. ISU's strong academic programs, vibrant student experience, and reputation for preparing graduates for the next steps in life ‐ be that career or an advanced degree – are all reasons more students are choosing to enroll here," said interim director of admissions Darin Wohlgemuth.

Total Iowa resident enrollment is 18,922, an increase of 396 over last year. Of the total Iowa resident enrollment, 17,050 are undergraduates, an increase of 498 from last year. 

By the numbers

Iowa State's student numbers set records in nearly every category again this fall:

  • Record undergraduate enrollment of 25,553, an increase of 1,210 students from fall 2011.
  • Record international student enrollment of 3,510, an increase of 86 students from fall 2011. The overall number also reflects a record in the number of international undergraduates: 1,989.
  • Record diversity. More than one in five Iowa State students is either a minority or an international student. Total U.S. minority and international enrollment is 6,765, or 21.79 percent of the student body. (The previous record set in fall 2011 was 6,369, or 21.31 percent of the student body.) U.S. minority enrollment is 3,255 (10.5 percent of total enrollment), a new record and an increase over last fall's 2,945 students. For the past six years, Iowa State has met or exceeded the 8.5 percent minority enrollment goal set by the Iowa Board of Regents.
  • Record transfer student enrollment of 1,841, up from last year's record of 1,781 students.
  • Record transfer enrollment from Iowa's community colleges: 1,111, up from last year's record of 1,050 students.

Fall 2012 enrollment by college

Agriculture and Life Sciences 4,555
Business 3,525
Design 1,944
Engineering 7,508
Human Sciences 4,465
Liberal Arts and Sciences 7,523
Veterinary Medicine
   Professional (DVM) 588
   Graduate 94
Interdepartmental units and Undeclared graduate  546
Post-docs 292
Total 31,040

Bowles will discuss national debt in Sept. 13 talk

Erskine Bowles, president emeritus of the 17-campus University of North Carolina (UNC) system and co-chair of a bipartisan national commission on debt reduction, will discuss the country's fiscal health in a Sept. 13 Iowa State University talk.

Erskine Bowles


His talk is part of events leading up to the Sept. 14 installation of Steven Leath as Iowa State's 15th president. Bowles also will introduce Leath during the celebratory installation, which begins at 10 a.m. Sept. 14 in Stephens Auditorium. Leath served as a vice president for the UNC system during Bowles' tenure as president (2006-10).

Bowles is at the center of the national dialogue on America's deficit crisis. In an Aug. 9 opinion piece in The Washington Post, Bowles commended President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for their plans to reduce long-term spending, but advocated that "real deficit reduction ... won't happen without sweeping tax reform ... This fall, the American people deserve a serious national debate about our debt, not easy promises." Washington, D.C., political pundits have speculated that Bowles will be named treasury secretary if Obama is re-elected.

Bowles' talk, "A Conversation on the National Debt," will be at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. It is free and open to the public.

From private sector to public service

A veteran of business and government service, Bowles worked in the private sector from the 1970s to the 1990s. After earning his undergraduate business degree at UNC and MBA at Columbia University, he joined Morgan Stanley in New York City and later founded his own financial investment company.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Bowles as director of the Small Business Administration. The following year, Clinton tapped Bowles to be his White House deputy chief of staff, and later chief of staff. During his tenure in the White House, Bowles played a pivotal role in negotiating America's first balanced budget in decades. He also coordinated the federal response to the Oklahoma City bombing.

Following his tenure at the White House, Bowles spent two years as a general partner with Forstmann Little, a New York-based equity firm, and returned to North Carolina. After two unsuccessful U.S. Senate runs (2002 and 2004) in his home state, Bowles rejoined Clinton in 2005 as United Nations deputy special envoy to help coordinate a global response to the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia in December 2004. He served as the UNC system president from Jan. 1, 2006, until his retirement on Dec. 31, 2010.

Deficit-reduction plan

In 2010, Obama appointed Bowles and former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The bipartisan commission produced a plan to reduce the nation's deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade. Although widely praised, the commission's recommendations of tax increases and spending cuts have made little progress in a divided Congress.

Bowles helped found three entities that foster economic development in rural North Carolina. He has served as vice chair of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and as an international president of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Center. Bowles is on several boards, including Morgan Stanley, General Motors and Facebook Inc.

Regents meet on campus Sept. 12

The state Board of Regents will meet at Iowa State Wednesday, Sept. 12. The full board is scheduled to meet for approximately 90 minutes (1:15-2:45 p.m., Memorial Union Sun Room). The morning (9 a.m.-noon) is reserved for meetings of board committees: Education and student affairs, audit and investment, and University of Iowa hospitals and clinics.

Audio of all the board's open sessions is live-streamed on the board's website.

Iowa State agenda highlights include:

  • State appropriations requests for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2013. By law, the board must submit funding requests for next year to the state by Oct. 1. The governor and Legislature use the requests in building their proposed state budgets.
  • A report from the committee tasked in June with proposing a five-year plan to eliminate the practice of setting aside tuition dollars for student financial aid. The committee's assignment includes recommending other funding options.
  • A presentation by ISU faculty members Elwynn Taylor (agronomy) and Chad Hart (economics) on the environmental and economic impacts of this year's drought.

As part of their day in Ames, board members also are scheduled to tour the Cyclone Sports Complex (3:30 p.m.), scheduled for completion later this fall, and attend the dedication of the Hixson-Lied Small Animal Hospital at the College of Veterinary Medicine (4:30 p.m.).

There's a new brew on campus


1858 is the name of Iowa State's new signature coffee. Try a cup for only $1 through Sept. 16 at most campus cafés. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Attention coffee connoisseurs: There's a new cup of joe available on campus that may tantalize your taste buds. Named for the year Iowa State was founded, 1858 replaces the Cardinal and Gold blend, which had been the university's signature coffee for the past several years.

Limited-time special

Through Sept. 16, Iowa State's new 1858 signature blend coffee is $1 at the campus cafés noted below.

A small team of ISU Dining staff worked with The Roasterie in Kansas City (founded by ISU alum Danny O'Neill) over the summer to come up with the new brew. The result is a fair trade organic coffee with a light to medium roast. It combines three coffee origins -- Mexican, Sumatra and Guatemalan.  The "cupping" process, essentially a taste testing of different coffees, only took a day to hit the mark. Coming up with a name for the new blend, however, took a bit longer.

"Dining's marketing department brainstormed and came up with three different names," said Kristi Patel, assistant director of campus dining services. "From there, we did a survey among the ISU Dining staff, who chose 1858. We really wanted something to encompass Iowa State."

As ISU Dining program coordinator Brittney Rutherford puts it, "1858 is subtle. If you know what 1858 means, you're an Iowa Stater."

1858 is available as brewed coffee in the Bookends, Business, Courtyard, Design and Gentle Doctor cafés and the MU Market and Café. The coffee currently is not available as packaged beans or grounds, but that could change in the future, Patel said. 

Colleges, ITS fund popular online tutorial site

For a while last spring, it looked like lynda.com wouldn't be back on campus for a fourth year. Central funds weren't available to cover the university-wide site license to the software training site.

However, lynda.com had developed a loyal following at Iowa State, and its supporters mounted an effort to find funding. Ultimately, every college on campus and information technology services (ITS) pitched in to keep lynda.com at Iowa State. Collectively, the colleges provided two-thirds of the $88,000 licensing costs and ITS added the remainder.

1,400 tutorials

The license gives all Iowa State students, faculty and staff unlimited access to some 1,400 software tutorials. The license is based on the university's total full-time equivalent count and amounts to approximately $2.50 per FTE, said Jim Twetten, director in ITS. Without the license, the annual subscription rate for an individual would be $250.

The lynda.com tutorials have been heavily used by students, faculty and staff, Twetten said. They have a little something for everyone. Offerings range from basic lessons, like to how use Microsoft Word or get started in Google calendar to advanced IT training on such topics as Drupal and JavaScript. In between are sessions on Sharepoint, Photoshop, and much more.

In 2009, Iowa State became the first of Iowa's state universities to license lynda. The universities of Iowa and Northern Iowa now have licenses as well.

Less tech support, more subject matter

The original goal of joining lynda.com was to help instructors who were looking to spend less time on tech support and more time on subject matter, Twetten said.

Instructors said valuable class time was increasingly used to provide instruction on Acrobat, PowerPoint and other software programs. The instructors wanted to provide students with 24/7 resources on software and lynda.com fit the bill. The site proved useful not only for instructors, but for IT support staff, who directed clients to lynda.com tutorials on specialized topics, and for general members of the campus community who needed to acquire some technical expertise.

"It's been a very good training and development tool," Twetten said.

Track your training

Lynda.com has a new name, lyndaCampus, and new features for its university subscribers. Among new features are:

  • Automatic bookmarking as you progress through a course
  • A personalized queue of courses you'd like to take
  • A list of your course completions

LyndaCampus also will allow ITS to track individual, departmental and college usage of the online courses, Twetten said.

"These statistics will give us a much better idea of who's using Lynda and where the heavy traffic is occurring," Twetten said. "That information will be valuable, as the institution can then figure out the best ways to maximize Lynda use, apply appropriate funding and target future needs."

How to access lynda.com

To access lyndaCampus tutorials free of charge, go to www.iastate.edu/lynda. Type in your net-ID and password to gain entry to the site and see the list of available courses. Don't enter the site at lynda.com; that's the public window to the site and requires fee payment.

Stange Road work resumes Sept. 10

Drivers who enter campus via Stange Road, take note: Pavement replacement work that was halted while the new academic year got started will resume next week.

Beginning Monday, Sept. 10, crews from Manatts will tear out and replace deteriorating concrete sections in the two southbound lanes of Stange Road between Pammel Drive and the Squaw Creek bridge. This will result in a single lane of traffic in each direction. Some sidewalk sections also will be replaced. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are asked to observe signs as they navigate the area.

If the weather cooperates, the work is expected to take about three weeks and wrap up by Friday, Sept. 28.

Finishing the job

Pavement replacement work on campus began May 2 and was halted on Aug. 10 to alleviate traffic congestion during ISU student move-in and the start of new academic years for both Iowa State and the Ames school district. Work was completed this summer on Beach and Wallace roads, Union Drive, University Boulevard and the northbound lanes of Stange Road.

Campus planner Cathy Brown said university leaders are pleased with the high quality of the pavement work completed this summer. Dry weather and a recognized need for more work than originally planned resulted in additional pavement and sidewalk replacements at several locations, which added time to the project.

The concrete replacement is part of the university's 2012 pavement preservation plan. Institutional Roads funds are paying for the work.

ISU Theatre 2012-13 season tickets on sale now

Six shows, including a "Stars Over Veishea" production of Fiddler on the Roof, are part of the 2012-13 ISU Theatre season ticket package. All shows will take the stage at Fisher Theater.

Season tickets are $86 for adults, $82 for seniors and $54 for students. Order forms are available by calling (4-2624) or emailing (isutheatre@iastate.edu) the theater department, or may be purchased at the Iowa State Center ticket office on the north side of Stephens Auditorium.

Noises Off

Sept. 28-30 and Oct. 5-7
This Michael Frayn comedy sets a play within a play, portraying the off-stage chaos of a badly bungled stage production. Behind-the-scenes relationships, physical comedy, miscues and mistakes compound the hilarious downfall of the fictional theater company and its show.


Nov. 1-4
With music from Leonard Bernstein and a story based on a Voltaire novel, this operetta manages an uplifting sound against a melodramatic setting. The title character's optimistic outlook is severely tested at every turn of his quest to find love and happiness.

Alice in Wonderland

Nov. 30-Dec. 2 and Dec. 7-9
The audience will get a new look at an old favorite with this adaptation by ISU lecturer Matt Foss. The most beloved -- and loathed -- characters from both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass are featured in this modern version of the Lewis Carroll story.

The Three Musketeers

March 1-3 and March 8-10
Adventure and romance are central to this Ken Ludwig adaption of the Alexandre Dumas novel. Honor and heroism shine through the fast-paced story of a young Frenchman's journey from ordinary to extraordinary.

A Streetcar Named Desire

March 28-31
A Broadway favorite and Pulitzer Prize winner, this Tennessee Williams masterpiece brings drama from the Deep South to the Fisher Theater stage. Secrets, fantasies and conflict take a tragic toll on the relationships between Stanley, his wife Stella and her sister Blanche.

Fiddler on the Roof

April 12-14 and April 19-21
The bucking of long-held traditions is central to this long-running classic Broadway musical set in Tsarist Russia. A poor milkman grapples with a changing world and the wishes of his headstrong daughters as the threat of eviction looms over the Jews in his village.