Iowa State’s fall 2014 enrollment of 34,732 is the largest in school history, an increase of 4.5 percent (1,491 students) over the previous record of 33,241 in fall 2013.
It’s the sixth year of record enrollment and the eighth consecutive year of growth at Iowa State. The student body represents every Iowa county, every U.S. state (plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Marianas Islands), and 110 countries.
More Iowa undergraduates are attending Iowa State than ever before: 18,478 students, or 64 percent of ISU’s undergraduate student body, are Iowans. Overall, 20,260 Iowans attend ISU, also a record.
“This is an exciting time to be at Iowa State,” said President Steven Leath. “We’re growing because more students want to be here. They see the value of an Iowa State education – from our degree programs to our learning communities to all the ways they can get involved and be part of something special. We are retaining close to 87 percent of our first-year students -- far above the national average -- and that demonstrates how we serve students from the moment they arrive until they graduate.”
Overall, 94.9 percent of Iowa State graduates are either employed or pursuing further education within six months of graduation.
Iowa State’s freshman class of 6,041 students includes 3,509 (58.1 percent) Iowa residents. Each year, Iowa State enrolls more Iowa high school graduates as new freshmen than any other four-year school.
By the numbers
Iowa State’s student numbers set records in the following categories this fall:
- Record undergraduate enrollment of 28,893, an increase of 1,234 students from last fall’s record of 27,659.
- Record graduate enrollment of 4,950, an increase of 240 students from fall 2013, and 227 more than the previous record set in 2010.
- Record professional (veterinary medicine) enrollment of 592, an increase of six students from fall 2013 and four more than the previous record set in 2012. (Veterinary medicine enrollment is controlled.)
- Record international student enrollment of 3,980, an increase of 183 students from last fall’s record of 3,797. The overall number also reflects a record in the number of international undergraduates: 2,202.
- Record diversity. Total U.S. multicultural and international enrollment is 8,045, or 23.16 percent of the student body. (The previous record set in fall 2013 was 7,486, or 22.52 percent of the student body.)
- U.S. multicultural enrollment is 4,065 (11.7 percent of total enrollment), a new record and an increase over last fall’s 3,689 students.
- Record U.S. multicultural enrollment among new freshmen: 802 students, up from last year’s record of 782. Multicultural students represent 13.3 percent of new freshmen at Iowa State.
- Record total Iowa resident enrollment of 20,260, up 410 students from last fall and 236 from the previous record of 20,024 in 2001.
- Record Iowa resident undergraduate enrollment of 18,478, up 469 from last year’s record of 18,009.
- Record nonresident new freshman enrollment of 2,240, up 52 students from last year’s record of 2,188 students.
Two key messages emerged from Steven Leath's presidential address Sept. 12:
- The university community has been working steadily and successfully to meet the needs of record numbers of students
- Iowa State, poised for the next level of success, will get there by focusing on all parts of the university mission, including a strong student experience, groundbreaking research, economic development and a diverse and inclusive campus
Here are highlights from the president's address, delivered Sept. 12 in the Memorial Union.
More faculty, facilities, amenities
Leath noted a number of ways "we have been working aggressively to expand the capacity of the institution."
"As far as I know, we'll be the only university in the country that's hired over 100 tenure-track faculty two years in a row, a tremendous accomplishment for Iowa State. This is what's really going to allow us to keep our quality programs and it's going to allow us to keep our student faculty ratios where they need to be, which right now is 19 to 1."
- New faculty: 105 new tenure or tenure-track faculty were hired this academic year, bringing the total of new hires to 245 in less than three years. Nearly 70 percent of classes have 29 or fewer students.
- Strategic hires: To ensure hiring in strategic areas, Leath launched the Presidential High Impact Hires Initiative, which identified approximately 30 positions last year and another 30 this year in key areas, such as big data and translational health. "It's added to our profile nationally to recruit at this level," Leath said.
- Facilities: Elings Hall, Sukup Hall and the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center are new to campus. MacKay, Lagomarcino, Horticulture and Physics halls upgrades are complete; a Marston Hall remodel is underway.
- Repurposing space: To free approximately 100,000 square feet of central campus space for faculty and student needs, some administrative offices will be moved off campus and space in the Memorial Union will be repurposed.
- First-class entrance: The project to bowl in the Jack Trice Stadium south end zone and modernize Reiman Gardens will integrate gardens with stadium, creating a "beautiful, first-class entrance to campus and Ames."
- On campus: To house a record 12,350-plus students living on campus and in university-managed apartments, officials opened six new Frederiksen Court buildings since last fall and increased off-campus apartment capacity to nearly 1,100 beds. Plans are underway for a 700-bed residence hall near Buchanan Hall.
- Amenities: Students have access to more on-campus dining options, CyRide buses and WiFi spots this year.
"One of the major highlights I want to showcase today is that Iowa State secured a Tier 1 partnership for the $320 million Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, which is based in Chicago. It's a tremendous accomplishment."
Research enterprise grows
"We're clearly growing the research enterprise, which is something near and dear to my heart," Leath said. He noted that sponsored research funding rebounded well from the previous year -- a "relatively off-year" that resulted from challenges caused by federal sequestration. Total awards were up 13 percent, the second highest total on record, and federal awards rose nearly 22 percent.
Leath said he's pleased with the progress of seven research teams that are tackling large global problems, such as food security, disease prevention and treatment, and crop acceleration. Funded though the Presidential Initiative for Interdisciplinary Research, the teams are finding "ways to grow Iowa State University's research enterprise by providing solutions to major problems facing our country and beyond." So far, investments in the teams have resulted in more than $133 million in grant applications.
Lively economic development scene
Leath cited several examples of progress on the economic development front. Ground recently was broken at the ISU Research Park for a new building that will house all of Iowa State's economic development service units and programs. Leath said the economic development core facility will be a one-stop shop for companies to access Iowa State's workforce (students seeking jobs and internships) and capital (world-class research facilities, incubation space, innovation and ingenuity).
The new facility is part of a major expansion at the research park, which has grown by 200 acres this year. In four years, the number of employees has increased from fewer than 800 to approximately 1,400. The goal is to add thousands more high-paying, high quality jobs in the next few years.
Leath co-chairs the Cultivation Corridor, an initiative aimed at making central Iowa the premier region in the country for the ag biosciences.
"I really believe that this is the future of our economy," he said. "It's how we will find new, sustainable ways to feed and fuel the world. This, too, will create the kinds of good-paying, stable jobs that our state wants and needs, and that our students are looking for when they graduate. Iowa State is perfectly positioned to successfully drive this initiative, because the biosciences are among our core strengths."
Making a welcoming campus more so
While Iowa State is the most diverse it's ever been, "I know we can do more to support our students, staff and faculty," Leath said. The president plans to hire a chief diversity officer to review and implement some of the recommendations from a couple of recent studies aimed at improving the campus environment.
He noted that more than 95 percent of faculty and staff have completed an online training program on discrimination and harassment prevention and Title IX policies.
"That is really tremendous," Leath said. "Now I want to make sure we get to 100 [percent]."
"More students than ever before are on this campus. This growth is exciting. It highlights the incredible responsibility we have to live up to our pledge to provide the very best college experience possible. I know we can do that and keep true to our land-grant heritage."
Universities join forces to help close achievement gap
"We're also working hard here, as a land-grant, to make sure that family background, socio and economic status are no longer a predictor of success," Leath said. Iowa State has joined 10 other public universities in an alliance to help close the achievement gap and increase graduation rates for students from all backgrounds. The universities will share their expertise in relevant areas -- Iowa State's is learning communities. The University Innovation Alliance recently was unveiled in Washington, D.C.
Support from the state
Leath thanked the state Board of Regents, lawmakers and Gov. Terry Branstad for their roles in garnering enough state support to allow Iowa State to freeze resident undergraduate tuition for the second straight year.
He also commended former regent David Miles for leading the Performance Based Task Force that reviewed how the general state appropriation is distributed among the regent universities. The new funding model, recommended by the taskforce and approved by the regents, is more responsive to taxpayers, Leath said.
"It allocates a portion of the university's appropriation to in-state enrollment. It also allocates monies based on degree progress, degree attainment, access, diversity and statewide impact. I'm very pleased that the board of regents approved this recommendation and we now look forward to working with the Legislature and the governor to make it a reality."
Representatives of Iowa State and the state of Iowa broke ground Sept. 10 for a new economic development core facility at the ISU Research Park. On hand were Gov. Terry Branstad, President Steven Leath and members of the state Board of Regents, who were in Ames for their regular meeting. (See video.)
A 2013 $12 million state appropriation is supporting construction of the 49,000-square-foot facility south of the research park. It will be a one-stop shop for business and industry to seek Iowa State expertise and assistance. It's expected to have space for about 100 employees when it opens in mid-2016.
"This building really will be transformational for the economic development efforts we're making," Leath said. "For the first time, all Iowa State economic development service units will be together, enabling us to provide services in a much more comprehensive and integrated fashion."
Who will be there
Units to be housed in the building include:
- Research park administrative offices
- ISU Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations
- ISU Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer
- ISU Research Foundation
- Center for Industrial Research and Service
- Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship
- Iowa Small Business Development Center
- Cultivation Corridor regional economic development project
Vermeer plans to expand
Vermeer Corp. recently announced that it will build an applied technology hub in the ISU Research Park.
"This facility provides us with the opportunity for a much more effective way to communicate and work together," said research park director Steve Carter. "It will be a huge step forward."
Carter said the new facility also is a big step forward in expanding the research park.
Phase three at the park
The research park currently has nearly 60 tenants with more than 1,300 employees and a total payroll of more than $70 million. A third phase at the research park calls for developing another 200 acres and growing the park's employee base to more than 6,000 people.
"The economic development core facility will be the signature building of the research park's phase-three development," said Michael Crum, vice president for economic development and business engagement. "It will be the gateway to campus for business and industry seeking technology or business expertise. And it's going to be a catalyst for a lot of greater things to come."
The state Board of Regents' funding request to the 2015 Legislature will include nearly $13 million in "supplemental" funding next year to implement the performance-based funding model for the three regent universities approved by the board in June. If the Legislature funds the request next spring, Iowa State would receive about $6.4 million and the University of Northern Iowa about $6.6 million in additional state funds. The board approved the request 9-0 at its Sept. 10 meeting on the Iowa State campus.
FY16 funding requests are due to the state on Oct. 1.
Under the new funding model, which rewards schools for educating in-state students (60 percent of funds) and for a short list of other desired outcomes (40 percent), the University of Iowa would be overfunded from the state by an estimated $46.5 million next year. But the authors of the new model, a task force appointed last fall by the board, agreed that the loss to any school in a single year during the three-year implementation period couldn't exceed 2 percent of the school's previous operating revenues from the state. For Iowa, that amounts to just over $12.9 million.
The task force also urged board members to ask the Legislature to restore regents funding cut during recent lean budget years (FY09-11) as a means to provide the required support to Iowa State and Northern Iowa without taking funds from Iowa.
Prior to the vote, regent Robert Downer, Iowa City, noted his "yes" vote "should not be construed as support for a reduction in state funding at the University of Iowa if the Legislature doesn't approve this."
Downer, who voiced concern about the funding model's potential ill effect on the University of Iowa's "highly regarded" graduate and professional programs, pledged to work to modify the funding model.
"I urge this board to revisit the funding matrix," he said.
Regent Subhash Sahai, Webster City, also expressed regret about the funding model, particularly the fact that board members didn't have two meetings this summer to consider and discuss the proposal.
Board president Bruce Rastetter, Alden, said it's important to look at the big picture and remember that state operating funds are one piece of the universities' support.
"This board has responsibility for three universities," he said. "We have two universities that have been punished for recruiting Iowa students, because under the old model our universities were disincentivized to educate Iowa students."
Educating Iowans: Enrollment* changes, 1981 to 2013
Fall 1981 enrollment (total)
Fall 2013 enrollment (total)
*Headcount enrollments exclude postdocs
Operating, strategic funds in FY16
The board is asking for a 1.75 percent inflationary increase to state operating funds for the year that begins July 1, 2015. At Iowa State, that amounts to a proposed $3.2 million. The same inflationary increase will be requested for several ISU units receiving a direct appropriation: Agriculture Experiment Station, Cooperative Extension, Leopold Center, livestock disease research, Nutrient Research Center, Small Business Development Centers, Institute for Physical Research and Technology and ISU Research Park.
Iowa State also will seek about $5.8 million in additional state funding for strategic initiatives, including bioeconomy research and leadership ($5 million), Ag Experiment Station ($0.5 million) and the SBDC ($0.3 million).
The board's funding proposal also includes a request that regent university employees be included in the appropriations bill that funds salary increases for state employees.
The board approved three new business cases for implementation in its Transparent, Inclusive Efficiency Review (TIER). Representatives from Deloitte Consulting presented the cases, but employee teams from the three universities will do the implementation work. The assignments are:
- Develop clear policy on the size and structure of search committees for vacant P&S positions. Deloitte also suggested a search waiver when a strong internal candidate is identified for a position. Issues with large search committees include hours consumed by a search, delays in hiring leading to losing top candidates, select individuals serving on too many committees because of the demographic they represent.
- Standardize Regent Admissions Index calculations for exception cases when the RAI can't be calculated -- most commonly when one of the four measures, class rank, isn't known. The goal is to improve the decision-making process for admissions staff, and restore the index's intended transparency for prospective students, their families and high school counselors.
- Create a single admissions portal, to benefit students who apply to more than one regent university. Deloitte advises that each university continue to assess its own application fee, both for the revenue and to make sure individuals are serious about their multiple applications.
Research park expansion
Vice president for economic development and business engagement Michael Crum, who also has chaired the ISU Research Park's board of directors since 2004, updated board members on growth at the park.
The park currently has nearly 60 tenants employing more than 1,300 people with annual salaries totaling more than $70 million and an average salary of $65,000. Additionally, more than 2,500 Iowans are employed around the state by 40-plus firms that grew out of the research park. "I've been at Iowa State for 34 years, and this is the most robust period of university-private sector cooperation I've seen in that time," he said.
Iowa State's new $12 million building, which will provide a one-stop shop for Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs seeking assistance from ISU business development and technical experts, launches a third phase of the park. Phase 3 includes developing another 176 acres, adding one million square feet of building space and adding 3,000 research park employees.
In other Iowa State-related business, the board:
- Heard an overview of the Center for e-Design and the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute from Janis Terpenny, co-founder and director of the center and chair of the industrial and manufacturing systems engineering department, and student Connor Jennings. Terpenny also serves as technical lead for the advanced manufacturing enterprise area of the institute, for which all three regent universities are partners; Iowa State as a Tier 1 partner.
- Approved state capital appropriation requests for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2015. The top priority is a $50 million request (ISU allotment not determined) that all regent institutions would share to correct fire and environmental safety deficiencies, address deferred maintenance and make safety and energy conservation improvements on their campuses. Portions of the funds also would provide infrastructure for Iowa Public Radio and pay for repairs and equipment lost in the May 30 Sweeney Hall fire not covered by insurance. A second Iowa State capital request is $8 million to begin work on a proposed $80 million student innovation center for the colleges of Design and Engineering. The funding proposal includes $32 million more in state funds over the subsequent three years (FY17-19) and $40 million in private gifts.
- Approved a $200,000 increase to the project budget (to $3.7 million) for the electrical substation under construction northwest of the Communications Building. The increase is due to unforeseen conditions that require additional design and construction.
Sahai asked President Steven Leath "what it would take to return Veishea." Leath said he has told student leaders to submit to him their best ideas for celebrating Iowa State over the year. But to combine events into a week or a weekend, "I don't see that happening, not in the short term," he responded.
Joyce Garnett, university librarian emeritus at Western University in London, Ontario, has been named interim dean of the University Library.
Garnett has 40 years of experience as a librarian, including 33 years teaching and 34 years in leadership positions both at universities and in the private sector. She was selected in an international search.
As interim dean, Garnett will provide leadership for the library's operations, build culture and increase connections across campus, and work with faculty and staff to develop strategic and action plans to move the library forward.
"Joyce is a proven leader with a reputation for building professional relationships, grasping the big picture, and understanding today's digital environment," said Jonathan Wickert, senior vice president and provost. "I am excited by the teamwork and planning skills she's bringing to Iowa State."
Library faculty and staff welcomed Garnett at a Sept. 4 reception.
"Iowa State is a premier land grant institution, and I am excited to begin my own adventure in Ames," Garnett said. "I look forward to working with the library's faculty and staff, and reaching out to our colleagues across campus, to better understand the information needs related to their research and teaching."
Garnett holds bachelor's and master's degrees from McGill University, Montreal. Her career has included positions at Western University, Laurentian University, McGill, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Concordia University and the University of British Columbia.
"Joyce is an excellent choice to serve the library and university," said Ed Goedeken, professor, collections coordinator and member of the library's transition planning committee. "She earned the unanimous support of our committee, and we're excited to work with her through the transition."
Garnett has been active in professional associations throughout her career, holding leadership positions at the local, regional and national levels. These include president of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, board member for the Association of Research Libraries, chair of the Ontario Council of Libraries and board member for the Canadian Research Knowledge Network. She continues to serve on several national library committees.
The search for the library's next permanent dean will begin this fall.
Gloria Jones-Johnson, University Professor of sociology, has been named a faculty fellow in the senior vice president and provost’s office. She began her two-year, part-time appointment in August.
Faculty fellowships are designed to provide leadership and project management experience to faculty who are interested in, or aspire to, leadership positions at Iowa State. In her new role, Jones-Johnson will coordinate professional development initiatives for department chairs.
Jones-Johnson, who joined Iowa State in 1986, is an expert in social inequality and the workforce and currently directs the women’s and gender studies program. She has been active in numerous diversity-related groups and committees, including the Task Force on Women as Department Chairs, Women’s Leadership Consortium, McNair Scholar Advisory Board, Minority Faculty Recruitment Task Force, Minority Graduate Student Council and the University Committee on Women.
Cinzia Cervato, Morrill Professor of geologic and atmospheric sciences, is in the second year of a faculty fellowship in the provost's office. Cervato’s work focuses on faculty onboarding and professional development. University Professor of political science and of statistics Mack Shelley, who also had been serving as a faculty fellow, was named chair of the political science department last month.
Protect yourself from the flu:
- Wash hands regularly with soap and water, hand sanitizer
- Sneeze and cough into a sleeve or tissue
- Stay home when sick
- Regularly sanitize workspaces and high-traffic areas (phones, counters, computers, etc.)
- Strengthen immune system (eat fruit and vegetables, exercise and rest)
Fall is at our doorstep, along with sniffling, coughing and sore throats. That means it's time to get a flu vaccination.
Occupational medicine staff will administer flu shots at no cost to employees (while supplies last) weekdays from Oct. 6 to Oct. 17 (10 a.m.-4 p.m., 205 Technical and Administrative Services Facility). No appointment is necessary. Bring your ISU ID card to the shot clinic and wear a short-sleeve or loose-fitting shirt for better access to your arm. Because parking is limited in front of TASF, consider walking or biking to the clinic.
Flu shots will be provided at no cost for these employee groups:
- Professional and scientific
- University Child Care
- Post docs
- Affiliate employees enrolled in ISU health plans (ISU Foundation, Iowa State Daily, Greek house directors).
- Retirees on university health plans who are not yet 65
Students and visiting scholars are not eligible to receive flu shots at the clinic. These individuals should contact the Thielen Student Health Center, 4-5801, for flu vaccine information.
Employees are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. For more information, call the University Human Resources Service Center at 4-4800.
Members of the Professional and Scientific Council passed a pair of motions at their Sept. 4 meeting, both in support of draft items for the policy library.
Currently called the “Positions Exempt from P&S Policies,” proposed updates and revisions add guidelines and clarify “at-will” position designations, which are exempt from some P&S policies. The council approved the new draft policy, “P&S Positions At-Will and Exempt from P&S Policies,” with recommended changes -- including a required annual report to the council on the number of at-will designations (and their titles).
The draft policy states that at-will positions require a “high degree of trust” and serve “at the pleasure of university administration.” Brenda Behling, director of academic policy and personnel, said currently less than 2 percent of all P&S staff hold at-will positions. Most are high-level administrative positions that have broad responsibilities.
A proposed new policy about data classification also received council endorsement. The policy outlines categorization methods for data that is collected, stored and managed on campus. Feedback and questions about the policy can be submitted through Oct. 31.
- The council elected Jordan Bates (internal audit) to fill a vacant seat representing units that report to the president’s office
- Council members worked in small groups to begin setting priorities for 2014-15
In his annual report to the Faculty Senate on Sept. 9, faculty athletics representative Tim Day said the 2013 student-athlete academic data show "no concerns" about ISU's compliance with the NCAA's academic progress rate (APR).
The APR measures retention and eligibility of student-athletes. All of the Cyclone teams were above the 2013-14 required minimum (900) and the benchmark (930) set for 2014-15. The women's cross country team scored a perfect 1,000, with five more squads at or above 990. Football and men's basketball shared the lowest score (948) among the 18 teams.
Day showed that the cumulative grade point average of all ISU student-athletes was slightly lower than the general student body in the spring (2.91/2.99) and fall (2.88/2.97) semesters of 2013.
"For the most part, the student-athlete academic performance really mirrors and tracks right along with that of the general student population," Day said.
Day also gave senators a look at NCAA changes and issues on the horizon, including:
- Legislative autonomy granted to five conferences, including the Big 12
- Cost of attendance models for student-athletes
- Decisions in the O'Bannon antitrust case, including the use of student-athlete names and likenesses
- Senators were introduced to a proposed minor in leadership studies (PDF), which will be voted on next month. The 15-credit, interdisciplinary program would be coordinated by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
- Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert said a record 105 tenured/tenure-eligible faculty were hired last year and another strong recruiting cycle is under way.
- Wickert said ISU introduced a proposed student innovation center to the state Board of Regents facilities committee. The center would be a collaboration between the Engineering and Design colleges, benefitting 14 programs. The center would focus on design, manufacturing and prototyping activities and be constructed on the former Sweeney and Nuclear Engineering sites.
PeopleAdmin 7, Iowa State's updated online classification and hiring system, launched successfully Sept. 9. All new positions now will be posted in PA7, which offers a streamlined experience for both job applicants and hiring managers.
PA7 offers a number of changes for the creation and maintenance of position descriptions (PDs):
- Supervisors (including faculty supervisors) may now access PDs for professional and scientific and merit employees who report to them.
- Employees can see their own PD by logging in as an employee in the PA7 classification and hiring system. Use the quick reference guide to viewing your position description (Note: If you can’t see your PD by logging in as an employee, contact university human resources at email@example.com.)
Postings in two locations
The new PA7 portal is at iastatejobs.com, where all job postings can be accessed. The original portal will remain active for jobs that were posted before Sept. 9 until it is retired in 2015.
New online contract transfer process for merit staff
Employees covered by the state's collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME may now request contract transfers within the online application. This new process eliminates the paper form that formerly had to be submitted to UHR. It's the result of a collaborative effort between UHR and local AFSCME leadership.
About the upgrade
The upgrade was a multiple-year project that required expertise and cooperation across campus. The effort, led by UHR, involved partnerships with the senior vice president and provost office, IT services, and UHR liaisons.
For more information about the PeopleAdmin upgrade, contact Kristi Darr, 4-3753 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Users also can subscribe to PA News to stay up-to-date on new position, recruiting and hiring tools.
Visitors to Reiman Gardens will enjoy beautiful floral displays on dozens of garden-themed quilts during the fifth annual Garden Quilt Show, Sept. 12-14.
The three-day event features creations by Midwest quilters that depict numerous themes, including garden, outer space (a nod to the gardens' 2014 theme), modern (bold colors and patterns) and UFO, which to a quilter stands for "unfinished objects" (projects are finished for the show). All quilts are judged with a chance for prizes.
Instruction, demonstrations and lectures for both novice and experienced quilters will be held throughout the weekend. A marketplace offering a variety of fiber and fabric art will be held on Sunday.
Show times are Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 ($7 for seniors; $4 for youth; free for members and Iowa State students with ID). Contributed photo.