Hort Club is helping Cupid deliver

Horticulture Club roses

Nearly 500 fresh cut flowers filled the greenhouse coolers earlier this week as Horticulture Club members and club secretary Taylor Goetzinger (pictured) prepared for their annual Valentine's Day fundraiser. Club members will sell roses, carnations and Cyclone bouquets ($24-$36) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on a grab-and-go basis outside the University Book Store entrance in the Memorial Union. Three varieties each of roses (red, pink and white) and carnations (red, pink and yellow) will be sold individually ($2-$4), or in half ($12-$24) and full dozen ($24-$48) quantities. Mix-and-match custom arrangements also will be available. Prices include greens, wax flower fillers, water tubes, wrapping and cards (vases extra). Photo by Bob Elbert.

Energy secretary Chu calls for action, now

Steven Chu talks energy in ISU's Memorial Union

Energy Secretary Steven Chu calls for energy and climate action in a talk in the Memorial Union. Photo by Bob Elbert.

In a data-rich, chart-filled presentation (including one showing changes in refrigerator efficiency and price over decades), U.S. Energy Secretary and Nobel laureate Steven Chu made a call for energy and climate action on Tuesday.

Among the things Chu told a full house in the South Ballroom of the Memorial Union:

  • "When the price of oil goes up, we punch the panic button. When the price of oil goes down, we punch the snooze button. This is not a good energy policy."
  • "We have a moral responsibility. The most innocent victims of climate change are the poorest who never contributed to it and those who have never been born."
  • "In the middle of the Civil War, he had a long-term vision," Chu said of President Abraham Lincoln, noting Lincoln signed the Morrill Act creating land-grant colleges in 1862. "You think the fiscal cliff is bad today, this was the middle of the Civil War and yet he had a long-term vision. We need to get back that mojo."

In addition to his public presentation, Chu also addressed researchers and staffers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory.

Senate approves annual review policy

Senators hustled through their Feb. 12 Faculty Senate meeting, leaving time to catch part of the U.S. Energy Secretary's lecture next door. Secretary Steven Chu's visit also postponed president Steven Leath's turn on the senate agenda.

Comments on recent events surrounding the Harkin Institute were shared as part of the update from the provost's office. Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost for academic personnel, said it is "more than an academic battle, this is really a political battle," and it likely will result in a new state Board of Regents process when naming centers and institutes.

"[Sen. Tom Harkin] has stated he will not be sending his papers to Iowa State," Bratsch-Prince said. "We're frustrated and disappointed with that decision. We're also frustrated with the comments that we're reading in the media about how academic freedom is being suppressed. Faculty at Iowa State have objected to that interpretation of events."

Annual review policy

Language changes for the Faculty Handbook policy governing annual performance evaluations passed with a nearly unanimous vote. Additional revisions (PDF) were made to the original motion, following senate discussion at the Jan. 22 meeting. The changes provide more detailed guidelines for the evaluation process.

Other business

Bratsch-Prince asked faculty to participate in the biannual faculty activity survey. The results are compiled in a faculty activity report submitted to the Board of Regents in August. This year, all three regent institutions are administering the same survey for uniform results.

Three new academic programs were introduced and will be voted on at next month's meeting. The programs include:

  • A master of finance, offered by the finance department in the College of Business
  • A bachelor of science in public relations, offered by the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • A minor in landscape management, offered by the horticulture department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Leath makes university's case to appropriations group


President Steven Leath (center) met with the Iowa Legislature's education appropriations subcommittee on Feb. 12. Photo by John McCarroll.

President Steven Leath made his annual funding request to the joint Education Appropriations subcommittee of the Iowa Legislature on Tuesday. He was joined by Iowa president Sally Mason, Northern Iowa president Ben Allen and Board of Regents president Craig Lang.

A key piece of Iowa State's FY14 funding request, submitted to the state in October, is an inflationary 2.6 percent increase to appropriations that cover operating budgets for ISU units.

One of Leath's messages Tuesday was that Iowa State operates efficiently and is a good steward of the state's investment. He shared a Wall Street Journal survey of 72 major research universities in which ISU ranked seventh most efficient in management costs.

"We are extremely efficient in terms of management (costs) and appropriately placing programs where they need to be," Leath said. "If you award us with money, we're going to spend it very wisely."

The PowerPoint slides that accompanied Leath's presentation are available on the president's website.

Review of Business dean applicants begins next week

The search for the next College of Business dean is approaching the review phase.

Feb. 7 was the deadline for candidates to apply and receive preferred consideration, though applications will be accepted through Feb. 18. More than 30 applications had been received as of last week.

Associate provost for academic personnel Dawn Bratsch-Prince and College of Human Sciences dean Pam White are co-chairing an 18-member search committee.

"The campus community has been very helpful in providing nominations for the new dean," White said. "We are very pleased not only with the quality of the applicants, but also with the diversity of backgrounds represented in the pool."

The search committee is scheduled to meet Feb. 27 to review and select candidates for the first round of interviews, which will be held off campus in early March. As proposed, finalists would interview on campus in late March and early April, with an announcement about the next dean expected before the end of spring semester.

Michael Crum, professor and Ruan Chair in Supply Chain Management, is serving as interim Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the College of Business. Former Business dean Labh Hira retired last March and stepped into a 10-month appointment as interim president of the Iowa State University Foundation.

Vocal acrobats


The Voca People will bring an out-of-this-world vocal experience to Stephens Auditorium during a 7:30 p.m. performance on Feb. 21.

The eight-person musical theater group, adorned in white costumes and ruby-red lips, features "Chaplin-esque" physical comedy, a cappella vocal harmonies, beatbox and other "mouth music." The group has no instrumental accompaniment or special sound effects; anything that sounds like drums, trumpets or chimes comes straight from the performers' mouths.

Voca People will perform more than 70 songs, from Mozart to Madonna to Queen and more.

Tickets, $34-$38 ($28 for youth; $25 for students), are available at the Iowa State Center ticket office or through Ticketmaster. Contributed photo.