Remodeled lodge offers secluded meeting space

Lynn Fuhrer Lodge interior

Lynn Fuhrer Lodge. Photos by Amy Vinchattle.

Lynn Fuhrer

The lodge is named for Lynn Fuhrer, an Iowa State College student who was killed in a car crash prior to his graduation in 1930.

If your office or department is planning a retreat or needs a place to hold a small-group function, there's a new option nestled in the woods north of Ontario Street.

The newly refurbished Lynn Fuhrer Lodge, originally built in 1931, is surrounded by timber that is crisscrossed by hiking paths. ISU purchased the building and property (about 17 acres) from the Des Moines YMCA for $120,000 in 2012. It sits adjacent to Veenker Memorial Golf Course and the Applied Science Complex.

The Division of Student Affairs manages the space, which has a 40-person capacity. The dark-stained exposed beams in the vaulted ceilings complement an ornamental stone fireplace that serves as the focal point of the meeting room.

Lynn Fuhrer Lodge kitchen


The lodge has two bathrooms, a small kitchenette (sink, refrigerator and two microwaves) and full audio/visual capabilities, including a projector and screen. Wireless Internet access also is available. The space can be configured for a variety of events, with a set of chairs and seven rectangular tables.

Groups are allowed to bring in food and beverages (a list of approved vendors and caterers is available), but must clean up and remove the trash from the property after the event to avoid a fine.

Lynn Fuhrer Lodge outside view

Getting there is half the fun

There is space for only 10 vehicles near the lodge (including two handicap-accessible spots), so carpooling is advised. The property's access road is located in a residential neighborhood. It is a well-hidden gravel path between two houses at the second (east) intersection of Kingman Road and Amherst Drive. Five more parking spots are available off Scholl Road, which provides hiking trail access to the lodge. Directions (PDF) to the facility are online.

How to book it

Reservations are free, and must be made at least 72 hours in advance. Priority is given to student organizations. The facility is available weekdays, 6 a.m.-11 p.m., and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Keys must be picked up and returned to the Student Activities Center (SAC) in the Memorial Union's East Student Office Space. Contact SAC ( for more information.

Davis to step down as CIO

Jim Davis, vice provost and chief information officer since 2004, has announced plans to step down next year from his position leading Iowa State's information technology programs.

Davis, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, plans a return to the classroom for the fall 2015 semester to share his IT and management experience with students and to perform research in applications using next-generation (GENI) networks.



"Jim is a strong leader who has worked with colleges and units to transform IT on campus," said senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert. "He's done it by assembling a talented, professional team and creating a culture that always keeps the best interest of the university in mind."

Among his many accomplishments as CIO, Davis:

  • Managed ITS through a period of rapidly changing technology and explosive growth
  • Centralized academic and business computing under one organization
  • Partnered with the University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin and University of Iowa to build the BOREAS regional research and education fiber optic network that connects ISU to worldwide broadband networks in Chicago and Kansas City
  • Expanded Iowa State's Wi-Fi capabilities to better serve students, faculty and staff
  • Enabled high-performance computing for faculty, including "Cyence," Iowa State's most powerful computer ever
  • Implemented numerous IT efficiency initiatives that continue to generate financial savings for the university

Wickert notes that Davis' impact also is felt outside of campus.

"Jim has led Iowa State's engagement in several regional and national IT initiatives, raising the profile of the university and helping us recruit top talent," he said.

When Davis first was appointed CIO in 2004, the iPhone was still three years away and wireless networking was seen as a "bonus" and not essential. Today, Iowa State boasts multiple high-performance computing clusters, an Internet-based phone system, growing numbers of online courses and more than 100,000 devices connected to the university's network on any given day.

"It has been an honor to serve the university as CIO, and I have been blessed with a great team of colleagues," Davis said. "ITS has a bright future, but with several big projects on the horizon, I believe this is an appropriate time for a change in leadership.

"The position of CIO at Iowa State is a great job, and I look forward to helping the university hire a top-notch candidate who can build on our success."

Davis earned a bachelor's degree in computer science, a master's degree in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in computer science, all from Iowa State, and joined the faculty in 1984. An expert in computer security, he served as associate chair of electrical and computer engineering 2001-03 and interim chair in 2003.

The provost's office will launch a national search for Davis' successor in the coming months.

Partial closing approved during semester break

Iowa State administrators have approved the details of a partial university shutdown this winter during the semester break. The partial closing will run 11.5 days from noon on Wednesday, Dec. 24, through Sunday, Jan. 4, and includes:

  • Two weekends (Dec. 27-28 and Jan. 3-4)
  • Three university holidays (Dec. 25, 26 and Jan. 1)
  • Four and one-half regular work days (Dec. 24 afternoon, Dec. 29-31 and Jan. 2)

The closing is not mandatory on days that are not a weekend or holiday. Employees who opt to participate will be required to take paid or unpaid leave for the 4.5 workdays.

"No classes are in session, a number of external organizations will either be closed or operating at reduced levels and many staff members anticipate being on leave," noted senior vice president for business and finance Warren Madden in a memo to administrative officers. The goals, he said, are to accommodate lighter staffing levels, conserve energy and realize budget savings.

All departments, Madden said, should review their plans with the appropriate dean, vice president or senior vice president.

Iowa State's first partial shutdown occurred over the 2009 winter break as a money-saving strategy during a state funding reversion. Repeated every winter since, the partial shutdowns have been both popular with employees and economical. Last winter's 10-day closing resulted in nearly $63,000 in energy savings.

Looks like a holiday

Madden said the intent is that many Iowa State facilities will be closed and locked during the 11.5 days just like they are on university holidays. Thus, many services will be either unavailable or available for a limited time. Critical services, campus maintenance and research programs that need to operate during this period may do so. Partial staffing may occur to carry out a unit's scheduled activities, research programs or other priorities, he said.

Madden encourages units to develop and share their semester break closing plans as soon as possible so that students, staff members and customers can plan ahead as needed.

Units that close for the 11.5 days will need to leave emergency contact numbers on websites and voicemail, turn down thermostats, turn off equipment and, if outdoor temperatures drop to sub-zero, designate someone to periodically check work spaces for plumbing, heating or cooling malfunctions. Staff should regularly check voicemail on key phone numbers and respond to callers.

Flexible hours guidelines

Supervisors considering reduced hours of operation during Thanksgiving week, spring break and semester break days not included in the partial closing period can find useful information in the flexible hours program guidelines (PDF).

Editor's note added Oct. 23: Administrators extended what originally was an 11-day partial shutdown period (Dec. 25-Jan.4) by a half day, to begin at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 24 -- a work day on the ISU calendar.

Let ISU history take root in your yard


A bicyclist rides past Sycamore Row on the east side of campus. Photo by Amy Vinchattle.

If you're in the market for some new trees at home -- and you're a history buff to boot -- keep reading.

The ISU Alumni Association is selling seedlings from Iowa State's beloved Sycamore Row as part of the Heritage Tree program. The program was established last fall with the sale of seedlings from a nearly 100-year-old catalpa tree removed near Pearson Hall.

History of campus sycamores

Sycamore Row is a stretch of 42, century-old sycamore trees that runs parallel to what used to be the Dinkey rail line. The row starts near the Landscape Architecture Building and continues east along a path that runs past the Lied Center, CyRide and the Lied recreation fields. The trees continue across University Boulevard near Brookside Park, and end at Squaw Creek.

History indicates the sycamores were planted between 1910 and 1920 by Arthur Erwin, an ISU horticulture professor who also served as the university's superintendent of grounds. Erwin believed the large canopy of sycamores would shade faculty, staff and students as they made their way to Ames by train or on foot.

Buyer, be aware

Though they are beautiful, mature sycamore trees are large. Consider your planting space before purchasing a tree.

  • Height: 90-100 feet
  • Width: 70 feet
  • Best known for: White bark, architecture of branches, water tolerance

Preserving history

About 100 years later, another ISU horticulture professor with a dual role on campus is preserving Erwin's legacy and ISU history. Students working with Bill Graves, horticulture professor and associate dean in the Graduate College, gathered seeds from Sycamore Row last winter for the Heritage Tree program.

"This project is about preserving historical trees, and the sycamores are among the most notable trees on campus," Graves said.

With Graves' supervision, students planted and nurtured the seeds in a campus greenhouse for a few months until they were strong enough to move outside. The seeds yielded more than 100 sturdy, 2-foot-tall sycamore seedlings.

Buy them before they're gone

Graves said about 50 plants still are available for sale. Some smaller sycamore seedlings may be added to the mix if the original lot sells out.

The seedlings cost $50 for one plant; $35 each for two or three; and $25 each for four or more. Order online through the ISU Alumni Association. Shipping is $20, but you can pick up the plants for free on Oct. 3, 17 and 24 at 106 Horticulture (open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). All seedlings come with a certificate of campus heritage.

If you miss out on this year's sycamores, Graves said next year's seedlings may be from a swamp white oak tree. 


No fallout from Shellshock Bug

Iowa State Mac users appear to have gotten through the Shellshock Bug, aka Bash Bug, unscathed.  The bug poses a security threat to Unix-based systems, such as Macs, and its Sept. 21 discovery sent IT experts around the world and on the ISU campus into full-blown response mode.

Iowa State techs quickly installed patches and workarounds on central systems and monitored networks for attacks.

"We detected and blocked a sizeable number of Internet computers attempting to compromise campus servers," said Andy Weisskopf, information security officer for information technology services.

"We have not yet had a system on campus compromised by this bug," he added. "The campus IT community has done an excellent job getting patches deployed on critical servers as soon as they were available."

Weisskopf said a patch is now available from Apple's website, although Apple isn't pushing it through it's normal update method at this time.

"I would expect it to be included in the next OS update that is released," he said. "Because of the way Apple implemented core services, there is not the same exposure to this vulnerability as exists on other Unix platforms."

Weisskopf said ISU won't be pushing the patch to its clients now, but will do so when the next update is available through Apple's app store.

Gallery walk focuses on Wedgwood collection

Wedgwood pitcher

Cream Jug, c. 1790
Wedgwood Jasperware, a gift of M. Burton Drexler and in the Brunnier Art Museum permanent collection, University Museums. Photo courtesy of University Museums.

Cream Jug (pictured), is one of approximately 200 Wedgwood ceramic pieces in a current Brunnier Art Museum exhibition, "Beauty Through Experiment." The exhibition includes recently acquired pieces of former faculty member M. Burton Drexler.

Museums assistant curator Adrienne Gennett will lead a gallery walk/talk on the work of Josiah Wedgwood on Sunday, Oct. 5 (2 p.m., Brunnier Art Museum, 295 Scheman). It is free and open to the public. Her presentation will highlight the innovations used and ancient culture decorations favored by Wedgwood.

English potter Josiah Wedgwood went into business for himself in 1759 in Burslem, Staffordshire, England. Before he died in 1795, he invented and produced three of Wedgwood's most famous ceramic bodies: Queen's Ware (1762), Black Basalt (1768) and the most famous line, Jasperware, which first appeared in 1774 after thousands of experiments. While "Wedgwood Blue" may be its most recognizable line, Jasperware also was made in multiple shades of green, lilac, yellow, crimson, black and white.

Despite company ownership changes in the last 30 years, Wedgwood production continues today.