Stadium project is cruising toward football home opener

Stadium south end construction

Work continues on the club facility at the south end of Jack Trice Stadium. In the lower right corner, workers prepare to pour footings for two levels of permanent stadium seating. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Despite a wet October and a colder than normal two-week period this winter, construction on a new south end for the football stadium is "generally on schedule," according to senior associate athletics director for facilities Chris Jorgensen. Building supply issues – particularly steel and concrete – that plague other sports facility projects in the upper Midwest haven't affected the Jack Trice Stadium project, he said.

The expansion will "bowl in" the south end of the stadium, creating a new south entrance and continuous permanent seating on the lower level, and adding upper-level seating in the south corners. It replaces the former south bleachers and two hillside areas with 13,000 permanent seats, 3,000 of which will be chair-back seats in the End Zone Club. Club ticket holders may use a two-story, indoor club facility, the top level of which will overlook the field. The project also includes a new south video board and an electronic ribbon board around the stadium.

Jorgensen said the target completion date is mid-August, though it's likely that small projects will continue through the Cyclone football team's home opener on Saturday, Sept. 5. Plans at this time are to hold the April 11 spring intrasquad game in the stadium.

When construction is completed, the stadium seating capacity will exceed 61,000, up from nearly 57,000 seats previously.

Jorgensen said that a companion project to replace what now is mostly parking lots separating the stadium and Reiman Gardens, still is in the design phase. The two pieces combined will cost an estimated $60 million, to be covered by a $30 million bond sale scheduled for next month and $30 million in athletics department private gifts and annual revenues.

Club facility at Jack Trice Stadium

Photo by Christopher Gannon.


Alternative admissions index, more student apartments are on regents' agenda

Iowa State will seek state Board of Regents permission next week to begin planning an estimated $5 million renovation of about 6,200 square feet of ground floor space for the kinesiology department in the 1940 portion of the Forker Building. The board meets Feb. 4-5 in Cedar Falls.

The project will create additional faculty offices and restrooms, replace windows and install a fire sprinkler system. University funds will cover the cost. Since 2007, the kinesiology department has experienced 80 percent student enrollment growth, creating office crowding for current faculty and no expansion possibilities for additional faculty.

Alternative admissions index

The board also will be asked to approve an alternative formula for the Regent Admission Index (RAI), to be used only for applicants whose Iowa high schools don't provide a class ranking. Class rank is one of four measurements in the admissions index the board approved in 2009. If approved, the alternative formula would take effect for the entering freshmen of summer/fall 2016 at all three regent universities. It changes the weighting applied to two of the other three measurements in the 2009 formula:

Alternative RAI: ACT composite score (x 3) + High school GPA (x 30) + High school core courses (x 5)

Primary RAI: ACT composite score (x 2) + High school rank (x1) + High school GPA (x 20) + High school core courses (x 5)

In September, the Deloitte consulting team recommended an alternative as part of its work in the Transparent Inclusive Efficiency Review (TIER). An admissions study team worked with board staff from September to December 2014 and selected this formula from the 12 options it developed.

Additional apartments in southwest Ames

The residence department will seek permission to negotiate leases for additional off-campus apartments for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years (Aug. 1, 2015, to July 31, 2017). The proposal is to rent nine buildings in southwest Ames (space for 395 students) from Jensen Properties for about $2.1 million per year. Iowa State already leases and operates off-campus apartment space for 1,059 students, and the additional buildings are adjacent to all but one of those buildings.

For fall 2015, residence leaders estimate they'll receive as many as 1,800 requests above the residence department's permanent bed number. The 700-bed Buchanan Hall 2 won't be ready before fall 2017.

Master's in business analytics

Both Iowa State and the University of Iowa will ask the board to approve new master's programs in business analytics. The proposal includes a five-year memorandum of cooperation to strengthen the quality of both schools' programs for the long-term. Iowa State's proposal, for an interdepartmental master of business analytics program in the supply chain and information systems department, would be offered in a blended format of team-based traditional classes and online coursework. It is designed to address challenges dealing with analytics and "Big Data" intelligence.

Iowa's Master of Science program will focus on the business aspects of business analytics and will be an evening program offered off campus (face-to-face). Areas identified for cooperation include: referral of students to the other program when in the student's best career interests, acceptance of up to nine credits of approved courses from the other school's program, and an annual workshop at which business analytics faculty will share syllabi, trends, instructional ideas and course delivery options.

Other agenda items

In other ISU-related business, the board will:

  • Open bids for the issuance of $32.3 million in athletic facilities revenue bonds, to cover part of the cost of the expansion project underway on the Jack Trice Stadium south end zone. Payment on the bonds would begin in July 2016 and last for 25 years.
  • Receive the annual report on faculty resignations for the year that ended June 30, 2014
  • Receive the annual diversity report for the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2014

Public portions of the meeting will be audio streamed live on the board's website.

Members of the public who want to provide input to board members prior to their meeting on any agenda item may do so at a public forum on Friday, Jan. 30 (noon-1 p.m., Memorial Union Oak Room). Their comments will be video recorded for board members to view.



Ed Lyon became director of Reiman Gardens on Jan. 20. He is responsible for leading the operation and continued development of Reiman Gardens' 17-acre site, representing the gardens within the university and externally, and planning and implementing the campus entry project in conjunction with the Jack Trice Stadium expansion.

Lyon, who has more than 20 years experience in the garden industry, comes to Iowa State from Allen Centennial Gardens at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics/animal science from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and a master's degree in horticulture from Wisconsin.

Lyon's office is in the visitors center at Reiman Gardens. Contact him by phone at 294-2710 or by email at A public reception welcoming Lyon to Iowa State is planned on Jan. 30 (2-4 p.m., Speer Room, Reiman Gardens). All are welcome to attend. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Tips for getting started in the new vehicle reservation system

More than 600 Iowa State employees have completed their user profiles in the FleetCommander vehicle reservation system, said transportation services manager Kathy Wellik. The link from transportation services' website to the new reservation system goes live on Sunday, Feb. 1, but employees may access it now to create their user profiles and reserve vehicles for travel on Feb. 1 or later.

"We're excited about this new web-based system," Wellik said. "We're especially grateful that so many users have gone ahead and created their profiles in the system already. They're ready to go."

Wellik said that several weeks of using the system and training others to use the system have exposed a few system requirements and likely user errors. She offered these tips to help new users navigate FleetCommander with ease:

About user profiles

  • Anyone who reserves a vehicle, drives a vehicle or even picks up a vehicle -- or picks up a key set -- on behalf of a colleague or supervisor must have a user profile in the ISU FleetCommander database
  • Log into ISU FleetCommander using your ISU Net-ID, not your email address. In most cases, your Net-ID is the letters in front of "" in your email address. Your password is the same one associated with your Net-ID. A welcome email inadvertently advised users to change their passwords; this is not needed.

On creating your user profile

  • Note that the template asks for last name, then first name. Take care not to flip-flop these. The system will accept a first-name-first entry, but a system search, typically done by last name, would not find the entry.
  • Enter billing account number (either a 7-digit or 13-digit number) without spaces or dashes

On creating a vehicle reservation

  • When a user saves a reservation, he or she may receive a message that the driver's license hasn't been validated. Continue through these screens; the license is validated at the time a vehicle is picked up.

Wellik advised employees to use the Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers when working in the FleetCommander site. Some users have experienced system difficulties when using Google Chrome, she said.

Wellik also said that her staff is able to customize user profiles according to individual or department needs – for example, whether a supervisor automatically is copied on all reservation confirmation emails, or whether an employee is authorized to make reservations, drive vehicles or both. Contact Wellik, 294-1657, for assistance with customizing or with questions.

Overcoming password overload

Do your passwords pass muster?  The answer for many of us surely would be "no." Some of us continue to use a single password for dozens of accounts. Those who have graduated to multiple passwords likely are carrying cheat sheets that easily could fall into the wrong hands. It's risky password behavior, either way, jeopardizing the security of the Iowa State network and any other networks we use.

Still, how are we to keep track of dozens, maybe hundreds, of unique, hard-to-crack passwords? Information technology services staff members have the answer: Password managers.

Manage your passwords

A password manager is an application that helps you organize and store your passwords, said information security officer Andy Weisskopf. Once you've set up your manager, logging in gets a lot easier. All you need do is remember one master password. The manager will do the rest, keeping your passwords nice and secure (on your device or in the cloud) and pulling them up when you need them. The manager also can generate unique passwords for each of your logins.

"A password manager is an excellent step to secure your identity," Weisskopf said. "As long as you create a strong master password and don't use it anywhere else, you'll have a robust, unique password on every site without having to remember it."

Popular password managers

Most, if not all, password managers use the standard 256-bit AES encryption. Most support Mac and Windows and many are available for mobile devices as well. ITS staff members offer this summary of five popular password managers.

  • LastPass supports Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Linux. The manager stores your encrypted passwords in the cloud (online) and encrypts all data (including your master password) before it leaves your device. The basic version, which would satisfy most users' needs, is free.
  • 1Password supports Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. It can encrypt and store passwords locally (on your devices) or in the cloud. Users can access passwords within their Internet browser pages. There's a free trial for Mac and Windows applications. License costs are based on user numbers and platforms. Android and iOS apps are free, with more features for a fee.
  • KeePass Password Safe is an open-source manager, free and available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and Windows phone. It encrypts and stores passwords locally.
  • Dashlane supports Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. You can keep encrypted data locally on one device or sync it between multiple devices. Dashlane offers a free version (with ads and fewer features) than the paid premium version.
  • RoboForm started as a form-filling program and evolved into a password management application. It stores encrypted passwords in the cloud and integrates with browsers -- automatically filling out forms and logging you into services.  Some RoboForm apps are free. Unlimited access across various devices is free for those with a university address; others pay a fee for unlimited access.

Saturday 'Magic'

Blaskowsky on defense

Junior guard Kidd Blaskowsky is one of Iowa State's top 3-point threats. More than 80 percent of her shots this season have come from behind the arc. Photo courtesy of ISU athletics communications.

Fans can get a double dose of Hilton Magic on Saturday, Jan. 31, when the Cyclone men's and women's basketball teams both host Big 12 Conference games.

The men tip off at 1 p.m. in a sold-out game against Texas Christian University. Iowa State, ranked No. 15 in the latest Associated Press poll, has won 18 consecutive home games.

The women face Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. Reserved tickets are $12, with some lower level seats still available; and general admission tickets are $10. Youth tickets are half price. Halftime of both games will feature the Alexandria (Minnesota) Aces, a performance group of basketball-handling youth, ages 5 to 12.