Welcome to spring semester

Curtiss Hall foyer

Students gather in the Curtiss Hall first floor foyer Monday morning, waiting to move into the auditorium for a first-of-the-semester class. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

University human resources changes are underway

University human resources, led by associate vice president Julie Nuter, began reporting to the office of the president on Jan. 1. President Steven Leath said the new reporting relationship (UHR previously reported to the senior vice president for business and finance) reflects changes underway in human resources.

"UHR is destined to become an enhanced partner with departments and units across campus, helping them to achieve their goals," Leath said. "Human resources' role in attracting, developing and retaining talented people is increasingly important to university success. As we look to UHR for additional services and efficiencies that closely align with our priorities, it makes sense to bring the unit into the president's office."

Among efficiencies UHR will explore in coming months are recommendations from the state Board of Regents' Transparent Inclusive Efficiency Review. A key recommendation called for reviewing and streamlining UHR's decentralized services model.

Since assuming leadership of UHR in December 2013, Nuter led the overhaul of the online hiring system. She says she focuses on two things: how to attract, retain, develop and reward talent, and support leaders, faculty and staff in being successful in the work they do.

"I'm pleased to have Julie on board," Leath said. "She has the enthusiasm and expertise to build and adapt human resources to better serve all units across campus."

Leath signs promise agreement with Des Moines school district


Alexis Landeros-Ordaz, a fifth grader at Des Moines' Moulton Extended Learning Center, was one of six students also invited to sign the ISU 4U Promise agreement on Jan. 13. Looking on are ISU President Steven Leath and Des Moines Public Schools human resources officer Anne Sullivan. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Iowa State and the Des Moines public school district are working with families and neighborhood organizations to make college more accessible and affordable for students at King Elementary and Moulton Extended Learning Center. On Jan. 13, President Steven Leath visited Moulton to sign the "ISU 4U Promise" memorandum of agreement.

The partnership will provide educational and teaching assistance as well as tuition awards for the ISU 4U Promise program. To qualify for an award, King and Moulton students must meet the following criteria:

  • Meet annual attendance requirements and behavior/disciplinary standards set by the Des Moines public school district
  • Set annual performance goals with their teacher and maintain a portfolio appropriate to grade level
  • Submit a letter of interest to Iowa State at the conclusion of 5th grade

Tuition awards will vary, based on length of enrollment at King or Moulton school. For example, one year enrolled garners a 20 percent tuition award; students enrolled five or more years would receive a full tuition award.

Students who qualify after completing elementary school then must enroll in coursework during middle and high school necessary to qualify for admission to Iowa State, complete the ACT test as a junior and apply for admission to ISU during their senior year.

"The ISU 4U Promise embodies Iowa State University’s land-grant principle that a college education should be accessible and affordable," Leath said. "A degree from Iowa State holds great value, and we believe these students will bring great value to our university.”

Read more about the ISU 4U Promise.

An influenza primer for employees

The dry, rough skin on your hands may be a testament to your hand-washing diligence this winter. And perhaps you're dining on chicken soup four times a week to keep your immune system Teflon-coated. But, let's face it, we're a campus community of 40,000-plus and not everyone has your stamina. So, as we wade into the heart of the 2015 flu season, Inside gathered the following information to guide your flu-battling efforts.

If you missed the employee flu vaccine clinic in October, you're out of luck on this free option. Occupational Medicine has no more vaccine to distribute, but local pharmacies still are offering flu shots. This year's vaccine was produced prior to the arrival of a viral strain affecting people this season (an H3N2 mutant). However, state health officials still encourage people to be vaccinated.

To protect yourself and others from the flu every day:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, eat nutritious foods and stay hydrated
  • Routinely disinfect surfaces that many people touch (doorknobs, keyboards, light switches, candy jars, stair handrails)
  • Cover your cough or sneeze, preferably with an elbow
  • If you're ill, stay home, preferably until 24 hours after you are symptom-free

Regarding that last point, University Human Resources this week updated and posted an Influenza FAQ for university employees that addresses all kinds of questions – about staying home, working from home, returning to work, for example -- for employees and supervisors.

Additionally, a provost's office memo reminded department chairs of Iowa State's class attendance policy (PDF) for students dealing with viral illnesses. Recognizing that students with flu symptoms who avoid class and work environments is for the public good, faculty should not ask students to get a class excuse note from the Thielen Student Health Center for classes missed due to the flu.

The staff of the student health center is coordinating an influenza education campaign among students that includes emails, social media posts, ads in the ISU Daily, a Cy-inspired poster (PDF) in the residence halls, and a 99-second video produced with ISU News Service.

ISU environmental health and safety developed a hand-washing poster (PDF) that should be showing up in restrooms around campus as building services staff receive and post copies.

Council overhauls governing documents

Professional and scientific staff will have an opportunity to vote for more than their P&S Council representatives in March. An amended version of the council's constitution, approved at the group's Jan. 8 meeting, also will be on the ballot.

"[The revised constitution] will be sent university-wide to all P&S staff by the end of the month so they have 30 days to review it prior to the vote, which will be held at the same time as councilor elections," said president-elect Tera Lawson.

The revised constitution (PDF) includes more general language and guidelines, with details moved to the council's rules and bylaws document.

Other business

Proposed revisions to the rules and bylaws (PDF) were introduced and will be voted on at the Feb. 5 council meeting. Bylaws changes include:

  • Moving all officer elections to the March meeting
  • Renaming the peer advisory committee, to peer advocacy committee
  • Clarifying roles for officers and committees
  • Updating representation guidelines

Councilors postponed a vote on a new president-elect. If the bylaws changes are approved, the president-elect will be voted on in March with all council officers. Five candidates accepted nominations to the president-elect ballot; there will be a last call for nominations prior to the election.

National sports show to air live at Hilton

ESPN "College GameDay"

ESPN's "College GameDay" makes its first trip to Ames, airing its two-hour national broadcast from inside Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 17 (9-11 a.m.). The event is free and open to the public.

Admission to the event will be at the north doors only, beginning at 8 a.m. All seating is general admission. Fans who wish to bring signs (no poles or sticks allowed) must get them approved by ESPN representatives. The University Book Store has two exclusive "GameDay" T-shirt designs ($16.99 each) to mark the event.

Limited concessions will be available and Cy's Locker Room will be open on the concourse. ESPN and show sponsor State Farm will provide giveaways for attendees. Following the broadcast, fans will be asked to clear the building. Vehicles must be moved from the parking lots by noon.

Doors will reopen to ticketholders at 6 p.m. for the Iowa State-Kansas men's basketball game. ESPN will air a pregame show at 7 p.m., with tipoff at 8 p.m.

Cyclone Cinema's spring season starts tonight

Cyclone Cinema

Cyclone Cinema, hosted by the Student Union Board, has announced its spring lineup. Movie showings begin tonight (Jan. 15) and continue through the last weekend of April, with a short hiatus during spring break.

New this spring is that the two Sunday showings will feature the open caption version of that week's film, which provides readable text of the dialogue on the screen, as well as descriptions of music and sound effects.

Most of the film series details remain unchanged: Admission is free and the public is welcome. Each recent-release movie title runs for four nights (Thursday through Sunday), with two shows each night at 7 and 10 p.m. in 101 Carver. Shows start promptly, so be on time. Movie goers can purchase popcorn and candy ($2), and bottled soda and water ($1).

Cyclone Cinema spring schedule:

Jan. 15-18, Gone Girl (rated R), starring Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck

Jan. 22-25, Nightcrawler (R), Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo

Jan. 29-Feb. 1, Big Hero 6 (PG), animated, voices of Ryan Potter and Scott Adsit

Feb. 5-8, Birdman (R), Michael Keaton, Edward Norton

Feb. 12-15, The Best of Me (PG-13), James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan

Feb. 19-22, Interstellar (PG-13), Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway

Feb. 26-March 1, Horrible Bosses 2 (R), Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis

March 5-8, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I (PG-13), Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson

March 12-13 only, St. Vincent (PG-13), Melissa McCarthy, Bill Murray

Spring break, no film

March 26-29, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (PG-13), Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage

April 2-5, Into the Woods (PG), Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick

April 9-12, American Sniper (R), Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller

April 16-19, Taken 3 (R), Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker

April 23-26, The Wedding Ringer (R), Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Kevin Hart

ISU honors Martin Luther King Jr. with several events


Contributed photo.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Jan. 19, and the campus community is commemorating King's civil rights legacy with several events during January. All events are free and open to the public.

Volunteers needed

The geographic information systems (GIS) facility is holding a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event on Jan. 19 (10 a.m.-noon; 1-3 p.m., 206 Durham). Volunteers will help create crowd-sourced maps of the world to help with disaster relief efforts. All are invited to participate; no experience is required. Lunch is provided. More information, including registration details, is available online.

  • Community birthday celebration, Jan. 19 (6-7:30 p.m., Ames Middle School commons, 3915 Mortensen Rd.). Celebrate King's birthday (his actual birthday is Jan. 15) with songs, stories and cake. A program begins at 6:30 p.m.
  • Legacy convocation, Jan. 22 (3:30 p.m., Memorial Union, Sun Room). Celebrate King's legacy and learn how his global vision of equality for everyone remains relevant today. James "Jay" Bailey, CEO of Operation Hope, Atlanta, will present the keynote address. The non-profit Operation Hope helps people with home purchases, financial literacy, business startups and entrepreneurship. The Advancing One Community Awards also will be presented.
  • Lecture, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," Michelle Alexander, Jan. 29 (7 p.m., MU Great Hall). In her new book of the same title, Alexander argues that systemic racial discrimination has resumed since the gains of the Civil Rights movement, causing devastating social consequences. Alexander holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. Previously, she was director of the Civil Rights Clinic at Stanford Law School. She also served as director of the Racial Justice Project at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which led a national campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement.