A first

ceremony in Jack Trice Stadium

Despite an 11th-hour challenge from Mother Nature, Iowa State held its first-ever commencement ceremony in Jack Trice Stadium on May 7. About 2,360 students -- roughly 60 percent of undergraduates completing degrees sping semester -- participated in the outdoor event. The stage was erected on the playing field; graduates and guests shared the west side bleachers. Graduates, who gathered by college in the Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility, entered the stadium via the players' tunnel. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Summer projects will keep you on your toes

Workers use jack hammers to break up the bridge surface

Work began Monday to repair and resurface the Stange Road bridge over Squaw Creek. The primary north access route to campus is shut down through the first week in June. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Heads up! Graduation weekend once again has triggered a hectic 12-14 weeks of building and road projects on campus. Some of the work wraps up within the summer window; other work is part of larger, ongoing projects. Inside takes a quick look at a few projects you might want to have on your radar in the next few months:

Biosciences building projects

Work continues on the new biosciences teaching and research facility on the northwest corner of Stange Road and Pammel Drive, as well as a four-story addition to the east side of Bessey Hall. Drivers and pedestrians should expect high levels of construction traffic in these areas this summer.

A short section of Osborn Drive, from Stange to Farmhouse Lane, will be closed June 6-28 for underground utility connections to the Bessey addition. During this time, the Stange barricades east of Lagomarcino Hall will be removed, and vehicles and CyRide buses will access central campus via Stange.

Target completion dates for the two projects are fall 2017 (Bessey addition) and spring 2018 (teaching/research facility).

Pearson Hall

As part of a continuous effort to upgrade all 215 general university classrooms, the 11 on Pearson second floor will be taken out of use on June 1 for a $1 million renovation. The improvements include new mechanical and lighting systems, instructional technology upgrades, and new room finishes and furniture. Corridor spaces will be repurposed for post-class meeting areas and a student collaboration area. The floor will return to use fall semester 2017.

MU roof

The original slate tile roof (dating to 1927) on the central, highest part of the Memorial Union will be replaced this summer. Tuck pointing also will be completed on the chimneys and other structures above the roof line. Scaffolding erected on the third-floor roof will surround the work area and scaffold stairs for crew members will be erected on the east side of the building, requiring the north entrance to the MU parking ramp to be closed. The anticipated timeline for this project is mid-June to mid-November.

MU front lawn

The area around the Fountain of the Four Seasons on the Memorial Union north lawn will be relandscaped this summer as part of President Steven Leath's campus beautification initiative. The fountain was encased in a protective box this week. Plaza and sidewalk construction should wrap up by mid-July, with planting to follow. The changes will visually connect the front lawn to the university wall across the street.

Pammel Drive

The four-lane road will be repaired, resurfaced and restriped as a two-lane road  this summer. The conversion to two traffic lanes will create space for center turn lanes and painted (not built up) medians. The work will start in early June and continue for four weeks, two lanes at a time. The final paving and striping will require the road to close for about three days.

Stange Road bridge repairs

Good news! We’re four days into a scheduled 30-day closure of Stange Road between 13th Street and Bruner Drive for repairs and resurfacing of the Squaw Creek bridge. Completion is scheduled by June 7.

Sidewalk projects

The southwest corner of campus is targeted for sidewalk repairs this summer (May 9-Aug. 5). The focus area generally is bordered by Lincoln Way, Sheldon Avenue, Marston Court and Pearson/Marston halls.

Additionally, the sidewalk widening work on the north side of Osborn Drive that began last summer continues this summer in front of Lagomarcino (May) and Science (June) halls.

And here are a few updates on projects approaching completion:

Marston Hall renovation

A two-year effort that gutted and restored all four floors of Marston Hall winds down this month and mechanical and other systems will get a final test. Furniture installation begins in mid-June, with Engineering college tenants returning in July. The new Marston includes three state-of-the-art classrooms for fall semester use.

Sixth Street bridge replacement (city of Ames project)

The bridge's road surface is poured, and the contractor is adding concrete barrier rails and installing stabilizing materials to the creek bank. Weather permitting, crews will tear up the road approaches at both ends of the bridge by mid-May to reconstruct the street. Sixth Street is expected to reopen by Aug. 1.

Council considering salary recommendation

Members of the Professional and Scientific Council will vote on its annual salary recommendation next month. The compensation and benefits committee is proposing the "greatest salary increase feasible within the FY17 budget" in a motion introduced at the May 5 council meeting.

In a summary of its recommendation, the committee refers to Iowa State's unprecedented enrollment growth and "modest" salary increases -- an average of 1.4 percent annually over the past five years. It also cites three priorities to assist with the recruitment and retention of P&S employees, including:

  • Competitive compensation
  • Performance-based compensation
  • Improved classification system

Council members will continue discussion of the recommendation at the May 26 meeting, then vote on a motion to submit it to the university's senior administrators.

Other business

Council members unanimously approved:

Emerging leaders class announced

Thirty faculty and staff have been chosen to participate in the 2016-17 edition of the Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA). ELA is an academic year initiative to develop faculty and P&S staff currently serving in leadership roles at Iowa State, or who aspire to hold leadership positions.

Participants attend monthly sessions on leadership theory and practice, current issues in higher education, and university-related challenges and opportunities. Each participant also benefits from a year-long mentoring relationship with a current Iowa State leader.

Members of the 2016-17 cohort are:

  • Carmen Bain, sociology
  • Jessica Bell, natural resource ecology and management
  • Barbara Biederman, office of university counsel
  • Michael Broders, information technology services
  • Sarah Cady, chemistry
  • Cameron Campbell, College of Design administration
  • Scott Dahl, alumni association
  • Tim Day, biomedical sciences
  • Heather Dean, University Book Store
  • Pol Herrmann, marketing and management
  • Erin Hodgson, entomology
  • Douglas Hoenig, Ames Laboratory
  • Tricia Janes, Small Business Development Center
  • Kristen Johansen, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology
  • Brad Kerr, College of Veterinary Medicine administration
  • Asrun Kristmundsdottir, office of the vice president for research
  • Jeff Kushkowski, university library
  • Tera Lawson, School of Education
  • Young-A Lee, apparel, events and hospitality management
  • Sarah Merrill, new student programs
  • Ann Oberhauser, sociology
  • Teresa Paschke, art and visual culture
  • Nicci Port, College of Human Sciences administration
  • Hridesh Rajan, computer science
  • Joseph Rayzor, office of risk management
  • Don Simonson, music and theatre
  • Kipp Van Dyke, dean of students office
  • Max Viatori, anthropology
  • Kathy Wieland, College of Business administration
  • Matthew Sivils, English

The provost’s office established the ELA program in 2009 to help prepare a broader and more diverse group of faculty and staff for leadership roles across campus. The 2016-17 ELA class is the program’s sixth.

Time to re-up your expertise on discrimination, harassment

What should you do if a student confides he or she has been sexually assaulted?

When does a hostile environment in a university office become unlawfully hostile?

Iowa State employees should know the answers to these kinds of questions well before they're needed, said equal opportunity director Margo Foreman.  That's why faculty and staff must complete training on discrimination, sexual violence and harassment every two years.

This is a training year and all employees who have not completed training in the last two years should have received email invitations to their personal online accounts in late April.

Everyone is asked to complete two courses -- "Preventing Discrimination and Sexual Violence" and “Unlawful Harassment Prevention" by Aug. 31. Supervisors also must complete a third, supplementary course on unlawful harassment prevention.

It's preventative, educational

"The university wants to ensure that everyone stays on top of these topics," Foreman said. "This training is a preventative and educational measure, like HIPAA or FERPA training. Engaging in all compliance training is about being a good citizen of the campus, holding your community dear, being able to respond if you encounter discrimination, harassment or sexual assault."

All students -- freshmen and transfers -- take similar training when they arrive on campus.

“For students, the training is not only a requirement, but part of their entire learning process,” Foreman said.

About the training

The sessions are interactive and include a variety of workplace scenarios. The two required sessions for all employees take about 40 minutes each to complete. The supervisor supplement can be completed in about 15 minutes.

Employees will find their personal training links in an April 26 email from the EO office. If you have lost your link, contact the equal opportunity office (eooffice@iastate.edu, 4-7612).

Foreman said sessions need not be completed in a single sitting. Participants can stop and restart, as needed.

Each training session includes a letter from President Steven Leath noting that Iowa State does "not tolerate any form of harassment or discrimination and there are both laws and strict university policies in place prohibiting such actions."

The online training, Leath adds, "will help you understand these policies and know what to do if you encounter discrimination or harassment."

Special Olympics return to campus May 19-21

Special Olympics venues

  • Beyer Hall pool
  • Forker Building
  • Forker tennis courts
  • Hilton Coliseum
  • Iowa State Center parking lots
  • Lied Center
  • Lied fields
  • MWL fields

The Iowa Special Olympics summer games return to Ames May 19-21 with events and activities in several campus venues. Hundreds of Iowa Staters -- staff, faculty and students -- serve as volunteers for the event, which boasts more than 2,600 competitors and 1,200 coaches.

All events, including Thursday's opening ceremonies (7-9 p.m., Hilton Coliseum), are free and open to the public.


All volunteers must check in Thursday and Friday at the tent in lot S8, east of Jack Trice Stadium. Volunteers are asked to use the bus shuttles, which run from lot S8 to the competition venues on Thursday and Friday. Shuttles will not operate on Saturday and volunteer check-in moves to the Lied Center.

Road closures

  • Beach Road: Closed to through traffic from Lincoln Way to the power plant, 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday 

  • South Fourth Street: Closed from Beach Avenue to just west of entrance to stadium parking lots, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday 

Parking lot closures

  • Beyer Hall: Lot 3, Friday (all day); open only to 24-hour Reserve or handicap permit holders
  • Forker Building: Lot 50A, Thursday and Friday (all day); open only to 24-hour Reserve and handicap permit holders
  • Iowa State Center: All lots, Thursday (12:01 a.m.-5 p.m.); commuter parking will move to the football stadium parking lots and CyRide will be routed through lots S4-S6
  • Lied Center: Lots 57 and 100, Thursday and Friday (all day, all vehicles)
  • Maple-Willow-Larch residence area: Lots 56, 63, 80, 89, 90 and 91, Thursday and Friday (all day); open only to Special Olympics or handicap permit holders
  • Richardson Court residence area: Lots 54, 54A, 66, 67, 82, 83, Thursday and Friday (all day); open only to Special Olympics or handicap permit holders

No harm shall come

Workers build protective shed around outdoor sculpture

Dylan Eichhorn (left) and a coworker from Jasper Construction Services, Newton, build a temporary shelter around a drained and covered Fountain of the Four Seasons on a foggy morning this week. The shelter will protect the sculpture during removal of walkways and construction of a new plaza and sidewalks on the Memorial Union north lawn this month and next. By July, the lawn will be ready for extensive planting. The project is part of President Steven Leath's campus beautification initiative. Photo by Christopher Gannon.