'Clone to the (wet) bone

Seven students haul dorm gear in the rain

Photo by Christopher Gannon.

A(nother!) downpour scarcely deters seven members of Iowa State's student move-in crew Tuesday morning as they head toward Helser Hall with the belongings of a freshman student. Wednesday brought drier but October-like conditions. Nine hundred returning students generously signed on to help new students settle into their residence halls Tuesday and Wednesday. Destination Iowa State begins Thursday.

Fall 2015: By the numbers

Icon: Teacher at whiteboard

124 new tenured or tenure-track faculty have been hired.

Icon: Students in class

About 36,000 students are expected this fall -- another record.

Icon: Car and park sign

Drivers will find more meters and extended free parking hours.

Icon: Tablet

The average student brings five electronic devices to campus.


Students and faculty

  • About 36,000 students are expected on campus this fall, the seventh year of record enrollment and ninth consecutive year of growth (official enrollment numbers will be available in September)
  • 66 percent of Iowa State classes have 29 or fewer students
  • 5,805 entering students attended orientation in June to help with their transition to college life
  • More than 70 percent of direct-from-high school students are expected to participate in a learning community this fall
  • 34 students is the mean class section size
  • 89 percent of student credit hours are taught by faculty
  • 123 new tenured or tenure-track faculty will join Iowa State this fall
  • 4,729 undergraduate class sections are scheduled for fall 2015, an increase of 63 from fall 2014; 329 from fall 2013; and 655 from 2012

Department of Residence

  • 100 percent of freshmen (direct from high school) and all new transfer students who submitted contracts before July 20, 2015, are being accommodated
  • 58.3 percent: The increase in the number of students choosing to live with the Department of Residence since 2005. On-campus housing has gone from 7,909 in 2005 to 12,514 in fall 2015.  During the same time period, enrollment has increased about 40 percent (25,741 in 2005 to approximately 36,000 this fall).
  • 12,514 students live in Department of Residence housing this fall (approximately 277 more than in fall 2014, and it and marks the second year in a row of record occupancy)
  • 1,541 total leased beds off campus
  • 784 permanent residence hall spaces in the new Buchanan 2 building under construction adjacent to Buchanan Hall. The new building is slated to open in January 2017.

ISU Dining

  • 21 locations on campus (11 cafés, 4 dining centers, 3 restaurants, 3 C-stores)
  • 18 hours: Meal availability daily, somewhere on campus
  • 43,000 daily sales transactions
  • 8,750 meals served daily in the 4 dining centers
  • 4,647 catered events in FY15
  • 2 employee shifts daily (17 total hours) operating at the bakery

Additional food options

  • 8 private-vendor food trucks in 5 locations around central campus

University Library

  • 2 million visitors last year
  • 2,569 seats for patrons
  • 143 staff (librarians, support and student staff)
  • 220 computer stations
  • 20 laptops available for checkout
  • 861 electrical outlets for patrons' use
  • 1,676 USB power chargers (800 table outlets and 876 computer ports)
  • 405 group study tables/stations
  • 289 individual study tables/carrels

Student activities

  • 52 seats added to second/third-floor hallways of the Memorial Union
  • 9,600 events held in Memorial Union meeting rooms and green spaces (17 percent increase)
  • 850 recognized student organizations
  • 650 faculty and staff serving as student organization advisers
  • 17,345 games bowled in CyBowl and Billiards
  • 14,814 users in the Workspace (classes, events, studio)
  • 3,316 community service hours logged by 86 students participating in seven alternative break trips (9,732 miles traveled to sites)
  • 55,410 attendance at 361 Student Union Board events (Maintenance Shop and Cyclone Cinema)
  • 11,345 participants in 6 ISU AfterDark events

Recreation Services

  • 3 multipurpose recreation facilities
  • 1 million user visits to rec facilities
  • 560 student employees
  • 43 intramural sports competitions scheduled for 2015-16
  • 121 group fitness classes offered each week
  • 51 active sports clubs

Getting around

  • Osborn Drive: Summertime changes are expected to reduce congestion and improve safety. Street parking is banned during work hours. Bus stops have been reduced and some sidewalk sections widened to accommodate pedestrians. On weekdays, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., large delivery vehicles will be diverted to Central Stores for delivery alternatives.
  • Farm House Lane: Safety was the motive for connecting the south end of Farm House Lane (near the Gerdin Building) to Wallace Road. The north end of Farm House Lane will be closed next spring when construction starts on the Bessey Hall addition. The new south access will assure emergency access to buildings along the lane. Longer term, planners hope to create a north-south pedestrian corridor through the middle section of the lane between Ross and Troxel halls.

Parking meter-ology

  • 47 parking meters were added on the northwest side of campus to create more student parking. The total number of metered spaces on campus is 782.
  • Free parking hours have been extended on most meters (5:30 p.m.-7 a.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends)
  • 5-minute grace period. Once the meter reaches zero, drivers have five minutes of ticket amnesty as the meter turns yellow and counts backwards from five.
  • The Parkmobile smartphone app makes for easier payment on prepay lots (Lied Center's lot 100, Armory's lot 21 and east campus parking deck)


  • 6,711,635 rides were provided last year, a record and a 1.4 percent increase over the previous year
  • 150,000 additional rides are anticipated this school year
  • The new No. 9 Plum route will provide residents living in apartments along South 16th Street a faster ride to campus
  • Up to 5 additional hours of service each day will help alleviate bus overcrowding. CyRide staff will monitor routes, assigning more buses when a bus routinely exceeds 65 riders per trip.
  • 31 drivers were hired and trained over the summer, and hiring will continue throughout the year
  • 11 buses (6 new and 5 refurbished) will join the CyRide fleet this fall


  • 5 is the average number of electronic devices each student will bring to campus 
  • 100,000+ networked devices will access the university network daily
  • IT techs are midway through a $4 million project to install more than 4,500 high-speed, wireless access points to buildings through campus


Approximately 40 employees and a number of students will move their workplaces to Campustown in a few months. The moves will free up campus space for academic learning and research, and support Campustown development. Iowa State is leasing the second floor of the new Kingland office building, under construction on the corner of Lincoln Way and Welch Avenue. The Kingland building will house:

  • Iowa State Daily, 5 staff members and 50 students, from Hamilton Hall
  • Institutional research, 6 staff members, from Beardshear Hall
  • ISU Foundation phone center, 2 staff members and about 35 students per shift, from Durham Center
  • Offices for responsible research and research integrity, 14 staff members, from Pearson Hall
  • University relations, 15 staff members, from Communications Building



Save the date: Leath's annual address is Sept. 10

President Steven Leath will share his priorities for the 2015-16 academic year during his annual address scheduled for Thursday evening, Sept. 10 (7 p.m., Memorial Union Great Hall). Refreshments will be available beginning at 6:30 p.m.

And while officially it's back to school on Monday, several colleges will launch the semester yet this week with opening events for their faculty and staff. Here's a quick summary of college and university-wide events to kick off the new academic year.

College events

  • Human Sciences convocation and breakfast for faculty and staff, Thursday, Aug. 20 (7:45-11 a.m., Reiman Ballroom, Alumni Center)
  • Business faculty and staff family picnic, Friday, Aug. 21 (6 p.m., Big Bluestem Shelter, Moore Memorial Park)
  • Design welcome reception for faculty and staff, Monday, Aug. 24 (6-8 p.m., King Pavilion, College of Design)
  • Veterinary Medicine convocation, Wednesday, Aug. 26 (8 a.m., 2226 Vet Med), breakfast served at 7:30 a.m.
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences convocation and awards ceremony, Thursday, Sept. 10 (3:30 p.m., MU Sun Room), reception follows
  • Engineering convocation, Tuesday, Sept. 15 (3-5 p.m., Howe auditorium)
  • Agriculture and Life Sciences convocation, Tuesday, Sept. 22 (4:10 p.m., MU Sun Room), reception follows

University events

  • Fanfare concert, featuring music department faculty members, Sunday, Aug. 30 (3-4:30 p.m., Tye Hall, Music Building), free admission
  • President Steven Leath's annual address, Thursday, Sept. 10 (7 p.m., MU Great Hall), refreshments available at 6:30 p.m.
  • University faculty and staff awards ceremony, Monday, Sept. 21 (3:30 p.m., MU Great Hall), reception follows

A 2015 summer summary


Demolition inside Marston Hall is nearly complete. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

If you spent more time sipping lemonade this summer than tracking the university's latest happenings, here's a recap.

Construction update

  • Osborn Drive got plenty of attention this summer as planners and construction crews endeavored to make the road safer and less congested. Some sidewalk sections were widened. Bus stops were removed. On-street parking was banned on weekdays 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Efforts are underway to reduce traffic travel through gates. And a "Walk Your Wheels" campaign will encourage cyclists to obey university policy and walk bikes on sidewalks.
  • Interior demolition work at Marston Hall, home to the College of Engineering, continued this summer and should wrap up by September. When demolition is complete, about 75 percent of the building's internal load-bearing walls will be replaced to create larger spaces in the 112-year-old building. Marston is slated to reopen at the end of spring semester.
  • Crews began transforming the Hub patio into a larger plaza and free-speech zone this summer. The new area will include outdoor seating with umbrellas, seat walls, an accessible ramp, brick columns and a shade canopy.
  • The south end of Farm House Lane has been extended to Wallace Road and is gated to restrict vehicle traffic. The change improves general access to buildings along the lane, assures service and fire protection during the Bessey Hall construction (beginning next spring) and makes sidewalk slopes compliant with ADA standards.

New hires


Steve Prohm

  • Steve Prohm, men's basketball head coach, effective June 9
  • Beth McNeil, University Library dean, effective July 15
  • Mary Hensley, Thielen Student Health Center interim director, effective July 20


  • Information technology staff are encrypting all ISU laptops to protect university information from thieves. More than 1,000 laptops already are encrypted. If you've purchased a new laptop recently, it was likely encrypted during the initial setup. IT staff are working their way through older laptops on campus. 
  • The College of Engineering purchased 20 mobile device charging stations for visitors and students in its buildings. Each of the ChargeTech freestanding stations plugs into any outlet and features eight charging connector cords for various mobile devices. Other departments interested in installing ChargeTech stations in their buildings should contact the purchasing department.
  • Technical help for Blackboard has moved to the IT Solution Center and includes evening and weekend service hours. For help, instructors may:
  • Contact the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), which will continue to address pedagogical questions on such topics as course design or instructional practices
  • Visit the IT website for links to common help articles, web-based help request forms and an RSS news feed
  • Email solution@iastate.edu
  • Phone or visit the Solution Center, 294-4000, 195 Durham Center
  • A common application portal for Iowa's three state universities went live July 1. The portal, one of the outcomes of the state Board of Regents' TIER (Transparent, Inclusive Efficiency Review) process, allows students to apply to one or more of the three universities.

Regents' approvals

  • Iowa State got a green light from the state Board of Regents in June to proceed with two biosciences projects. The Advanced Teaching and Research Building, a five-story teaching/research building north of Lagomarcino Hall, will house the plant pathology and microbiology department and portions of two others: entomology, and genetics, development and cell biology. Construction begins next spring and will last two years. A four-story Bessey Hall addition will house undergraduate teaching and research labs for two departments (ecology, evolution and organismal biology, and genetics, development and cell biology) as well as two general university classrooms. Construction also begins next spring and will conclude the summer of 2017.
  • The board approved Iowa State's five-year agreement with the company Fans4Ever to design, construct and market a columbarium and garden adjacent to the east side of the university cemetery, located north of Pammel Drive. An early estimated cost per niche is about $6,000.
  • The board approved Iowa State's FY16 operating budget of $675 million and its total budget of just under $1.4 billion in August.
  • At its Sept. 9 meeting, the board will vote on a proposed tuition increase of 3 percent for resident undergraduates for the spring 2016 semester. If approved, the increase would raise an additional $1.65 million in revenue for Iowa State.


  • University Book Store staff reorganized all textbooks by author's last name, saying goodbye to a decades-old system of grouping texts by academic discipline and course number. A key strength of the alpha system is that a textbook is stocked in one location, no matter how many courses or departments use it. The result is better staff efficiency and customer service.
  • Summer enrollment reached a record-setting 11,636 students, an increase of 106 students over the previous record set in 2014.

Good to know

  • Iowa State is ranked 70th in the world among universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2014, according to the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. ISU researchers earned 31 U.S. patents, including patents for wind turbine tower systems, computer encryption logic, bioasphalt, use of mesoporous silicates for delivering biomolecules into plants cells and improved treatment of Parkinson's disease.
  • Iowa State broke its external funding record, attracting $424.9 million during the fiscal year that ended June 30. The previous record was $388.2 million in FY10. External funding includes grants, contracts, gifts and cooperative agreements from federal, state and local governments as well as from corporations, foundations and other universities.
  • Adjourning the first week in June, the 2015 Iowa Legislature approved $40 million in funding over four years (FY17-20) for Iowa State's Student Innovation Center. In August, the regents gave the green light for planning to proceed and approved the demolition of two buildings to create space for the new center.
  • New parking meters are popping up around campus as officials work to create extra spaces for student drivers. The new meters -- 47 in all -- will affect some general staff spaces, but those displaced spaces are moving closer to central campus. Also new to campus parking this fall is a smartphone app, Parkmobile, that gives users an alternate way to pay at the metered prepay lots near the Lied Center and Armory. Administrators have extended free park times in the prepay lots to include the entire weekend and weekday early evenings. And, all meters on campus have a new five-minute grace period; once the meter reaches zero, drivers have five minutes of ticket amnesty.
  • Ames-based VenuWorks began managing the Iowa State Center on Aug. 1. The center, which includes Stephens Auditorium, Fisher Theater and the Scheman Building, had been managed by Philadelphia-based SMG since 2001. VenuWorks manages all events, conferences, catering and concessions except those at Hilton Coliseum, which the athletics department still manages. 

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Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com and licensed by CC BY 3.0

Readers' survey sparks some updates

Inside Iowa State readers who responded to a short survey in April generally expressed satisfaction with the news they read and how they receive it. Just over 1,500 of you participated, roughly 20 percent of ISU employees (including graduate assistants) who receive an email each Thursday morning inviting them into the latest edition. At 900 respondents, professional and scientific employees were the majority group.

You told us you're interested in reading about employee benefits and other human resources news, campus building projects, IT innovations that help you do your jobs better, state Board of Regents decisions and leadership changes at all levels of the university.

You told us you're busy and appreciate concise, tight writing (though some of you chastised us for not providing more detail). You asked us to pay more attention to the third leg of the land-grant stool, ISU Extension and Outreach. You also told us once a week is about as often as you want to hear from us (some universities distribute a daily news email). And while we received suggestions for every day of the week, about 95 percent of you said Thursday morning is a good time to grab your attention for a few minutes, so that won't change.

Here are a few changes we will make, with the intent of serving our readers better:

  • When it's relevant, we'll include links at the end of a story to earlier, related articles.
  • The Thursday email will include a new section that provides links to several of our news archives such as all editions of Inside Iowa State and a searchable index of several years' worth of regents meeting coverage. Soon, we'll have similar indexes for Faculty Senate and P&S Council coverage.
  • We'll look into options for sharing snapshots about what different units, departments and offices on campus do and who they serve. Stay tuned.

Thank you to everyone who made time last spring for our readers' survey. While there likely won't be another formal survey in the next two years, we always appreciate hearing from readers. Send us your story suggestions, announcements, reception or groundbreaking dates. Let us know when we missed the boat. It all can be emailed to inside@iastate.edu.

Inside Iowa State staff,
Anne Krapfl, 294-7065
Diana Pounds, 294-4845
Erin Rosacker, 294-8870
Paula Van Brocklin, 294-5952
Internal Communications, Office of University Relations

Camping with Iowa Staters at the fair

Athletics director Jamie Pollard autographs a football poster fo

Photo by Christopher Gannon.

ISU alumna Krysta Steckelberg (left) of Conrad requests an autographed football poster from athletics director Jamie Pollard at Camp Cy, the university's main exhibit in the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fair, on Aug. 14. The fair runs through Sunday, Aug. 23.