Green season

groundskeeper on riding lawnmower with ISU campanile in the back

Groundskeeper Doug Harjes, campus services, mows the campanile south lawn -- again -- earlier this week. May's rain and less foot traffic this time of year makes an always-inspiring central campus even more lush. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

A college look at ISU growth


Five-year enrollment growth, by college (all students)


Fall 2009

Fall 2014


















Human Sciences








Vet Med**




Graduate undeclared or interdepartmental***








Source: Office of the Registrar, data excludes post docs


Fall 2009 was the first of six consecutive years of record ISU enrollment

*Enrollment in six of Design's nine undergraduate programs is managed in accord with accreditation standards

**Enrollment in Vet Med's DVM program is capped at 149 students per class year

***Graduate College has improved its mentoring efforts with undeclared students to transition them into degree programs earlier

Four food truck vendors are serving this summer

Man prepares cheesesteak sandwich at outdoor food cart

Ryan Mitchell (left) prepares sandwiches Tuesday for customers at The Cheesesteak Factory, between Carver and Beardshear halls. Nearby is a second vendor, Macubana (rear). Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Four food truck vendors – in two locations – have committed to serving the campus community most weekdays this summer. By location, the four are:

Plaza between Carver and Beardshear halls:

  • The Cheesesteak Factory
  • Macubana

Stange Road/Osborne Drive intersection (west of Kildee Hall):

  • Finley's Curbside Beastro
  • Carlos' Quesadillas (previously operating as El Mexicano)

"The commitment we really need from them is the fall and spring semesters," said associate director of purchasing Cory Harms, who coordinates the university's contracts with the vendors. "If there's not a lot of business traffic and they're not making money, we don't require them to be here. We want them to be successful."

Wet weather or other short-term opportunities – summer fairs, for example – may take a vendor away from campus for a few days, and that's fine with Harms.

Looking ahead

Harms said he has room for seven truck vendors currently, three on the east side of campus, two centrally and two on the west side. In addition to the four summer vendors, he said he anticipates the fall lineup will include Burgies Coffee and Tea truck, B Fabulous BBQ and possibly a second, west-side site for El Mexicano. Streets of Europe, which operated near Hoover Hall this spring, did not renew its contract, he said.

Encryption is coming to a laptop near you

While most cyber crooks commit crimes via keyboard, laptop thieves do it old school -- grab and run. And once the laptops are in their possession, it's easy to bypass the passwords. The thieves simply start the laptops with bootable USB drives (no passwords needed) or pull out the hard drives and put them into other laptops. Either way, with a few minutes of effort, they can see everything on the stolen laptops.

Wouldn't it be nice if "everything" the bad guys saw was gibberish instead of private information? It's not only nice, but possible. That's the idea behind laptop encryption. And that's why ISU information technology staff have encrypted 1,000 university laptops and are at work on the rest.

If you've got an unencrypted university laptop, you'll likely hear from your IT support person sooner or later. In the meantime, here's useful intelligence about laptop encryption at Iowa State, provided by IT Director Mike Lohrbach and information security officer Andy Weisskopf.

Encryption basics

Encryption encodes data into gibberish. Only those with proper logins and passwords can turn that gibberish back into something intelligible. For university-owned laptops, you'll use your Net-ID and password to decode your encrypted data.

Let IT do it

Central and departmental staff will do the encrypting on university laptops. If you've purchased a new laptop in the past few months, it probably was encrypted during the initial setup. IT staff are working their way through the older laptops on campus now.

To encrypt the laptops, IT staff turn on the encryption software already installed on the machines. For Windows laptops, that's BitLocker. Macs are encrypted with FileVault.

At the time of encryption, IT staff also copy and save the recovery keys, a series of numbers and letters assigned during each encryption. If laptop users forget their passwords or can't access their laptop information due to malfunctions, IT staff will need the recovery keys to retrieve data that otherwise would be lost.

Tips for using encrypted laptops

Encrypted laptops should operate just like unencrypted ones, with the same speed and responsiveness.

Departmental laptops shared by several people will work just the way they do now. Users sign in with their own Net-IDs and passwords to gain access and unencrypt the data.

Laptops left on and unattended are unencrypted sitting ducks for snoopers. Take your laptop with you, or at least turn it off, if it will be out of your sight for a few moments. And set the device to go into screen-saving mode after a few minutes of inactivity. Most screen savers require a password to reactivate the laptop.

Is encryption mandatory?

Mandatory encryption on university laptops with moderate to highly restricted university data is part of a proposed data classification policy currently under consideration by the ISU administration.

What encryption does and doesn't do

Encryption protects your data if your laptop is lost or stolen.

It doesn't:

  • Keep your laptop from being stolen or help you recover it
  • Prevent viruses and malware
  • Protect files that are moved off the laptop itself. If you mail a file from your encrypted laptop or download it onto a USB drive, the file is unencrypted

Should I encrypt my home laptop?

If you're keeping personal information on the laptop, it's a good idea, if -- and this is a big IF -- you have a good way to store your recovery key. If you lose your password and your recovery key, there's no way to get your data back. That's the point of encryption.

Summer brings big groups to campus

Iowa State will host several events this summer, bringing large groups of participants to campus. Find out what (and who) you'll see navigating the sidewalks, roadways and buildings.




Agricultural Credit School

June 1-5


Orientation: Fall 2015

June 1-July 1


Recharge: United Church of Christ Iowa Conference

June 5-6


Future Problem Solving Program International Conference

June 9-15


Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America

June 13-14


College Bound: Early Outreach Program

June 14-26


Iowa American Legion Auxiliary Girls State

June 14-19


OPPTAG summer youth programs

June 15-July 2


School Food Short Courses

June 16-18, July 8-9, 28-30


USA Track and Field Iowa Association Junior Olympic, Open and Masters championships

June 20-21


USA Hockey Bantam Camp

June 21-26


National Cheerleaders Association camps

June 21-23, July 21-24


Iowa Reading Association Conference

June 22-23


Iowa 4-H Youth Conference

June 28-July 2


Project Lead the Way training institutes

July 5-17


Bravo National Dance and Talent Competition

July 7-12


USA Track and Field Region XIII Championships

July 9-12


Universal Dance Association camp

July 9-12


Iowa Masters golf tournament

July 10-12


Iowa Games

July 10-12, 16-19, 24-26


Iowa Adult Education and Literacy Conference

July 15-17


Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity
leadership seminar

July 21-26