A banner event


Spring semester slots are available for the Morrill Road banners on central campus. Coordinated by the Office of University Marketing, the banners are intended to help promote public events sponsored by the university or any of its units -- including student organizations, academic departments and colleges. The banners present another way to reach the small army of pedestrians that navigate central campus every day. Display periods run from two weeks to a month and – unlike the University Boulevard banners -- are available year-round.

Groups are welcome to use either four or all eight of the banner spots (the northernmost five of the 13 poles are reserved for Morrill Hall's Christian Petersen Art Museum and outside Anderson Sculpture Garden). Estimated costs range from $1,900 to $2,600 for four banners, $2,400 to $3,100 for all eight spots, which includes artwork design, banner production and installation and removal expenses.

More information about the Morrill Road banners is online, or contact University Marketing, 4-9624. Photo by Bob Elbert.


Board of Regents assigns new state relations officer to ISU

Ann McCarthy, the Board of Regents state relations officer assigned to Iowa State for the past two years, will assume a new role for the board, effective Nov. 19. McCarthy will focus on coordinating economic development policy.  

Joe Murphy


Joe Murphy, director of public affairs for the Summit Group, has been named state relations officer for Iowa State.

The changes were announced by Robert Donley, executive director of the board.

"The board is devoting more time and attention to the state's economic development issues and helping Iowans better understand the role and contributions of our three public universities," Donley said.  "Ann will play a key role in this effort." 

Murphy has been with the Summit Group, a group of investment and operating companies focused on the ag industry, for more than one year. Prior to that, he served three years as state relations officer assigned to the University of Northern Iowa. In his first post with the regents in 2006, he served as liaison to the student governments on the three state university campuses.

"We're fortunate to have Joe rejoin our staff and focus his attention on Iowa State," Donley added.

President Steven Leath expressed thanks to McCarthy and said he and others at Iowa State look forward to working with Murphy.

"I'm particularly grateful to Ann for assisting me as I became acquainted with legislators and other state officials during my first year in office," Leath said.  "Much of my success this year can be attributed to Ann and her efforts. We are fortunate to have an experienced person like Joe Murphy assume the state relations responsibilities."

New council's focus: Quality student experience

Iowa State has a reputation for offering its undergraduates a rich educational experience -- inside the classroom and out. President Steven Leath wants to ensure that the high-quality student experience endures as enrollment surges, and he's created a new council to help.

The Student Experience Enhancement Council's mission is to find ways to maintain and enhance the experience for all Iowa State students.

The council, led by senior policy adviser Tahira Hira, will look for "pinch points" -- anything that might limit the quality of academic or co-curricular experiences. It also will  serve as an information clearinghouse and sounding board for administration on the student experience.

Leath told the council in its first meeting this week that he wants the group to "identify our bottlenecks, where our critical issues are, where we need to put resources."

Hira said the council will examine the many parts of the student experience, such as academics, internships, study abroad opportunities, leadership development, cultural events, health and safety, student organizations, intramural activities, housing and more.

The Iowa State experience is all about making sure that students are successful, in college years and beyond, Hira said.

Members of the council are:

  • Pamela Anthony, dean of students
  • Dave Biedenbach, assistant vice president for financial planning and budgets
  • Pam Cain, associate vice president for business and finance
  • Jim Davis, vice provost and chief information officer
  • Pete Englin, director of the residence department
  • Mary Jo Gonzales, associate dean of students and director of the academic success center
  • Tahira Hira, senior policy adviser to the president
  • David Holger, associate vice provost and dean of the Graduate College
  • Kathy Jones, assistant vice president, records and registration
  • Richard Reynolds, director of  the Memorial Union
  • Margie Tabor, assistant director of facilities planning and management
  • Darin Wohlgemuth, interim director of enrollment services
  • Karen Zunkel, director of the Program for Women in Science and Engineering

Five questions for the 'hit tape' architect

Dani Varley

Photo by Bob Elbert.

Although she's involved in shooting video of events, features and press conferences for Iowa State's athletics teams, it may be Dani Varley's work on the weekly football highlight videos ("hit tapes") that is best known to the Cyclone fan base.

The Basics

Name: Danielle (Dani) Varley
Position: Assistant director of website services
Years at ISU: 1.5
Education: Bachelor's degree in journalism (electronic media) from Iowa State

Where did the idea originate and why are they called "hit tapes?"

Athletics did a highlight tape for one game in 2010, and got a lot of positive feedback. When I started here in the summer of 2011, they tossed the idea out to me to do these hit tapes every week, with highlights from the previous game, set to music.

The term “hit tape” actually came from the Dan McCarney era. The football video coordinator would create the hit tape as a motivational video for the team to see the night before the game. We stumbled across them two years ago.

When we started, we were just going to show all of the hits and the stuff that gets people fired up. The name just stuck, even though it's more of a highlight, pump-up, promo video. But I think hit tape is the name people know it as and that's what we've kept calling it.

How long does it take to do a hit tape, start to finish?

I have a lot of other responsibilities -- football isn't the only sport we're covering -- so it happens throughout the week. Some weeks, I definitely have an idea of what we want to do -- like the homecoming video -- but it really depends on what the team does the Saturday before.

I spend part of Sunday preparing for Monday. I come in Monday morning and think about the story line of the game, how it played out and what happened. Then I try to find a song that highlights the positives of the game and relates to what the team needs to focus on the next week, or what we did really well.

So it starts on Monday with picking a song, labeling all the footage we captured at the game and going through the highlight package that TV provides us to see what we can cut away from that. Usually on Tuesdays, I start figuring out what clip goes where, and I piece that all together over the next couple days. I put on the finishing touches on Thursday and Friday. Sometimes I'm just finishing up right before it's released at noon on Friday; sometimes it's done Thursday night.

Bright lights, big city

"When we played at the Pinstripe Bowl last year, they played a couple of the hit tapes on the videoboard at Yankee Stadium. That was a really cool experience -- to stand basically on home plate at Yankee Stadium and watch my video on the videoboard."
-- Dani Varley

Where do the ideas come from?

My inspiration comes from a variety of different areas. I watched a lot of episodes of Friday Night Lights over the summer, so the first hit tape we did this year was very much like the Friday Night Lights intro video.

I'll be in a movie theater or watching TV at home and wonder what a song is and whip out my phone to Shazam it (Shazam is a smartphone app that identifies title and artist of a song that is playing). I saw Blindside and I just loved the credits song after the movie ("Chances," by Five for Fighting). I wanted the opportunity to use it at some point, and the Oklahoma State game happened last year -- it was just the perfect song for the perfect moment.

Do other sports get hit tapes?

Volleyball had a couple last year. We'll probably do that again if they are selected for the NCAA Tournament. We did a couple for men's basketball after some big wins -- against Kansas and at the tournament -- and one for Royce (White). I'm sure people would like to have one for every single game, but they take a lot of time and work. We'll see what happens with basketball this year and if there are more opportunities to do them.

What kind of feedback do you get?

It's nice to get positive feedback on something you worked so hard to do. It's fun to see people's responses, like 'it gave me goosebumps,' or 'it brought me to tears.' A lot of the criticism comes from the choice of music. I like to switch it up, week to week. Sometimes it's an instrumental, sometimes it's a rock song with lyrics. It's hard to please everyone, because everyone has different taste in music.

It's fun to see it on social media. That's what really gets me -- when you're responsible for a video that gets hundreds and hundreds of likes on Facebook. The more important thing is when I see that so many people have shared it. It does a lot for Iowa State, too. If Iowa State grads are posting it to their Facebook pages, maybe their friends will become Iowa State fans because they watched this video and got excited about it.

Open forums announced for Business dean search

The search committee for the next dean of the College of Business will host two open forums in December to solicit feedback from the university community. The forums will be held:

  • Monday, Dec. 3, 1-2 p.m., 3164 Gerdin
  • Thursday, Dec. 6, 4-5 p.m., 2200 Gerdin (Krieger Board Room)

The forums are an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to learn more about the search, including the role of the search committee and a timeline for the search, as well as provide input on characteristics they would like to see in the next Business dean.

The search committee is co-chaired by associate provost for academic personnel Dawn Bratsch-Prince and College of Human Sciences dean Pam White. Bratsch-Prince, White and senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert will attend the forums.

Questions regarding the search or nominations for the position may be directed to Julie Tarbox in the provost's office.

Former Business dean Labh Hira retired in March and currently serves as interim president of the Iowa State University Foundation. Michael Crum, professor and Ruan Chair in Supply Chain Management, is serving as interim Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the college.

Three finalists will interview for Engineering dean post

Three finalists were named Nov. 12 in the search for the next dean of the College of Engineering. They are:

  • Robert Bishop, dean of the College of Engineering at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Mark Law, associate dean of Engineering for academic affairs at the University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Sarah Rajala, dean of the College of Engineering at Mississippi State University, Starkville

"We are excited about the quality of all the candidates, and particularly proud of our three very high-caliber finalists," said Luis Rico-Gutierrez, co-chair of the search committee and dean of the College of Design. "On behalf of the search committee, I would like to encourage engineering students, faculty and staff, as well as the entire campus community, to attend the open forums and provide feedback."

Bishop will be on campus Nov. 26-27; Law, Nov. 28-29; and Rajala, Dec. 3-4. Each will meet with members of the College of Engineering and university community. Each finalist also will participate in a 4 p.m. open forum in the Howe Hall auditorium on the following dates:

  • Bishop, Nov. 26
  • Law, Nov. 28
  • Rajala, Dec. 3

Those who wish to comment on the finalists should submit an online evaluation by noon on Dec. 7. The evaluation form will be available on the search website, as are the candidates' vitae.

Mufit Akinc, professor and former chair of materials science and engineering and an associate scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, is serving as interim Engineering dean. Former dean Jonathan Wickert assumed the role of senior vice president and provost on July 30.

About the finalists


Robert Bishop

Robert Bishop serves as dean of engineering at Marquette University, a position he has held since 2010. Previously, he served for 20 years in the department of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics at the University of Texas, Austin, including six years as chair.

Bishop, a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, earned bachelor's (1979) and master's (1980) degrees in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station; and a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering (1990) from Rice University, Houston, Texas.


Mark Law

Mark Law joined the University of Florida College of Engineering in 1988. He serves as associate dean for academic affairs, a position he has held since 2009. He also served for six years as chair of electrical and computer engineering.

Law, a fellow of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers, earned a bachelor's degree in computer engineering (1981) from Iowa State, and master's (1982) and doctoral (1988) degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.


Sarah Rajala

Sarah Rajala joined Mississippi State University's Bagley College of Engineering in 2006. She serves as dean, a position she has held since 2008, and also served as chair of electrical and computer engineering. Previously, Rajala served for 27 years at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, including 10 years as an associate dean.

Rajala, a past president of the American Society for Engineering Education, earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering (1974) from Michigan Technological University, Houghton; and master's (1977) and doctoral (1979) degrees in electrical engineering from Rice University.

Brush up on Iowa State's winter weather policies


Photo submitted to ISU Photostream by Steven Lonergan.

Forecasters are calling for another mild winter, but that doesn't mean Mother Nature will play nice. Here are some things to remember when you awaken on a workday to sub-zero temperatures, howling winds and blowing snow.

Cancellations and closures

For information on cancellations and closures, check the:

Where to park

Severe weather policies and information

Winter Weather FAQ

ISU Policy Library: "Severe Weather and Emergency Closings"

AFSCME Collective Bargaining Agreement (PDF): See Article XI, Section 6, "Severe Weather/Emergency Closings"

If your usual parking lot hasn't been cleared of snow by 7:30 a.m., parking is available at:

  • Iowa State Center (lots A3, A4, B5 and B6); CyRide will shuttle drivers to campus via the free orange route
  • Lots 29 and 30, north of Molecular Biology
  • Lot 41, north of General Services Building

If classes are canceled, but the university is not closed

  • University offices will remain open
  • Employees who can't make it to work should contact their immediate supervisors
  • Employees may request to make up the time, use vacation or take leave without pay
  • Staff covered by collective bargaining agreements should refer to language in the severe weather part of the contract

If the university is officially closed

  • Classes are canceled and most university offices are closed
  • Vital operational areas (police, parking, food service, power plant, animal care, critical maintenance or snow removal) generally are not closed; employees should follow specific policies established for those areas
  • Some staff members whose offices are closed may elect to work regular hours, with supervisor approval

Senators approve policy updates

Proposed modifications to three Faculty Handbook sections were unanimously approved at the Nov. 13 Faculty Senate meeting. Revisions to voting procedures during the promotion and tenure (P&T) process, which were referred back to the P&T task force following debate at October's meeting, remain with the task force.

Emeritus/emerita professorships

Revisions to handbook section 6.4 (PDF) update and add language to the policy governing the designation of emeritus/emerita faculty.

"These changes basically bring the language up to date from 1991," said Ann Smiley-Oyen, faculty development and administrative relations council chair. "A section was added to clarify the nomination process and a timeline with it."

Designation of professor

Modifications to handbook section (PDF) reflected fewer changes than originally introduced to senators last month. P&T task force chair Steve Freeman said feedback and conversations at the senate's executive board meeting prompted the move. The section outlines criteria for promotion to professor.

"The biggest change is that there is less change," Freeman said. "What you see is much more like the original language, but with a couple of clarifications and additions."

Letters of evaluation

Modifications to handbook section (PDF) focus on the selection of external reviewers during the P&T process.

"Really the only change is the criteria for how external reviewers are selected," Freeman said. "The language is essentially the same language from the provost's website (on best practices). We thought it was much clearer than what was originally in the handbook."

Other business

  • Senate president Suzanne Hendrich said the academic standards and admissions committee approved the use of rounding GPAs, rather than truncating them
  • Hendrich said the senate is working with the Government of the Student Body to finalize membership of a new undergraduate education committee, which includes four faculty and four student representatives

Renovations to temporarily close Lied's upper workout area

Those who frequent the third floor of the Lied Recreation Athletic Center will need to find a new place to work out -- probably State Gym -- for the next couple of months. The good news for the temporarily displaced exercisers is that when they return to Lied, they'll find their workout space completely renovated, top to bottom, with new machines in between.

Lied's third floor, including the upper track, will be closed Nov. 19, and is expected to reopen Jan. 14.

Michael Giles, director of recreation services, said money left over from the State Gym renovation will fund improvements to Lied's popular top floor -- a busy place that hosts some 1,500 people a day.

"We're trying to give Lied the same kind of facelift that we gave State Gym," Giles said.

The renovations, about $900,000 worth, will include new flooring, ceiling, lights and cardio and weight equipment, most of which is pretty old, Giles said.  The current facility holds approximately 100 fitness machines and weight stations.

Renovations won't extend to the upper track at Lied, but the track must be closed due to its proximity to the construction area.

Alternate workout spot: State Gym

Giles advises Lied patrons to continue their fitness routines in State Gym while Lied's upper floor is closed. Those with a recreation pass can use either facility.

Runners can continue to use the lower track at Lied most of the time. The track is reserved for athletics department activities from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. See facility hours (PDF).

Warm up to winter fun at WinterFest 2012


Many paths will lead to the Memorial Union during WinterFest 2012, Nov. 26-30. Photo by Bob Elbert.

There still may be pumpkins on your porch, you haven't gorged yourself with Thanksgiving dinner yet, and no snow blankets the ground. But WinterFest 2012 is just around the corner.

WinterFest is a five-day event this year, Nov. 26-30, an extension from the one-day celebration the past few years. There are a variety of winter-themed activities planned each day of the week. So, get into the winter spirit and check out the fun.

Most events are held in the Memorial Union and are free, unless indicated. A list of WinterFest 2012 activities also is available online.

Monday, Nov. 26

  • Art Monday, (7:45 a.m.-6 p.m., University Book Store), imprinted pad holders and select backpacks are 20 percent off
, plus find deals on art supplies
  • Browsing Library used magazine sale, (8 a.m-8 p.m., MU Browsing Library), purchase magazines for 25 cents each
  • "Santa's Workshop," (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Reiman Gardens), check out Santa's "green" workshop plus several other festive decorations, $8 ($4 for youth, free for ISU students)
  • Farm House Museum holiday exhibition, (noon-4 p.m., Farm House), enjoy hot cider and cookies

  • Give Some Warmth clothing drive, (all week, drop boxes throughout MU), donate your gently used winter clothing
  • Open House at The Knoll, (3-6 p.m., The Knoll), enjoy a cup of Knoll hot chocolate with Janet Leath
  • Snowball dodgeball, (6:30 p.m., Lied Center), registration begins at 6 p.m., limited to the first 16 teams of five people

​Tuesday, Nov. 27

  • Tech Tuesday, (7:45 a.m.-6 p.m., UBS), select laptops, iPods, headphones and more on sale

  • Browsing Library used magazine sale, (8 a.m-8 p.m., MU Browsing Library), purchase magazines for 25 cents each
  • "Santa's Workshop," (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Reiman Gardens), check out Santa's "green" workshop plus several other festive decorations, $8 ($4 for youth, free for ISU students)
  • Farm House Museum holiday exhibition, (noon-4 p.m., Farm House), enjoy hot cider and cookies
  • Winter crafting fun, (5-9 p.m., MU Pine Room),
 winter Pinterest crafting

  • Open mic night, (8 p.m., MU Maintenance Shop)

Wednesday, Nov. 28

  • Fan Wednesday, (7:45 a.m.-6 p.m., UBS),
 select clothing, ISU trinkets, posters and frames are on sale

  • Browsing Library used magazine sale, (8 a.m-8 p.m., MU Browsing Library), purchase magazines for 25 cents each
  • "Santa's Workshop," (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Reiman Gardens), check out Santa's "green" workshop plus several other festive decorations, $8 ($4 for youth, free for ISU students)
  • Farm House Museum holiday exhibition, (noon-4 p.m., Farm House), enjoy hot cider and cookies
  • Grandma Mojo's Moonshine Revival Comedy, (10 p.m., MU M-Shop), 
enjoy these performers as they improv around a wintry theme

  • Ice skating, (11:30 p.m.-1 a.m., Ames/ISU Ice Arena), bring or rent skates, also drop off gently used winter clothing for the Give Some Warmth drive 

Thursday, Nov. 29

  • Kids Thursday, (7:45 a.m.-6 p.m., UBS), 30 percent off children's clothing and 30 to 50 percent off select toys and games

  • Browsing Library used magazine sale, (8 a.m-8 p.m., MU Browsing Library), purchase magazines for 25 cents each
  • "Santa's Workshop," (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Reiman Gardens), check out Santa's "green" workshop plus several other festive decorations, $8 ($4 for youth, free for ISU students)
  • Farm House Museum holiday exhibition, (noon-4 p.m., Farm House), enjoy hot cider and cookies
  • Art Mart, (noon-6 p.m., MU Campanile Room), glass, pottery, prints, jewelry and more, proceeds support sponsoring organizations and local artists
  • Cards and crafts for a cause, (5-9 p.m., MU Pine Room and MU Commons), 
make cards, ornaments, origami and more for various causes

  • Cyclone Cinema: The Campaign, (7 and 10 p.m., Carver 101)

  • "What Matters To Me and Why," (8 p.m., MU Sun Room), an introspective lecture program featuring ISU students

Friday, Nov. 30

  • University Book Store holiday open house, (7:45 a.m.-6 p.m., UBS), events and specials throughout the store and online
  • Browsing Library used magazine sale, (8 a.m-5 p.m., MU Browsing Library), purchase magazines for 25 cents each
  • Block and Bridal cheese and sausage sale, (time TBD, UBS), prices range from $7.50 to $21
  • "Santa's Workshop," (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Reiman Gardens), check out Santa's "green" workshop plus several other festive decorations, $8 ($4 for youth, free for ISU students)
  • Horticulture Club poinsettia sale, (10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., UBS), prices range from $7 to $30
  • Farm House Museum holiday exhibition, (noon-4 p.m., Farm House), enjoy hot cider and cookies
  • Art Mart, (noon-9 p.m., MU Campanile Room), glass, pottery, prints, jewelry and more. Proceeds support sponsoring organizations and local artists. Sale continues on Saturday, Dec. 1 (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

  • Christmas tree and wreath sale, (3-8 p.m., Reiman Gardens parking lot), prices range from $15 to $45
  • Campanile tours and carillon music, (4-6 p.m., campanile), 
tour the campanile with university carillonneur Tin Shi Tam, free candy canes from the Student Alumni Leadership Council
  • Feed the Need chili supper, (5-7 p.m., MU Cardinal Room),
 help raise hunger/starvation awareness and donate to the cause, $8 for adults and $6 for students
  • Andy Albright Jingle Jog, (register 4-5:45 p.m. or online, MU Gallery and Pioneer Room),
 run a 5K in memory of Freshmen Council member Andy Albright, proceeds support a memorial scholarship in his name, $20
  • Veishea and Dance Marathon merchandise deals, (5-9 p.m., MU Main Lounge), purchase Veishea T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and bags, and Dance Marathon RayGun shirts at low prices
  • Winter crafts, (5-9 p.m., Workspace)

  • Cookie decorating, (6 p.m., MU Commons)
  • Photo snow globes, (7 p.m., Multicultural Center)
  • Bingo, (7-11 p.m., MU Sun Room)

  • Bowling and billiards, (7 p.m.-midnight, Underground)

  • Cyclone Cinema: The Campaign, (7 and 10 p.m., Carver 101)

  • Hypnotist Brian Imbus, (8 p.m. and 10 p.m., MU Great Hall)

  • The Daily Show Live: Indecision Tour 2012, (8 p.m., Stephens Auditorium), more information
  • Live Music: Sea Wolf, (9 p.m., MU M-Shop), $10 (free for ISU students)
  • Snowball Fiesta, (10 p.m.-1 a.m., MU Cardinal Room), wear your ugliest sweater to this dance
  • Ice skating, (midnight-2 a.m., Ames/ISU Ice Arena), bring or rent skates, also drop off gently used winter clothing for the Give Some Warmth drive