Getting organized for August

Freshman orientation is about 60 percent complete as of today (June 18), with eight more groups yet to complete the 1.5-day experience by July 1.

New student programs director Liz Kurt said the month is going well, save for one thing. "We could use a little less rain!"

Similar to recent years, Kurt said it's apparent that some participants have not selected their school yet and are attending more than one university orientation this summer.

Despite the weather and the all-hands-on-deck demands of orientation, Kurt said it's been a strong two weeks.

"The university community deserves some pats on the back," she added.

Following are a few comments from both incoming freshmen and family members on orientation evaluation forms:

  • "I was really impressed with the entire operation. Well organized and well executed. Made me feel proud to be an Iowa Stater [electrical engineering, 1960]. This fall, I will have three grandsons at Iowa State and a fourth next fall."
  • "Very impressed [with] how ISU has made a huge university seem doable to the average Iowa kid. It appears smaller than it is. Although still nervous for classes of 400."
  • "Kudos to you all. This was by far the best orientation program that our family has attended. Our children have graduated or attended Iowa, Northern Iowa and University of Dubuque."
  • "ISU really goes above and beyond! Everyone is friendly and helpful."
  • "Getting students a college education is the number one goal of this university."
  • "I really enjoyed orientation and am looking forward to being a student. Thanks!"
  • "You guys did an awesome job of making me excited to be a Cyclone!"

More comments from orientation-goers are captured daily on the Orientation Tagboard site.

Incremental state operating support next year is shy of 1 percent

University leaders are working this month to finish an operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 with funding levels that generally look a lot like this year's. The 2015 Legislature rejected some key appropriation requests from the state Board of Regents, including about $12.9 million -- shared between Iowa State and University of Northern Iowa -- to begin to implement a performance-based funding model without redistributing dollars from the University of Iowa. The funding model would have radically changed the formula for how the operating appropriation from the state – roughly $500 million – is shared among the three state universities.

If Gov. Terry Branstad signs the education appropriations bill, Iowa State instead will receive an additional $1.2 million (and a total of $182.2 million) in its general university appropriation, in recognition of ISU's growing enrollment.

Legislators also approved about $2.3 million in one-time funds for Iowa State, but discussions about where to use those funds will wait, pending a signature from the governor. Assistant vice president for financial planning and budgets Dave Biedenbach said senior administrators would discuss uses for those funds once the dollars are certain. Language in the bill stipulates that the funds can't be used for operational or ongoing expenses, including salaries, support, administrative expenses or other personnel-related costs.

Branstad has 30 days from the time he receives a bill to sign or veto it. Given the Legislature's late adjournment (June 5), it could be as late as mid-July before budget numbers are finalized.

2015 Legislative summary: New appropriations for Iowa State


  • $1.2 million in operating funds


  • $2.3 million in non-operating funds
  • $1.23 million over three years for a pilot project on data collection for in-field agriculture practices
  • $330,000 for cancer-related equipment in the College of Veterinary Medicine

Commitment for ISU building project:

  • $40 million over five years (FY2017-21) for the Student Innovation Center ($1 million, $9 million and three years at $10 million)

New tuition revenue

About 85 percent of the recurring new dollars in the next operating budget could come from tuition revenues. Nearly $15 million of about $18 million in anticipated new revenue, in an operating budget of about $660 million, would come from enrollment growth – anticipated at about 1,000 additional students -- and tuition increases of 1.2 percent to 3.2 percent for all students except resident undergraduates.

Biedenbach said employee compensation increases, student financial aid, inflationary increases on external vendor services and products, costs associated with moving university units into the Kingland office building in Campustown next winter and other unavoidable increases will total more than $15 million. He said that leaves nearly $3 million to invest in new or continuing priorities.

Finishing up

Despite the potential lag with bills being signed into law, Iowa State has a July 2 deadline to submit its FY16 budget to the regents office. Senior vice presidents will submit their final budget plans to the president later this month, and a late June memo from the president back to them will provide an overview of the budget outcomes. Details of that budget also will be shared in July in Inside.

Decongesting Osborn

Osborn Drive in April 2015

Summer work is expected to alleviate some of the crowding along Osborn Drive. File photo by Chrisopher Gannon.

Osborn Drive will get a lot of attention this summer as crews begin working their way through a list of projects to improve safety on the most congested road on campus.

Wider sidewalks

First up is a sidewalk-widening project that will double the width of the north sidewalk on a particularly crowded portion of Osborn -- the stretch between Physics and Science halls. The new sidewalk will be 13 feet wide, expanding to 16 feet at the Science bus stop, to give pedestrians more room, said Cathy Brown, assistant director for planning in facilities planning and management. Additionally, the edge of the walk nearest the curb will be a contrasting color -- visually alerting pedestrians that they're near the street.

The LeBaron Hall sidewalk area, just across the street from Physics, also will be expanded.

"We're in-filling some of the space on the LeBaron corner to make more room for people," Brown said.

Sidewalk construction is scheduled to begin June 22 and should be completed by Aug. 1.

"The sidewalk is a pilot," Brown said. "If it's successful, we may seek funding to widen other portions of Osborn sidewalks."

Bus stop to move

Adding to congestion in the Physics and Science area are a pedestrian crosswalk and CyRide bus stop that appear to be a little too close together for safe road crossings. Over the summer, the bus stop will be moved to the east. The move will give Osborn drivers and bicyclists a better view of pedestrians approaching the crosswalk, Brown said. The bus stop will close for two weeks during the sidewalk widening project. Riders will be re-directed to the Kildee of Gilman hall stops.

Parked cars

Parked cars that currently line the north side of Osborn may disappear around by summer's end, Brown said. The plan is to prohibit Osborn parking when a nearby 64-stall lot opens on the former Davidson Hall site. Based on the current schedule, the lot should be open for use Monday, Aug. 17.

Brown noted that drivers who occasionally park on Osborn may wish to use the Memorial Union parking ramp or the prepay lots at the Lied Center (lot 100), Armory (lot 21) and the east campus parking deck

More to come

The summer projects are a start, but there's more to come on Osborn Drive, Brown said. Several months of study yielded a number of ideas for improving the road. An Osborn committee is reviewing those ideas and making plans for additional projects.

Iowa State among top universities granted U.S. patents

Iowa State is ranked 70th in the world among universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2014, according to a report released this week by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).

Iowa State researchers earned 31 U.S. patents in 2014, including patents for wind turbine tower systems, computer encryption logic, bioasphalt, use of mesoporous silicates for delivering biomolecules into plant cells and improved treatment of Parkinson’s disease. A full list of the university’s 2014 patents is below.

"Iowa State faculty and scientists are extremely productive in creating new knowledge that leads not only to patents, but also helps address global challenges such as sustainability, food security and human disease," said President Steven Leath. "The same intellectual property that earns patents also leads to student and faculty startup companies that generate economic development and embody our land-grant mission."

The report, based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, recognizes the important role patents play in university research. The NAI and IPO compile the rankings each year by calculating the number of utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that list a university as the first assignee on the printed patent.

The full report, Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents 2014, is online.

Iowa State University patents awarded in 2014



Patent No.

Anderson, Iver

Dispersoid Reinforced Alloy Powder and Method of Making


Bowler, Nicola

Concentric Coplanar Capacitive Sensor System With Quantitative Model


Cai, Ying

Cloaking with Footprints to Provide Location Privacy Protection in Location-Based Services


DiSpirito, Alan

Methylocystis Strain SB2 Materials and Methods


DiSpirito, Alan

Use of Methanobactin


Fayed, Ayman

System and Method for Providing Power via a Spurious-Noise-Free Switching Device


Gleeson, Brian

Pt-Metal Modified (Gamma)-Ni+(Gamma Prime)-Ni3Al-Alloy Compositions for High-Temperature Degradation Resistant Structural Alloys


Grewell, David

Depolymerization of Polylactic Acid


Harris, Hank

Identification of Protective Antigenic Determinants of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus and Uses Thereof


Ho, Kai-Ming

Soft Lithography Microlens Fabrication and Array for Enhanced Light Extraction from Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs)


Huangling, Changling

Bandwidth Recycling in Networks


Kamal, Ahmed

Network Protection Using Network Coding


Kanthasamy, Anumantha

Dual Beneficial Effect of Dopamine Enhancing and Neuroprotective Actions of PKC Delta Inhibitors for Treatment of Parkinson's Disease


Kraus, George

Method for Producing Olefins


Kraus, George

Regiospecific Synthesis of Terephthalates


Kumar, Ratnesh

Semantic Translation of Time-Driven Simulink Diagrams Using Input/Output Extended Finite Automata


Kumar, Ratnesh

Semantic Translation of Stateflow Diagrams into Input/Output Extended Finite Automata and Automated Test Generation for Simulink/Stateflow Diagrams


Lin, Victor

Magnetic Mesoporous Material for the Sequestration of Algae


Rieken, Joel

Melt Containment Member


Russell, Alan

Aluminum/Alkaline Earth Metal Composites and Method for Producing


Schnable, Patrick

QTL Regulating Ear Productivity Traits in Maize


Singh, Ravindra

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Treatment via Targeting SMN2 Catalytic Core


Sivasankar, Sanjeevi

System, Apparatus, and Method for Simultaneous Single Molecule Atomic Force Microscopy and Fluorescence Measurements


Somani, Arun

Depth-Optimal Mapping of Logic Chains in Reconfigurable Fabrics


Sritharan, Sivalingam

Wind Turbine Tower System


Trahanovsky, Walt

Method for the Conversion of Cellulose and Related Carbohydrate Materials to Low-Molecular-Weight Compounds


Tyagi, Akhilesh

Reconfigurable Block Encryption Logic


Wang, Kan

Methods of Using Capped Mesoporous Silicates


White, David

Polymer Mortar Composite Pipe Material and Manufacturing Method


Williams, R. Chris

Asphalt Materials Containing Bio-Oil and Methods for Production Thereof


Zhao, Yan

Nanoparticles and Nanoparticle Compositions



Additional 2014 patents issued for which the ISU Research Foundation is not the first assignee

Bogdanove, Adam

TAL Effector-Mediated DNA Modification


Shanks, Brent

Lewis and Bronsted-Lowry Acid-Catalyzed Production of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) From Glucose


Somani, Arun

Dynamic Advance Reservation with Delayed Allocation


Tirthapura, Srikanta

Computing Time-Decayed Aggregates in Data Streams



Marimba concert series opens Friday

As part of a marimba professional development conference for aspiring artists convening on campus June 22-28, several evening performances by professional performers are open to the public. The Heartland Marimba Festival and Academy is directed and hosted by music faculty member and marimba virtuoso Matthew Coley.

Coley said his goal is "an educational, world-class experience for the participants," as well as advocacy and promotion of the marimba as something more than what's commonly perceived as just a "really big xylophone." He said it's critical that artists understand the importance of a connection with their community.

Other Iowa cities hosting performances June 13-20 prior to the academy's arrival on campus are Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque, Mason City and Waterloo.

Marimba Festival performances in Ames

$15 suggested donation for each performance, unless noted otherwise

Friday, June 19
6-9 p.m., Wine tasting fundraiser and marimba exploration, Octagon Center for the Arts, 427 Douglas Ave., $20 (must be 21 years or older)

Monday, June 22
7:30 p.m., Opening concert of the Heartland Marimba Academy, featuring Clocks in Motion and ISU music lecturer Matthew Coley, Tye Hall, Music

Wednesday, June 24
7:30 p.m., Concert, "Marimba in the Mix" featuring Clocks in Motion and other festival artists, Tye Hall, Music

Thursday, June 25
7 p.m., Festival ensembles join the Ames Municipal Band at its weekly concert, Bandshell Park, Sixth Street and Duff Avenue, free

Friday, June 26
7 p.m., Soloists concert, reception follows, First United Methodist Church, 516 Kellogg Ave.

Saturday, June 27
2 p.m., Closing concert, featuring all performers and festival marimba orchestra, Tye Hall, Music