Odyssey finals return to campus

OM crate move

ISU Surplus warehouse staffer Todd Wilson maneuvers an Odyssey of the Mind team's oversized crate into position for safekeeping until next week. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Odyssey of the Mind's world finals competition returns to campus for the eighth time May 28-31. Team props and supplies – nearly all marked "fragile" or "don't stack" or both -- have been arriving daily since May 13. They are being stored at the ISU Surplus warehouse on Airport Road until next week, when central stores crews will truck them all to various campus locations.

More than 800 teams, totaling 8,000 youth from elementary grades through college who have advanced at state, regional and national levels, will participate in creative problem-solving competitions. Accompanying them to Ames are 400 officials, coaches and judges, and more than 7,000 family members.

Competition sites

A majority of the guests will arrive Monday through Wednesday (May 26-28). The competitions will be held in auditoriums in Coover, Kildee and Music halls; classrooms in Pearson; the gymnasiums in Forker, auditorium stages at the Iowa State Center and the ballrooms in the Memorial Union. The main floor of Lied Center will host OM's creativity festival Thursday afternoon through Saturday. Evening activities will be held nightly at Hilton Coliseum.

Temporary changes to dining services

Many of the visitors will stay in residence halls and apartments and use campus dining centers. The participants will use CyRide to get around campus.

All of ISU Dining's summer locations will remain open. However, some locations will temporarily alter their hours and service styles to accommodate OM guests. The most noticeable change will be at the Memorial Union food court. From dinner on Tuesday, May 27, through breakfast on Sunday, June 1, the food court will operate as an all-you-care-to-dine buffet. Non-OM or non-meal plan customers will be charged a buffet price. OM guests also will be dining at the Union Drive Marketplace.

ISU Dining locations will return to normal summer service on Monday, June 2.


The competition wraps up Saturday afternoon, May 31. Teams will be leaving campus Saturday and Sunday.

Nine faculty honored with special promotions

Nine Iowa State faculty members received special promotions for the 2014-15 academic year. Three faculty each have been named Distinguished, University or Morrill professor. They, along with other university and regent award recipients, will be honored this fall at the annual faculty and staff awards ceremony, tentatively scheduled for Monday, Sept. 22.

Distinguished Professor

The Distinguished Professorship recognizes exemplary performance in research or creative activities as reflected by a national or international reputation in the faculty member's discipline. Recipients receive a $6,500 increase to their base salaries and retain the title for the remainder of their Iowa State careers.

Vikram Dalal


Steven Rodermel


Hongwei Xin


  • Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering 
    Vikram Dalal, Whitney Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Microelectronics Research Center
  • Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences 
    Steven Rodermel, professor of genetics, development and cell biology
  • Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences
    Hongwei Xin, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and director of the Egg Industry Center

University Professor

The University Professorship recognizes faculty members whose professional work has resulted in positive, significant institutional change, beyond a one-time impact. Recipients receive a $6,000 increase to their base salaries.

Steven Freeman


Gloria Jones-Johnson


Arvid Osterberg


  • Steven Freeman, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering
  • Gloria Jones-Johnson, professor of sociology
  • Arvid Osterberg, professor of architecture

Morrill Professor

The Morrill Professorship, first awarded a year ago, recognizes faculty members with outstanding success in teaching and learning in undergraduate, graduate or extension/outreach programs. They join Iowa State's Morrill Academy for Teaching and Learning, where they will share their expertise with other faculty. Recipients receive a $6,000 increase to their base salaries and retain the title for the remainder of their Iowa State careers.

Cinzia Cervato


Donald Simonson


Robert Stephenson


  • Cinzia Cervato, professor of geological and atmospheric sciences
  • Donald Simonson, professor of music
  • Robert Stephenson, University Professor of statistics

Funding task force report is posted in advance of regents' June meeting

A task force report (PDF) that recommends tying state funding for the public universities to resident enrollment and specific outcomes has been posted on the state Board of Regents website. Task force chairman and former regent David Miles will present the report and its six recommendations to the board at its June 4 meeting on the Iowa State campus.

"The task force has worked hard over the past nine months to put together a thoughtful report," said President Steven Leath. "I look forward to the regents' discussion at the June board meeting."

Appointed last spring by the board to review how the general education appropriation -- about $480 million this year -- is allocated among the three universities and to try to link state funding to board priorities, the task force's deliberations included six public work sessions between October 2013 and this month. Leath and his peers from Iowa and Northern Iowa participated in the task force's March 13 discussion.

The report includes a summary of formal presentations to the task force, which focused on performance-based funding models around the country. It also summarizes state funding for Iowa's three regent universities historically and the perceived weaknesses in that "base plus" budget tradition.

The task force concluded: "Based upon our survey of best practices across the nation and our review of the unique characteristics of Iowa's public universities, we believe the proposed Performance-based Model offers significant advantages over the existing approach in terms of:

  • Equity across the universities
  • Incenting the institutions to achieve the objectives of the State and the Board
  • Appropriate governance of our outstanding institutions
  • Effectively advocating to our elected State officials for appropriate funding"


The task force's six recommendations to the board begin on page 11 of the report. Recommendation four lays out a proposed formula in which 60 percent of the general education appropriation would follow in-state students and 40 percent would reward the universities for achieving outcomes that align with other board priorities.

In addition to Miles, the task force included regent Katie Mulholland and a representative for each of the universities: Cara Heiden of Urbandale, retired co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (Iowa State); Len Hadley of Cedar Rapids, retired CEO of Maytag Corp. (Iowa); and Mark Oman of West Des Moines, retired senior executive vice president of Wells Fargo (UNI).

New tools for turning lost into found

A number of visitors to campus this summer will leave something behind. Phones, bags, watches, wallets, water bottles, keys, sweatshirts and glasses are the inevitable byproduct of a summer's worth of academic and sports camps, conferences and special events.

The revamped lost-and-found website provides some new tools for individuals and departments attempting to reunite visitors -- as well as students, faculty and staff -- with lost possessions.

Here are some new features of the site:

Users guide

The "Guide" describes how departments should handle found items and how long those items are kept. The guide also offers tips for individuals posting lost or found items.

Visitors can post

Traditionally, only faculty, staff and students, using their Net-IDs, were allowed to post items on the lost-and-found site. The updated site allows those beyond the university community to register and post lost or found items, too.

Upgraded search

A more versatile search engine should make it easier for individuals or departments to locate specific items that have been reported as lost or found.

East vanpool is gaining momentum

Transportation services is interested in starting a vanpool for employees who commute from the east along the U.S. Highway 30 corridor.

Depending on interest, manager Kathy Wellik said the route could start in Marshalltown or State Center, with stops in Colo and Nevada. She estimated a cost of approximately $80/month per rider, which covers fuel, insurance, parking and weekly servicing of the vehicle. The cost depends on starting point, number of riders and van size.

All ISU vanpools follow these guidelines:

  • The monthly fee is waived for one main driver in the vanpool
  • Each member receives 10 one-day parking permits to use on campus during the year (additional permits may be purchased in the parking office, Armory)
  • Transportation services guarantees any vanpool member a ride home if an emergency occurs
  • The monthly fee doesn't fluctuate unless a new vehicle is issued to the pool or fuel prices rise dramatically and transportation services needs to implement a fuel surcharge

Interested? Learn more

The targeted start date for the Marshall County vanpool is June 16. Employees interested in learning more are invited to a lunch-and-learn with Wellik on Wednesday, May 28 (noon-12:30 p.m., transportation services dispatch office on Haber Road). Or, contact Wellik at 4-1657.

Transportation services currently operates six employee vanpools from Ankeny, Boone, Des Moines (I-235 corridor), Roland, Story City and West Des Moines (I-80/35 corridor). Contact Wellik about available seats on any of these.

Memorial Day ceremony is May 26

Iowa State employees, retirees and spouses who have died during the past year will be remembered at the university's annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 26. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in the Reiman Ballroom at the ISU Alumni Center, 420 Beach Ave.

The ceremony will include:

  • An invocation by Rev. Myron Herzberg, Nevada Memorial Lutheran Church
  • Prelude by Collegiate Brass of Collegiate United Methodist Church, Ames 
  • A time for family, friends and colleagues to share memories of their loved ones. Individuals who aren't available to speak can share comments about loved ones through an online form. The comments will be printed and displayed the day of the event and included the following week with all obituaries on the ISU Retirees website. 

Parking is available on the east side of the Alumni Center.  The ceremony is hosted by the ISU Retirees Association. For information, contact Jerilyn Logue, 4-3192 or jlogue@iastate.edu

Harvest of the future

Reiman Gardens conservatory

Reiman Gardens' conservatory display gives visitors a glimpse of what farming in space might look like. The "Bio-Dome" exhibit, which is on display into November, features a tank of tilapia fish as part of its aquaponics system. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Summer visitors to campus

While Iowa State student numbers drop noticeably in the summer, our campus visitors data spikes. Here's a quick rundown of some of the larger groups heading our way -- and when.

Group Date Participants Staying on campus
Iowa Funeral Directors Association convention May 12-15 400 no
Alumni Days May 15-16 275, senior alumni no
Special Olympics Iowa Summer Games May 22-24 2,700, all ages yes
Odyssey of the Mind World Finals May 28-31 8,000, youth elementary-college plus 7,000 family members yes
Orientation: Fall 2014 June 2-July 3 5,500+ freshman and transfer students yes
Future Problem Solving Program International Conference June 12-15 2,500, youth grades 4-12 yes
USA Track & Field Iowa Association Junior Olympic Championships June 21-22 1,000 no
Iowa Reading Association Conference June 24-25 850 IRA members no
Iowa 4-H Youth Conference June 24-26 1,000, high school yes
National Junior Disability Championships July 5-12 200-250, ages 7-22, physical disabilities no
BravO National Dance & Talent Competition July 7-13 1,000, all ages no
Iowa Summer Games July 11-13, July 17-20 (main weekend), July 25-27 14,000 over 3 weekends, all ages, youth and adults yes
Farm Progress Show Aug. 26-28   no


If you have a large group (100+) coming to campus this summer, send a note to inside@iastate.edu and we'll add it to the list.