Taking the next step


Photo by Bob Elbert.

Senior management major Kira Swanson (left) speaks with a recruiter during the fall Ag Career Day Oct. 16 in the Lied Recreation Center. Already the largest agricultural job recruitment event in the country, it broke its own record this fall, with 208 companies in attendance (up from 175 a year ago). Nearly 2,000 students participated and an estimated 600-plus campus interviews were scheduled for the following day. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences-sponsored event was not the only career event held for Iowa State students this fall. Two others were held last month.

The Engineering Career Fair on Sept. 25 attracted 287 companies (another 20 were on a waiting list) and drew nearly 5,000 Iowa State students to Hilton Coliseum and the Scheman Building. Recruiters completed more than 1,100 interviews the week of the fair.

The Business, Industry and Technology Career Fair on Sept. 26 drew 3,053 job and internship seekers, including large student numbers from the host colleges of Business (1,826), Human Sciences (509) and Liberal Arts and Sciences (554). They interacted with 168 companies and organizations – an increase of 22 percent over fall 2011 – and more than 700 interviews were conducted the following day.

FAQ, forums offer details on presidential research initiative

A new online FAQ and a couple of upcoming forums should prove useful to those seeking funding through the new Presidential Initiative for Interdisciplinary Research.

The FAQ provides details on the initiative to support new, large-scale interdisciplinary research programs and the application process.

At the forums, this week and next, several university officials will be on hand to answer questions. Forums are scheduled for:

  • Thursday, Oct. 18, 11 a.m.-noon, 207 Marston
  • Friday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m.-noon, Campanile Room, Memorial Union 

Among officials attending the forums are senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert, vice president for research and economic development Sharron Quisenberry, associate vice president Miles Lackey, senior policy adviser to the president Tahira Hira and animal science professor and Office of Biotechnology director James Reecy.

Through the initiative, up to three teams will receive pursuit funding to be used in preparing larger-scale research funding proposals. Each winning team will receive up to $500,000 annually for three years.

The initiative also includes a smaller, proof-of-concept program providing pursuit funds for emerging research areas that are more limited in scope or have a higher risk. Funding grants of $50,000 to $100,000 could be awarded to help up to three teams secure collaborative research grants.

The first step in applying for these grants is to submit white papers by Dec. 1. From the white paper submissions, some teams will be invited to prepare full proposals by Feb. 1, 2013. Final awards will be announced by March 1.

Leading the review process will be the President's Committee for Institutional Excellence, with assistance from subject experts in industry, higher education and government laboratories.

Documents and forms on the initiative are linked from the FAQ site.

Handbook changes spark senate debate

Proposed revisions to the Faculty Handbook were central to the discussion at the Oct. 16 Faculty Senate meeting, including modifications from the senate's promotion and tenure task force.

Faculty development and administrative relations council chair Ann Smiley-Oyen presented proposed revisions for section 6.4 of the handbook, which outline emeritus/a professorships. She said the changes update the language and clarify a timeline to "keep nominations flowing."

Promotion and tenure task force chair Steve Freeman presented three proposed handbook changes developed in response to issues that cropped up during the recent promotion and tenure process. He said changes to sections (designation of professor) and (letters of evaluation) provided clarifications, not changes, to the policies.

The proposed revisions to section, which he said would clarify the "one person, one vote" procedure for promotion and tenure review, generated the most discussion.

"What we found in this last P&T cycle were a few cases where what we thought we were suggesting in principle was not necessarily what actually happened," Freeman said. "We are trying to provide some clarification."

Different interpretations of the handbook policy at the college and department levels generated the most discussion. The addition of "influence" (such as nonverbal cues) to a list of actions considered "equivalent to a vote" ("recommendations" and "advice" already were listed) also prompted debate.

Senators unanimously voted to refer the proposed changes to voting procedures back to the promotion and tenure task force. The motion also asked the task force to review how the policy relates with existing college documents. The senate will vote on the other three proposals at its next meeting.

Records will fall


New surface in the Lied Recreation Center. Photo by Bob Elbert.

The main floor of the Lied Recreation Center reopened this week with a newly installed 14-millimeter synthetic rubber track surface. The track lanes are red and the surrounding floor, including court areas, are gray. (A center turf area also remains.) The former surface, a single-color floor, was 13 years old and had weathered a few floodwater inundations. The $800,000 project was covered by the athletics department; the Federal Emergency Management Agency determined it wouldn't reimburse for these costs. This is the third running surface in the Lied since it opened in 1991; it will help ensure that Iowa State continues to host championship-level indoor track and field events.

Gear up for ghouls and goblins

Fairy story teller

Iowa State's Halloween festivities include thrills and chills at "Haunted Iowa State" and more family-friendly entertainment at Reiman Gardens' "Spirits in the Gardens." Contributed photo.

It’s Halloween at Iowa State, so beware of spooks, spirits and things that go bump in the night. If thrills and chills are what you crave, check out these campus events.

Haunted Iowa State

University Museums' annual moonlit walk around campus, "Haunted Iowa State," is set for Oct. 24. Brave souls who wish to attend the tour should meet at the campanile promptly at 7 p.m. to receive maps and instructions. Bring flashlights and wear appropriate attire for the weather. The walk concludes at 9:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

The self-guided tour will take visitors to familiar campus haunts, including the Farm House Museum, Memorial Union, campanile and other locations with haunted and historic reputations. Commemorative "Haunted Iowa State" T-shirts ($5) will be available at the Farm House during the tour. T-shirts also may be purchased at the Christian Petersen Art Museum, 1017 Morrill, through the end of October.

If behind-the-scenes is more your style, volunteers still are needed for the tour. If you’re interested in helping, contact Natalie Wadle.

Spirits in the Gardens

For additional Halloween fun, dress the kids in their costumes and visit Reiman Gardens' "Spirits in the Gardens," Oct. 20-21 from 4 to 7 p.m. The event is free for children, ISU students and members. Regular adult admission prices apply ($8).

The animals and insects haunting the gardens this Halloween will be showcased in various craft and activity stations. Kids also will have an opportunity to visit the ISU Insect Zoo, go trick-or-treating and play Halloween-themed games. And this may be one of the last times to enjoy the LEGO brick sculptures before the show is dismantled Oct. 28.

If case of bad weather, all events will be moved indoors.