From up here
Roof workers atop the Memorial Union have enjoyed one of the most spectacular views on campus this fall. Since July, a team from Minneapolis-based Schwickert’s Tecta America has been replacing the original slate tile roof -- which dated back to 1927 -- on the central, highest part of the Memorial Union. Project manager Scott Haefner said that when the job is done, 80 tons of Vermont slate will have been installed. The project is on schedule to wrap up in mid-November.
As part of its work, the team also did tuck pointing on chimneys and other structures above the roof line.
Open change period for ISU Plan is Nov. 1-18
Faculty, professional and scientific staff, and supervisory and confidential merit employees may update their ISU Plan benefits during the annual open change period, Nov. 1 (9 a.m.) through Nov. 18 (5 p.m.).
Dates to remember
- Nov. 1 (9 a.m.): Open change period begins; participation statements available on AccessPlus
- Nov. 9 (9-10:30 a.m.): Live webcast
- Nov. 18 (5 p.m.): Open change period ends
- Dec. 2 (9 a.m.): Benefits confirmation statements available on AccessPlus
- Dec. 9 (5 p.m.): Corrections to benefits statements due at 3810 Beardshear
- Jan. 6, 2017 (9 a.m.): Final benefits statements available on AccessPlus
The 2017 ISU Plan medical (PPO and HMO) and dental benefits remain the same as 2016, with no price increases. To review current costs and coverages, visit the benefits page on the university human resources (UHR) website.
How to make changes
ISU Plan participants may change their medical, dental, flexible spending and Avesis coverage online through AccessPlus. Some changes may require paper forms, which are available on the benefits website or through UHR (294-4800). Make no changes and your benefits will remain the same for 2017. However, it's a good idea to review your benefits and beneficiaries, even if you make no changes. Contact the UHR service center, 294-4800, with questions about how to alter your benefits online.
UHR is holding a live, interactive webcast for ISU Plan participants on Nov. 9 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. To participate, log on, type your name under the "Enter as Guest" heading, then select "Enter Room." If you're unable to view the webcast live, a recording will be available on the UHR benefits bulletin board following the presentation.
Search begins for next police chief
Senior vice president for university services Kate Gregory has appointed a search committee that will partner with the Spelman Johnson firm on a national search for ISU's next chief of police. Aaron DeLashmutt has been serving as interim chief since Jerry Stewart retired last December.
The successful candidate must be a certified law enforcement officer. The chief of police will oversee the public safety department, which includes police and parking divisions. The chief also serves as a university official, assistant vice president of university services, and reports to Gregory. More information about the position is on the ISU Jobs website.
Applications are due Nov. 17 to Spelman Johnson. Nominations may be emailed to Mark Hall, a senior associate with the firm. Interviews on campus, including stakeholder forums, tentatively are scheduled for mid-January 2017.
Gregory appointed these individuals to the search committee:
- Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost
- Chuck Cychosz, Ames chief of police
- Maureen De Armond, associate university counsel
- Margo Foreman, director of equal opportunity
- Chris Jorgensen, senior associate athletics director
- Keith Robinder, interim dean of students
- Reginald Stewart, vice president for diversity and inclusion
FLSA training sessions begin soon
Employees who earn less than $47,476 annually ($913 weekly) are eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours a week. These nonexempt employees are required to record their hours, beginning Sunday, Nov. 27.
By Nov. 1, all supervisors of Iowa State employees affected by new overtime regulations in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will be notified. Training sessions have been set up to help impacted individuals understand and meet FLSA requirements. They include required training for employees, their supervisors and time entry staff, and an additional small group training for supervisors.
Here's detailed information about the sessions.
Employee training: FLSA amendments
This online learning module is designed to brief nonexempt employees on the following topics:
- Understanding the FLSA
- What counts as hours worked
- What constitutes overtime
The training will help employees recognize how to account for time they are engaged in work. Newly hired or newly nonexempt staff are required to take this course. This training does not apply to merit staff (supervisory and confidential or positions covered by the AFSCME contract).
Beginning Nov. 1, this online course will be placed in the LEARN@ISU account of newly nonexempt employees.
Supervisor training: FLSA amendments
This online learning module is designed to brief supervisors of nonexempt employees on the following topics:
- Understanding the FLSA
- What counts as hours worked
- What constitutes overtime
The training will help supervisors identify hours worked and provide strategies for managing overtime within the law. All supervisors of nonexempt staff are required to take this course. This training does not apply to supervisors of merit staff (supervisory and confidential or positions covered by the AFSCME contract).
Beginning Nov. 1, this online course will be placed in the LEARN@ISU account of supervisors of newly nonexempt employees.
Supervisor training: FLSA working sessions
In these in-person, small-group sessions, supervisors will learn from each other and university human resources (UHR) staff how to manage employees while meeting FLSA regulations. These one-hour sessions will facilitate additional learning and are designed to cover the tools associated with managing employees' work hours.
These sessions are open to supervisors managing newly nonexempt employees. They do not apply to supervisors of merit staff (supervisory and confidential or positions covered by the AFSCME contract). Participants are required to take the online supervisors' course before attending this work session.
Time entry staff training: Timekeeping
UHR and payroll staff are partnering to offer training in November and December for employees responsible for entering hourly time and leave for newly nonexempt P&S staff. The 1.5 hour training is required for all staff who enter employee time in administrative systems (ADIN).
Prior to enrolling in this course, time entry staff must complete the online training for employees and supervisors outlined above. These sessions are open to individuals currently fulfilling the timekeeping role for departments or units.
- New overtime regulations go into effect Dec. 1, Sept. 29, 2016
- Where to find out about more FLSA changes, Oct. 6, 2016
- ISU leaders continue FLSA discussions, decisions, Oct. 13, 2016
- Key FLSA dates, timelines established, Oct. 20, 2016
Parade comes home
Sousaphoners from the T.U.B.A.S. student organization added brass and bass to the ISU Homecoming parade in downtown Ames Sunday. Student organizers resurrected the homecoming parade this year after a decades-long hiatus. The pilot parade drew 70-plus parade entries, 400 parade participants and more than 2,000 watchers.
"I join the students in thanking President Leath for giving the green light to reviving this wonderful tradition," said Jeffery Johnson, Lora and Russ Talbot Endowed President and CEO of the alumni association. "I further express my thanks to Mayor Ann Campbell and the city staff for all of their support and guidance. The students met the challenge placed before them brilliantly. We hope the administration says, 'Let's make this a permanent reinstated activity for future homecoming celebrations.'"
Thursday, Oct. 27
- 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Food on campus (Jeff's Pizza), free with $5 homecoming button, central campus
- 7 p.m., Movie, "Halloweentown," Memorial Union Sun Room
Friday, Oct. 28
- 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Food on campus (Iowa Pork Producers pork burgers), free with $5 homecoming button, central campus
- 1-4 p.m., Exhibit, Homecoming collection and ISU historical treasures (items include freshman beanie, Jack Trice's letter and a minute book), special spotlight on the class of 1966, Special Collections and University Archives, 405 Parks Library
- 1-5 p.m., Homecoming Hub, refreshments, giveaways, displays and free shuttles to/from campus, Alumni Center
- 1:15-3 p.m., Alumni association honors and awards ceremony, reception follows, Scheman
- 5-9 p.m., Celebration (7 p.m. pep rally includes Yell Like Hell finals, Cardinal Court recognition and coach and student-athlete appearances), family activities, refreshments available for purchase, Alumni Center
- 8-10 p.m., ExCYtement in the Streets, self-guided walking tour of lawn displays, Greek community neighborhood
- 10 p.m.-1 a.m., Pancake feed, central campus, $3
- Midnight, Mass campaniling and fireworks, central campus
Saturday, Oct. 29
- 8 a.m., Cyclone Central tailgates, Alumni Center
- 11 a.m., Football game, Iowa State vs. Kansas State, Jack Trice Stadium, $30-$65
Tuition increases, travel audit dominate regents discussion
Student leaders from the three regent universities expressed concern for the gap in tuition rates between in-state and out-of-state students during their remarks to the state Board of Regents last week. Acknowledging that tuition increases often are an unavoidable response to flat or reduced state appropriations, the students said the growing divide between resident and nonresident tuition is not a favorable trend.
Tuition for most resident undergraduates would go up $142 (2 percent) next year, as proposed. Three percent increases are proposed for:
- Nonresident undergraduates ($614)
- Graduate students ($254 for residents, $654 for nonresidents)
- Veterinary medicine students ($646 for residents, $1,430 for nonresidents)
The board took a first look at proposed 2017-18 tuition levels at its Oct. 20 meeting; a vote is expected at the Dec. 6 meeting.
“Just because they don’t grow up in Iowa doesn’t mean they won’t stay in Iowa,” said Cole Staudt, ISU student government president. He said the $472 difference between proposed increases for resident and nonresident undergraduates “makes almost no sense.”
Staudt said resident undergraduate tuition, plus the declining state dollars per resident student – due both to less state operating support and rocketing enrollment -- no longer covers the cost of instruction for resident students. He said nonresident tuition then picks up the slack.
Iowa State's tuition proposal includes differential tuition for juniors, seniors and graduate students in five programs: animal science, biology, computer science, industrial design and natural resource ecology and management. The proposed differentials -- $1,600 in the undergraduate programs and $1,124 in the graduate programs -- reflect higher instruction costs and would be implemented over three years. The 2017-18 year is the second in a three-year plan that all international students will pay an additional $500 per year above nonresident tuition increases.
Iowa State also proposes to adjust several previously approved tuition differentials to create some consistencies. These changes include:
- Raise the differential tuition rate for bachelor of architecture students to the same level as the five undergraduate programs. Architecture students have paid differential tuition since the 2012-13 academic year, currently about $1,250. To reach a $1,600 differential in three years, an additional $98 for residents and $106 for nonresidents would be assessed in year one.
- Raise differential tuition for upper division Business students over three years to match that for upper division students in Engineering, ag systems technology and industrial technology (currently a difference of about $560 for resident students). Next year, junior and senior Business students would pay an additional $190 (resident) or $180 (nonresidents).
Staudt said he supports several proposed changes to student fees:
- An additional $24 to the health fee will generate $800,000, he said, for mental health resources for Iowa State students. The proposed $58.50 increase to mandatory student fees also includes $30 for technology and $4.50 for student services.
- A new one-time $130 records and documents fee, he said, will save students money over the course of their college careers. By paying it up front, Staudt noted it could be covered by financial aid, rather than being a repeat out-of-pocket expense. The new fee would eliminate three fees (graduation, drop/add/change a class, and transcript) totaling $103 if assessed just a single time.
Audit of state equipment, travel policies
The board approved an audit committee recommendation to complete a full audit of travel policies and state equipment use at the three universities, including Iowa State's purchase of airplanes. The action comes in response to questions about President Steven Leath's use of the planes. The board's chief audit executive Todd Stewart summarized for board members an initial compliance review his team began on Sept. 29 at executive director Robert Donley’s request. The initial review found that Leath did not violate existing policies, but recommended that Iowa State and the board expand the language in some of its policies.
Board president Bruce Rastetter clarified that the audit would cover every individual flight in ISU Flight Service since Leath became president. The audit needs to be "in-depth and detailed and answer all the questions people have," he said.
Earlier in the morning, Rastetter opened the meeting by reading a prepared statement about the air travel issue.
"We at the Board of Regents take the use of university resources very seriously. In more than just a few instances, the decision to use the plane appears to be questionable at best. We have an obligation as a board to oversee and ensure that our policies are followed and that our resources are used appropriately," he said.
Calling Leath a successful president, Rastetter continued, "we were all appointed as board members to ensure that our universities are run in a manner that the people of Iowa expect and demand. The issue has taken focus away from us being able to move our public universities forward. We need to return to devoting all of our time and resources to making the public universities the best they can be."
Leath told board members that he is committed to adhering to university and board policies.
"I am fully supportive and will be fully engaged in the more complicated review that will be coming forth this fall," he said. "I will work closely with you folks to make sure that is as complete as it can be.
"Clearly there are areas where I and Iowa State can improve," Leath added. "I want you know that I am pledging to do that. We will improve and we will do better."
Spring test for financial literacy program
For their new cooperative financial literacy strategy, the three regent universities have agreed to use CashCourse, an online program for college students developed and funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education. ISU professor emeritus in human development and family studies and project liaison Tahira Hira updated the board on the project. The regent universities agreed to use four CashCourse modules: budgeting, credit and debit, spending, and repaying student loans.
She said the agreement with CashCourse was reviewed by ISU's procurement services and university counsel staff prior to signing. It also passed website accessibility and IT security (to protect student data) assessments done by ISU teams. Hira said the next step is a pilot run during spring semester for a random sampling of Iowa State students that includes both learning and experiential assessments. The pilot will include a peer mentoring component, she said, to ensure participation and "a greater grasp of concepts among our students."
UNI presidential search
President pro-tem and search committee co-chair Katie Mulholland reported that there are more than 40 applicants for the Northern Iowa president position. The search and screening committee was to meet Oct. 26 to identify six or seven candidates for off-site interviews with the committee on Nov. 11-12. Three or four finalists will be selected for campus interviews to take place Nov. 30-Dec. 3, and interviews with the regents on Dec. 6. An announcement about the university’s next president is expected shortly after.
Geoffroy Hall, apartment leases, bond sales
In other board discussion:
- Iowa State received permission to terminate a five-year lease with Harrisvaccines for the south half of the university warehouse on Southern Hills Drive off of Airport Road, replacing it with a 10-year lease (Jan. 1, 2017-Dec. 31, 2026, $172,000 per year) for the entire warehouse with the ISU Research Park, for use by Merck and Co., which purchased Harrisvaccines last winter. The building has been licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the specific research that Harrisvaccines conducts. The north half of the warehouse facility currently is home to ISU Surplus, which is preparing for a temporary relocation to the university's central receiving facility next door.
- The board approved Iowa State’s proposal to name the nearly complete "Buchanan 2" residence hall for former president Gregory Geoffroy (2001-12). Gregory L. Geoffroy Hall (working name of Geoffroy Hall) will add 784 beds to the residence system when it opens spring semester.
- The board approved Iowa State’s plan to sign five-year leases (Aug. 1, 2017-July 31, 2022) with Jensen Properties (for 828 beds in southwest Ames) and American Campus Communities (299 beds in Legacy Tower on Stanton Avenue), for a total of 1,127 beds in off-campus apartments. This is 335 beds less than the residence department is leasing through July from the two firms. The new leases will contain a 15-month opt-out clause, giving Iowa State the option to terminate a lease if student demand for university housing decreases.
- The board approved two bond sales. The first is for $14.345 million of dormitory revenue bonds. They'll replace refunding bonds sold in 2006 to refinance bonds sold in 1999 and 2000 that financed phase two of the Frederiksen Court student apartments. Lower interest rates on the 2016 bonds will save the university $2.8 million. The second is for $24.48 million of utility system revenue and refunding bonds for two purposes: to partially fund a $22 million project to increase chilled water capacity on the west side of campus and to refund 2006 bonds issued for a chilled water project at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Lower interest rates will save the university an estimated $636,000.
Workshop teaches classroom inclusivity
in·clu·siv·i·ty (noun): The active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity -- in the curriculum, co-curriculum and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect -- in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. – Association of American Colleges and Universities
Inclusivity. It's a bit of a buzzword on college campuses these days. But at Iowa State, university administrators are walking the talk -- developing programs that take inclusivity from ideas to action.
Last fall, under the direction of senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) began creating a faculty workshop that focuses on inclusivity in the classroom. The class debuted earlier this semester and will continue monthly through April 2017. The next workshop is Nov. 9 (1:10-4 p.m., 2030 Morrill). Register in advance at Learn@ISU.
During the single, three-hour session, instructors learn how to:
- Teach inclusively and why it's important at Iowa State
- Identify their personal attitudes toward inclusion, acknowledge how those attitudes impact teaching and develop strategies to become more inclusive
- Enhance their self-awareness and instructional skills to contribute to an inclusive campus environment
- Become familiar with the university's student support resources
CELT will offer the workshop annually with separate training for new and continuing faculty members.
"The workshops are helping to build a standard of classroom inclusivity for faculty, helping them understand why it's important to Iowa State and to student learning," said Ann Marie VanDerZanden, CELT director and co-facilitator of the workshop.
Prior to attending the workshop, faculty are required to complete four online modules to prepare for class discussions. Access to the modules is provided following registration for the workshop. The modules are:
- ISU policies relevant to inclusion
- Exploring your inclusive teaching persona
- Developing a mindful syllabus and course design
- Defining microaggressions and how they impact learning
"These changes can help students become more engaged in the classroom," said Laura Bestler, CELT program director and co-facilitator of the workshop. "It’s a great opportunity for students to become better than they already are."
Resources for writing syllabi and designing courses with an eye toward inclusivity are available on the CELT website for all instructors, whether or not they have completed the workshop.
VanDerZanden and Bestler encourage workshop participants to attend a monthly discussion group, "Coffee and Crucial Conversations," to continue the dialogue about teaching inclusivity on campus. The 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. discussions aim to help instructors create a stronger teaching community, create collaborative partnerships and develop effective teaching practices to meet the diverse needs of students. Visit Learn@ISU to view a schedule and register in advance.
VanDerZanden suggests departments continue – or begin – conversations about inclusive classrooms in staff or unit meetings.
"It’s important to have a conversation with your colleagues, if for no other reason than to be aware of your own internal biases and how classes can change to be inclusive for all students," she said.
Workers' compensation process gains efficiencies
You're a lab employee and accidentally bust a beaker, cutting your finger. The first action you take, obviously, is getting a medical professional to evaluate your injury. But soon after, you or your supervisor must document the incident by completing a first report of injury (FROI) with the university.
What is first report of injury?
The FROI is an important part of the workers' compensation process. Workers' compensation provides certain benefits to ISU employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses while on the job at the university. A FROI is required within 24 hours after an injury or accident occurs at work, even if no medical treatment is necessary. University human resources (UHR) handles workers' compensation claims for employees, including student employees. Volunteers, visitors, students and others who sustain non-work-related injuries or illnesses while on university property must report these incidents to the office of risk management.
UHR has partnered with the office of risk management, environmental health and safety, and information technology services to revamp the FROI process. The new system, called the ISU Incident Portal, will launch by Oct. 31. A portion of the new system -- non-work-related incident reporting for students and visitors -- already is up and running on the office of risk management website.
Currently, an electronic FROI, available in AccessPlus, travels to multiple individuals before UHR manually enters the injury information into a database owned by the university's third-party workers' compensation administrator. The process, sometimes long and cumbersome, is due for some improvements.
"The old system has not been the most reliable or efficient, which has held up the process," said Andrea Little, manager of employee/labor relations and workers' compensation. "The ISU Incident Portal will allow for quicker reporting and tracking of work-related injuries and illnesses, which should enable us to assist employees and departments more effectively."
With the new procedures, UHR immediately will receive the FROI once an employee or supervisor submits it through the new portal. This action will trigger subsequent emails to the injured or ill employee, the employee's supervisor and to his or her departmental contact. (Departmental contacts are responsible for notifying everyone who needs to know about the employee's work-related injury or illness.)
UHR staff will review the FROI and determine the next steps.
"These changes allow a process that, at times, took days in the old system to now happen within a day using the ISU Incident Portal," said Ruth Carlton-Appleton, employee/labor relations consultant.
Additional advantages of the ISU Incident Portal include more automation, more accurate recordkeeping and better data reports.
Accessing the new system
Until the new ISU Incident Portal is fully implemented, employees and supervisors should continue reporting work-related incidents through AccessPlus. After the new system's launch, look for the ISU Incident Portal on UHR's website or use the alpha index on Iowa State's homepage (W > Workers' Compensation > Worker's Compensation Forms > First Report of Injury).
Contact Carlton-Appleton, 294-3753, or human resource specialist Rachael Kroeze, 294-8917, with questions about reporting work-related injuries or illness and the new ISU Incident Portal.
Fall concerts fill Tye Recital Hall
See it from anywhere
Most music department concerts are webcast live from Tye Recital Hall, but are not archived.
A full schedule of fall music events (PDF download) is available online.
The Music Building's Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall will be a busy venue, with five fall performances scheduled over the next 10 days. Several ensembles will be performing, including student choral groups, a quartet and a collection of big brass specialists.
A musical double-header by the Iowa Statesmen kicks off the lineup on Sunday, Oct. 30, with shows at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The 149-member men's chorus, led by music professor James Rodde, will perform its three-part program at each show, including a segment of selections by the Shy of a Dozen a cappella ensemble. Tickets are $5 ($3 for students).
Ten students, playing a mix of tubas, euphoniums and trombones, will don costumes and perform skits as part of a free "Octubaween" performance at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31. Music lecturer Christian Carichner said the fun, family-friendly event will feature Halloween and tuba-inspired music themes.
"Be prepared to hear the tuba do things you've never heard before," he said.
The 74-member Cantamus women's choir, led by lecturer Kathleen Rodde, will perform at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5. Tickets are $5 ($3 for students).
The Amara Piano Quartet will perform a free concert on Sunday, Nov. 6 (7:30 p.m.). The faculty ensemble includes assistant professor Mei-Hsuan Huang on piano, assistant professor Boro Martinic-Jercic on violin, professor Jonathan Sturm on viola and professor George Work on cello.