Leath suspends Veishea; task force will study its future

Steven Leath with students

President Steven Leath talks with ISU students following his announcement Wednesday afternoon that Veishea, a 90-year tradition, is canceled for this year. Photo by Mike Krapfl.

President Steven Leath announced Wednesday afternoon the suspension of Veishea 2014, effective at 5 p.m. that day. The decision follows an incident in Campustown Tuesday night, in which vehicles were flipped, street light poles and stop signs damaged and a male ISU student rushed to a Des Moines hospital's intensive care unit.

"I'm extremely disappointed and saddened over the Campustown incident early this morning. Frankly, I'm embarrassed for our university and our community," Leath said during a press conference at the Memorial Union. "I feel especially sorry for those students who have worked so hard over the last year to plan and carry out a fun, positive and successful Veishea celebration on behalf of this great university."

Leath also said he will appoint a task force next week to address the role, relevance and future of Veishea. He said the group will work quickly. He expects to receive its recommendations and make a decision about Veishea before the end of the academic year. But he said the likelihood of Veishea continuing in its present form is "very, very small."

The cancellation impacts most Veishea activities, including the parade, Veishea Village, evening concerts and performances, and food vendors. A few events, while synchronized with the event, are not Veishea activities and will be held as scheduled, including Friday afternoon's Distinguished Awards Ceremony and the Cyclone football team's spring game Saturday afternoon.

Consensus about decision

Leath said the decision to suspend this week's Veishea followed Wednesday morning meetings with his cabinet and student leaders, and conversations with Ames mayor Ann Campbell and former president Gregory Geoffroy.

"The consensus of the group was perfectly clear: Human safety and the safety of our community has to be the No. 1 priority, and we cannot have any more property destroyed or incidents of this nature."

Leath said he was especially disappointed because Veishea has been canceled and moved and retooled by two presidents before him with the intent of making it safer, yet he finds himself in the same spot as Geoffroy and former president Martin Jischke. He also said the blame for Tuesday's incident can't be placed on outsiders.

"It's Tuesday, folks. We used to blame some of these issues on people who came to Ames from out of town; it's never us. Well, this time it was us," he said.

He noted that the "true nature of Veishea" has been overshadowed by too many incidents such as what occurred Tuesday. Any ISU students involved in the incident may face criminal charges as well as university disciplinary action, up to expulsion from Iowa State.

Ames police investigation continues

Ames police chief Chuck Cychosz said two arrests have been made so far. His department is getting "tremendous help" from the community in identifying people who were involved in vandalism and the vehicle tipping.

Following the family's request, the name of the injured male student is not being shared. Leath said he was in stable condition Wednesday, yet still in the ICU. "We're hoping for a full recovery," Leath said.

Leath addresses Faculty Senate

President Steven Leath was a guest at the April 8 Faculty Senate meeting, updating members on several campus items.

"All in all, things are good," Leath said. "I'm very pleased with where we are and where we're going."

Among his remarks:


"We're doing really, really well. In the first year and three-quarters, we've raised nearly $82 million -- way ahead of the $30 million per year goal."

"What we're doing now is spending quite a bit of time organizing for another campaign."


"It is highly likely, you should expect that we'll be larger than 34,000 this year. We'll know more by summer."

"It's exciting that the minority population is growing the way it is. We're more diverse than we've ever been."

Efficiency study

"The one thing we did do was put off the academic program part until the fall because they're moving so quickly -- they want to do a lot of this by the summer. So we're trying to do much of the efficiency work on processes and things like this during the summer."

Performance-based funding (legislative distribution to regents universities)

"It's a lot of money -- nearly $500 million."

"They asked each president to present a possible reallocation model. We presented an actual plan on how to reallocate the money. It depends on exactly where your numbers come out, it's somewhere between a $50-$75 million swing from Iowa to the other two schools. So, you can imagine, it wasn't completely popular."

"The bottom line is, in the next two weeks the task force wants to have a model and vote on it and send it to the regents for voting as early as June. This is unprecedented speed for money of this magnitude. And you can imagine, it has huge potential implications for this school. Even if it's a $15-$20-$30 million shift, I don't know any time when we'll have an opportunity to have $20-$30 million come to us on a recurring basis that is totally unobligated. If that happens, I'll be coming back to this group because we need to have a real thoughtful approach to how to utilize that money to move this university forward."

Faculty-hiring initiative

"We've hired about 140 faculty members going into this academic year. We're recruiting for 114 at once, which is huge."

"The provost and I are really encouraging the deans to move aggressively to fill these."

Space issues on campus

"We need to free up more space on the main campus."

"We're going through a prioritization to move units off the central part of the campus to free up more space for faculty and students."

"We'll end up with over 50,000 square feet -- between the building in the research park and the Lincoln Way space -- that will move off of central campus."

New academic programs

In senate business, senators unanimously approved a pair of graduate degree programs in gerontology. The doctorate of philosophy and master of sciences degrees will be offered by the interdepartmental gerontology program.

A proposed minor in learning and leadership sciences also was approved, but did not receive unanimous support. The program would include six departments -- agricultural education and studies; agronomy; animal science; food science and human nutrition; horticulture; and natural resource ecology and management.

Rob Wallace, chair of the academic affairs council, said the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recently approved another proposed minor in leadership studies. He said it likely would come before the senate in the fall.

"My own personal perspective is that these programs are not overlapping and serve different cohorts of students to provide leadership opportunities for students in several different colleges, with a slightly different curricular structure," Wallace said.

Other business

Senators will vote next month on four curricular items, including:

  • Name change for the genetics graduate program, to genetics and genomics (Ph.D. and master of science degree)
  • Name change for the bioengineering minor program, to biomedical engineering
  • Name change for the agricultural history and rural studies graduate program, to program in rural, agricultural, technological and environmental history (Ph.D.)
  • Discontinuation of the history of technology and science graduate program (Ph.D. and master of arts degree)

Four executive board members were elected into office for 2014-15, including three new council chairs. Tim Bigelow (electrical and computer engineering) will chair the academic affairs council; Teresa Paschke (integrated studio arts) will chair the faculty development and administrative relations council; and Martha Selby (materials science and engineering) will chair the governance council. Annmarie Butler (philosophy and religious studies) was elected to serve another term as senate secretary. All candidates ran unopposed.

Outlook mail accounts headed for the cloud

Over the next few months, faculty and staff email accounts gradually will be transferred to Microsoft's cloud-based service. The transition promises to be fairly easy. If you view email on your Outlook desktop application, you'll continue to do so, using the same application you currently have. If you access email via Outlook Web App (OWA), you'll find a few changes in a fresh interface. But the OWA website largely retains its familiar look.

In this Q&A, information technology services (ITS) staff provide details on Iowa State's move to Microsoft Office 365's mail service.

Why make the change?

Microsoft's cloud-based service offers several advantages over the current Outlook Exchange service on campus:

  • Microsoft provides secure, backed-up storage for all faculty and staff email. Currently, all employee email is stored on campus. Once Office 365 is fully implemented, reduced storage needs should save Iowa State several hundred thousand dollars annually.
  • Each employee will get 50G of email storage, twice the current allotment
  • An instant messaging system (Lync) will be included on the Outlook 365 email accounts


Details on the migration to Office 365.

What is the cost of Office 365?

Under its Office 365 education plan, Microsoft provides 50G mailboxes, instant messaging and video conferencing capabilities at no cost to Iowa State.

Will the new system meet federal requirements for information security?

Microsoft assures that its storage system conforms to federal requirements, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of student educational records; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects individuals' health information; and federal regulations on exporting technologies to other countries.

Are other universities adopting the Office 365 mail system?

Many universities have adopted Office 365, including Wisconsin, Kansas State, Nebraska, Washington, California-Davis, Southern California, Duke and Florida.

Will Office 365 work on mobile devices?

Yes. Setup on mobile devices should be as easy or easier than it is now.

What's the schedule for moving faculty and staff mail systems to Office 365?

ITS will begin migrating email accounts soon and the process will continue throughout the spring and part of the summer. A transition schedule will be developed and published on the ITS website. ITS staff will work with departments and units to schedule transition times that are convenient.

What happens during the migration process?

Generally ITS staff will migrate all email accounts in a department overnight. The next morning, individuals will follow a short set of emailed instructions to set up their new accounts. Tech support and training sessions will be available throughout the migration period.

Am I getting new software with the migration?

You'll continue to use the same desktop application that's installed on your computer -- that is, Outlook 2013 or 2010 for PC or Outlook 2011 for Mac. However, the Outlook Web App, which is part of Exchange 2013, will be new to most. The current Outlook Web App is the 2010 version.

Is training for Office 365 available?

The Office 365 web page offers instructions on using the mail program. Additionally, an ITS team will be doing "road shows" to introduce Office 365 to key campus groups. The schedule for Microsoft Office transition will include the "road shows" schedules as well.

How does the messaging service work?

Microsoft's Lync application provides instant messaging capability. It's already installed on the Office 365 Outlook Web app and on university computers with Outlook 2013 for Windows. If you want messaging capability on Office 2010 for Windows or Office 2011 for Mac, you'll need to contact your IT coordinator or the Solution Center, 4-4000, for help installing the software. You'll only be able to exchange messages with those who have Lync installed, are online and have their messaging status set to "available."

Are there any issues that have cropped up during early migrations?

About 400 mail accounts have been migrated so far with minimal problems. Some individuals who try to schedule meetings with those whose mail accounts have been migrated may be prompted for their own Net-IDs. Supplying their Net-IDs and passwords generally provides the fix.

Are there plans to transition student email accounts to Outlook 365?

Google's Gmail will remain the standard email account for students. However, students will have access to Microsoft Office 365 Pro, which includes the email program. Those who wish to use Outlook 365 can set up their own accounts.

New council post approved

Members of the Professional and Scientific Council approved another executive committee position at their April 3 meeting. The vice president for equity and inclusion will help recruit individuals from underrepresented groups to participate in P&S Council, among other duties.

Council president-elect Amy Tehan said the creation of a single position, rather than a committee, would better serve the council as a central point of interaction for all council subcommittees.

"We felt that [equity and inclusion] should be a function of every single committee," she said.

Office 365 on the horizon

Mike Lohrbach, senior systems analyst in information technology services, presented an overview of a planned campus migration to Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 service. The move includes email and calendar services for faculty and staff (student accounts will remain on gmail).

"Any time there are changes, or anything happens with email, we want to make sure everybody's got a heads up," Lohrbach said. "Within the last two weeks, we've started doing what we call 'road shows' on this new process."

He said users won't notice a big difference in the functionality. Upgrades will be scheduled with departments over the coming weeks.

Carillon concert is a family affair

Listen in

The 11:50 a.m. weekday concerts are webcast live.

The April 14 lunchtime carillon concert will be (almost) all in the family. A trio of siblings comprises half of the carillonneurs that will perform at 11:50 a.m. Monday.

The Cunninghams -- Craig, a 2012 Iowa State biology graduate; Carrie, a senior in elementary education; and Cayla, a sophomore in elementary education -- will share the bench to perform the theme song from the HBO hit series Game of Thrones.

Cunningham trio

ISU carillonneur Tin Shi-Tam, left, with the Cunningham siblings: Carrie, Cayla and Craig. Contributed photo.

"They will play together, sitting on the same bench, sharing the 50 bells and keys ... and will NOT get into a fight," joked ISU carillonneur Tin-Shi Tam.

Senior accounting major Erin Reger, junior computer science major Nathaniel Han and senior dairy science major Mackenzie Dickson also will perform. The concert originally was part of the Veishea lineup, but was moved to Monday when the annual celebration was suspended.

Carillon concert program

Bells of Iowa State, James Wilson

Clock Music, George Frideric Handel

Entrance of the Queen of Sheba, George Frideric Handel

Cortege, John Courter

Fugue, John Courter

Pastel in Bronze, Albert Gerken

Game of Thrones, Ramin Djawadi