Fall 2016 facts

Students pass by the steps of Beardshear Hall

A new academic year begins Monday, Aug. 22. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

On the eve of a new academic year, university relations staff compiled an overview of who's coming to study, as well as some of the campus improvements since last fall that will improve the student experience.

Students and faculty

  • Total fall enrollment could exceed 36,500 students. This marks the eighth year of record enrollment and 10th consecutive year of growth (enrollment numbers will be available in early September after the official count is taken)
  • 64 percent of Iowa State classes have 29 or fewer students
  • 5,858 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
  • 88 percent of student credit hours are taught by faculty
  • About 70 new tenured or tenure-track faculty will join Iowa State this fall, contributing to a record number of total faculty on campus
  • 4,791 undergraduate class sections are scheduled for fall 2016, an increase of 58 from fall 2015; 125 from fall 2014; and 391 from 2013

Residence department

  • More than 12,000 students are living in university- owned or managed housing this fall; an exact number will not be available until early September
  • 100 percent of all new direct-from-high-school and new transfer students who requested university housing have been accommodated
  • 1,450 leased beds (1,151 at the Iowa State West Apartments and 299 in Legacy Tower)
  • 784 permanent residence hall beds will be added in January 2017 with the opening of the new Buchanan II building
  • No students are living in temporary housing
  • The department of residence continues to accept housing contracts

Learning spaces

  • A new Parks Library classroom is part of the university classroom inventory mix from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week; at other times the library schedules workshops in it
  • The network of online testing centers, which administer an estimated 76,000 tests throughout a semester, added locations and seats. It also added weekends and hours to its finals week options. About 200 computers located in three testing centers expands to about 400 in six locations during finals.
  • Work underway this fall will open a dozen state-of-the-art classrooms in three buildings -- Bessey, Hamilton and Pearson -- next fall.
  • A partnership coordinated by facilities planning and management and funded by campus units put 400 hallway benches in 24 buildings with high classroom counts to give students a place to sit while they prepare for class or exams. Designed by employees and manufactured at Iowa Prison Industries, the benches feature recycled cypress and oak wood from campus.

Safety and inclusion

  • Anyone concerned about walking on campus at night can summon a free lift through the new SafeRide ISU program. The Uber-like service includes a smart phone app.
  • New policy requires body cameras for ISU police officers
  • ISU Police added officers to its multicultural liaison program
  • Pammel Drive was restriped (from four lanes down to two) with the intent of improving pedestrian safety
  • A new vice president for diversity and inclusion will hire two more staffers this fall: project directors in LGBTQA+ affairs and Hispanic/Latino affairs
  • Senior vice president for student affairs added service positions: director posts in student wellness and research/assessment

University library

  • The library remained open 24 hours during spring semester's dead week and finals week, a pilot program that will continue into the 2016-17 academic year
  • Information technology services' solution center and equipment checkout services relocated to the library
  • An anticipated 2 million-plus visitors will use the library this year

Student activities

  • 65 new student organizations were added last year; a total of 850+ orgs and 4,600+ student leaders
  • Participation increased last year in student organization events (23 percent), ISU AfterDark events (11 percent), Workspace activities (23 percent) and Browsing Library use (67 percent)

Recreation services

  • Outdoor recreational spaces and indoor amenities were connected with a pedestrian bridge across College Creek (between the Maple Willow Larch fields and Lied Center)
  • More than 28,000 students used the rec facilities last year
  • The rec facilities serve an average of 3,175 individuals per day, including weekends
  • The busiest time in the facilities is 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Intramural sports clubs hosted more than 100 competitions and traveled to 234 events last year


  • CyRide notched a record 6.7 million rides last year, topping the previous year's ridership by 73,814 rides
  • The CyRide fleet has grown to 97 buses -- six articulated, 83 standard and eight mini buses
  • CyRide officials will take a long look at route structures and schedules this year to see if there are more efficient ways to move people around campus and town. Lots of public input will be sought.


  • Students, on average, will bring five electronic devices with them to campus. Poised to answer the call of the Wi-Fied are 9,300 wireless access points, about 43 percent of which are new and improved
  • Some 35,000 unique wireless connections occur daily on campus

Overheard during new student move-in

New student move-in at Oak Hall.

A team of move-in crew volunteers make short work of helping a new student unload a trailer outside Oak Hall. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Ever wanted to be a fly on the wall during new student move-in? Here's what we heard as families and friends helped students settle into their new Cyclone homes. Perhaps the best way to sum it up is in the words of a move-in crew member, "We're glad you're here."


"Somebody smarter than us will figure it out."

"Set that down and let's see what the heck is going on."

"TV and food. That's all he's coming to school with."

"Oh, look! There's directions!"

"Wait a minute, it's right here. Phew! That would have been a bummer."

"Can you make it one night without them? We can deliver them tomorrow."

"We're jumping ship. We're from Iowa City."


"If that gets me in my room faster, I don't care."

"What do I do now?"

"Did your mom and dad cry on the way over?"

Safe travel on campus: There's an app for that

SafeRide app on central campus

New app makes it is easy to call for a free ride on campus. Contributed photo.

SafeRide ISU, a new Uber-like service, will begin offering free night rides on campus Aug. 22.

Anyone concerned about walking on campus during evening and overnight hours (6 p.m. to 6 a.m.) can summon a car via an app or a phone call.

The service, offered by the department of public safety, is available throughout central campus and other university areas, including ISU-leased residence apartments, Greek parking lots and the basketball practice facility, said interim chief of police Aaron DeLashmutt. Anyone on campus, including visitors, can request a ride.

Answering the SafeRide summons will be ISU students who work for the police as community service officers. These uniformed students will pick up riders in university vehicles. The vehicles will not be police cars.

SafeRide ISU logo

App user amenities

Students, faculty and staff will be able to summon rides using their Net-IDs and the SafeRide ISU app. The app is available for Android devices now and should be available soon through Apple's app store.

Those requesting a ride through the app will receive on-screen notification of the pickup time, vehicle license plate number and a real-time map view that tracks vehicle progress to the pickup site.

Visitors make a call

Visitors and others who don't have the SafeRide ISU app can request a ride by calling a SafeRide dispatcher at 294-4444.

A few rules

The SafeRide program has a couple of rules:

  • A maximum of three riders can be transported at a time
  • Those who are intoxicated can't ride. "They should call a cab," Delashmutt said. "Better yet, they should plan ahead and have a designated driver."

The SafeRide ISU program replaces the safety escort program, which provided some 6,000 assists to evening travelers last year.

"Demand for rides continues to grow," Delashmut said. "SafeRide should be more efficient and, more importantly, safer. It gets cars to people faster. And the app makes it easy for the university community to tap into a ride while freeing up dispatchers to handle other requests."

Home grown

Employee unloads crates of apples

Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Brandon Carpenter, agriculture specialist at ISU's horticulture farm north of town, unloads apples at the Friley Hall loading dock Tuesday. Farm employees harvested some 64 bushels -- more than 13,000 Redfree apples -- for campus consumption. Redfree is an early, medium-sized apple noted for juiciness, crispness and glossy color. ISU Dining is providing the apples for administrators, faculty and staff to distribute to students at welcome tents the first two days of class.

Back-to-school events

Inside provides this reminder of upcoming fall semester events for faculty and staff:


Human Sciences: Welcome breakfast and program, Aug. 18, 8-11 a.m., Reiman Ballroom, Alumni Center

Business: Picnic for faculty, staff and their families, Aug. 19, 5:30 p.m., Moore Memorial Park, Ames

Design: Welcome reception, Aug. 22, 6-8 p.m., King Pavilion, College of Design

Veterinary Medicine: Convocation, Aug. 24, 8 a.m., breakfast served at 7:30 a.m., 2226 Vet Med

Engineering: Convocation and awards ceremony, Sept. 8, 3 p.m., Howe Hall auditorium

Agriculture and Life Sciences: Convocation and awards ceremony, Sept. 8, 4:10 p.m., reception follows, MU Sun Room

Liberal Arts and Sciences: Convocation and awards ceremony, Sept. 14, 3:30 p.m., reception follows, MU Sun Room



Annual address, President Steven Leath, Sept. 14, 6:30 p.m., beverages available at 6 p.m., MU Great Hall

University faculty and staff awards ceremony, Sept. 26, 3:30 p.m., reception follows, MU Great Hall

Portraits of Iowa State

artist paints portrait of seated woman

Maquoketa artist Rose Frantzen (right) works on a portrait of Mary Giese -- one of 20 being painted on site in Iowa State's exhibit during the state fair. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

As part of this year's state fair exhibit, University Museums is gaining 20 freshly painted portraits for its collection. The subjects, chosen by colleges and units, include students, faculty, staff, alumni and individuals with close ties to the university.

The portraits are being painted by Maquoketa artist Rose Frantzen on site in the university's state fair exhibit -- two daily, with one day of rest. Following is a list and short description of the subjects.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Grace Amemiya

  • 96-year-old Ames resident who was placed in a World War II Japanese American internment camp; husband, Min, was an agronomy professor and extension agronomist at ISU

Marcia Borel

  • Alum who, with her husband Jim, have a great love of art and recently funded a painting of George Washington Carver and Henry Wallace that hangs in Curtiss Hall

Joe Lyon

  • Alum and nationally recognized leader in the dairy industry whose wife, Norma "Duffy" (also an alum), sculpted the Iowa State Fair butter cow for 46 years

Paxton Williams

  • Alum who is well-known for his portrayal of George Washington Carver in a one-man play he wrote about the life of the barrier-breaking agricultural researcher and educator

College of Business

Miriam De Dios

  • Alum and senior vice president for Affiliates Management Co. who is the youngest CEO among its family of companies (Coopera)

Suku Radia

  • CEO of Bankers Trust and alum who came to the United States from Uganda to attend Iowa State

College of Engineering

Jay Chapman

  • Alum and Iowa native who serves as president of the Cyclone Gridiron Club and is active in the Greater Des Moines Cyclone Club and ISU Alumni Association

Matt Goode

  • Senior in materials engineering who used his solar car team experience and intern/co-op work to start his own company

Surya Mallapragada

  • Distinguished Professor and Carol Vohs Johnson Chair in Chemical and Biological Engineering who is an award-winning polymers researcher and innovator

College of Human Sciences

Dynette Moser

  • Alum and alumni relations director in the college who has served as a 4-H judge at county fairs and the state fair for 25+ years

Shirley Stakey

  • Alum and award-winning extension and 4-H staff member who served 23 years as superintendent of the 4-H Exhibits Building at the state fair

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Simon Estes

  • ISU artist-in-residence and Iowa native who is an international bass-baritone opera singer

Charity Nebbe

  • Alum who hosts Iowa Public Radio's "Talk of Iowa" show

College of Veterinary Medicine

Laurie Meythaler-Mullins

  • Alum who owns the South Des Moines Veterinary Center and is president of the Iowa State Veterinary Medical Alumni Association

ISU Extension and Outreach

Evan Fritz

  • 2016 ISU grad and long-time 4-H member who served as an intern in the Rising Star program that connects ISU students with extension and outreach community programs

Mary Giese

  • Marshall County extension council member who also served as president of the Iowa Extension Association Council

University Library

Petrina Jackson

  • Alum who returned to ISU to serve as head of special collections and university archives

Eric Schares

  • Alum who serves as a science and technology librarian at ISU, with expertise in the subject areas of electrical and computer engineering, and industrial and manufacturing systems engineering

Vice President for Research

Wayne Fuller

  • Distinguished Professor emeritus of statistics and economics who is internationally recognized for his data research; a three-time ISU alum and mentor to many over his 50-year career

Stephanie Hansen

  • Associate professor of animal science and alum who is a leading cattle nutrition researcher