Animal science senior Alexis Smith studies outdoors in the Paula Gmelch Memorial Garden at Lagomarcino Hall. Next to Smith is art and visual culture professor and chair Ingrid Lilligren's She Was the Best Listener. The terra cotta sculpture was commissioned by university museums in 2008 in memory of Gmelch, spouse of former College of Education dean Walt Gmelch. The sculpture's title was taken from Ben Gmelch's 2007 eulogy for his mom.
The university's first campus climate survey in 13 years and inclusive discussions about budget reallocation strategies are among interim President Ben Allen's fall priorities, as outlined during his Sept. 14 address in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Both the script and archived video of his talk are available on the president's website.
Noting that an interim leader walks an uncertain line between what decisions to make and those better left to the next president to shape his or her own agenda, Allen said one thing is clear: Iowa State "cannot have a passive interim president."
The online climate survey, for all employees and students, will launch Oct. 3 and remain live through October. A campus working group developed the survey, assisted by consultant Susan Rankin. Broad participation is necessary to get an honest assessment "that can lead to effective, sustainable change," Allen said.
But he also said that the base for building a truly inclusive community isn't programming or policies, but how well individuals connect with each other.
"If we want to break the barriers of social and political tension, we need to build up and invest in personal relationships," he said.
That can be as simple as removing your ear buds or stashing your phone as you move across campus -- instead, making eye contact, sharing a smile or having a conversation. It's every individual's responsibility to reject discrimination, value diversity and participate in respectful, honest conversation, he said.
As has been the case in recent years, Allen said a key challenge this fall is an operating budget that includes less and less state support -- a loss of $56 million over eight years, including about $11.5 million last year alone.
He expressed regret about having to make salary increases optional for the budget year that began July 1.
"I know that over the past decade, more and more has been asked of you," he said, adding his personal appreciation for the effort all employees put in to make Iowa State "an exceptional institution."
"I also understand that words only go so far. You must be fairly and competitively compensated for your efforts or you will look for other opportunities," he added.
A more reliable funding plan for Iowa State requires changes on several fronts, he noted: advocating strongly with state politicians for increased state support, predictable tuition increases (outlined last month to the state Board of Regents' tuition task force), a greater reliance on private gifts for student scholarships, and cost savings. And while he praised the effort and successes of past efficiencies and cost-saving measures, he noted that the savings realized is "not robust enough to make our financial model work."
Iowa State's five-year tuition proposal includes annual reallocations totaling 2.25 percent of the operating budget. Therefore, the next step is making decisions about what the university should be doing, "which means making even tougher decisions on what we should stop doing," Allen said.
In the next few weeks, he pledged to develop a plan for involving the university's shared governance groups in discussions about possible reallocation strategies.
Other highlights of Allen's address:
- To date, the "Forever True, For Iowa State" capital campaign has raised $837 million, 76 percent of the $1.1 billion goal. The hope is that at least half of the money raised in this campaign will directly support students.
- The leadership team structure in the student affairs division, first announced about a year ago, is nearly complete. Vernon Hurte came to Iowa State as dean of students and associate vice president. Former registrar Laura Doering is associate vice president for enrollment management and student success. Residence director Pete Englin also assumed an assistant vice president role. Yet to be filled is the final leadership post, assistant vice president for health services.
- Allen will leave three leadership hires for the next president: vice president for university human resources, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, and vice president for Extension and Outreach.
Pat Miller, director of the lectures program
Years in this position: 37
Degree: B.S., psychology, 1980, Iowa State
- 1981-82: 38 events
- Current: Averaging 120 events (single-year record is 177)
Program hallmarks: Magnitude of the schedule, extensive student leadership opportunities
Iowa State's lectures program hit the 60-year milestone this year, amazingly with just two directors during that span. Pat Miller assisted inaugural director and English faculty member James Lowrey in 1980 and succeeded him the next year.
As senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert noted at an Aug. 30 60th-anniversary celebration, "There's nothing across the country like our lectures program. Most universities sponsor five to 10 speakers a year, but nothing matches the richness, reach and breadth of ours."
What's the secret to convincing famous, interesting people to venture to Iowa?
It's not that hard. The presidential caucuses have helped put Iowa on the map, so people are curious about Iowa. I always promise a lively and engaged audience of students, faculty and community members, which is true. You learn to be thoughtful in your invitation, to be brief but say something memorable so that Iowa State sticks in their mind. People don't come here who don't really want to connect with the students.
Are repeat appearances allowed?
No speaker comes back inside of three years unless there's a reason -- a remarkable thing happens or a wonderful book, for example. But 99.9 percent of the time the three-year rule holds. Some speakers are timeless in their appeal to students. For example, linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky first came in 1978, returned in 1985 and 2006, and we just had a student group ask about bringing him back. Feminist icon Gloria Steinem spoke on campus in 1984, 1998 and again last fall.
How did you grow the lectures program?
Collaboration. We alert colleges, academic departments, student services and organizations on or off campus to opportunities to co-sponsor lectures. What that also does is layer on audiences and students who otherwise might not know to come.
Who did you work the longest to bring to campus?
Margaret Atwood [writer and environmental activist who spoke on campus last November]. It took almost 29 years. I first invited her in 1988, and I'd see her at book expos every five years or so. When I wrote a second time, I'd learned she was a bird watcher, so in my invitation I told her we'd take her to Rathbun Lake to watch the bald eagles. Or, if she came earlier in the year, we'd take her to the Iowa State Fair to see the 3,000-pound, hand-carved butter cow. She visited Iowa City in 1992 for the Iowa Writers Workshop and I had the chance to greet her during a book signing. I said 'I'm Pat Miller from Iowa State University and our students and faculty would love to have you come to campus sometime.' She quit autographing and looked up and said, 'Ahhhhhh, the butter cow.' It took another 24 years to get her here.
Who were your favorite speakers over 30-plus years?
The next one is my favorite speaker.
Is your office too hot or cold? Does the thermostat work?
An ongoing effort to recommission heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in select campus facilities is intended to fix those issues, though it will take a long time to get to every building.
Since FY16, a two-person team with facilities planning and management (FPM) has been recommissioning a handful of buildings per year, restoring HVAC systems to their original operating condition, said Robert Milbrandt, FPM's interim manager of energy management.
To report a concern with workspace temperature, submit a request for service online or call 294-5100.
It's an emerging best practice many universities are trying in hopes of reducing energy usage by 10 to 30 percent, Milbrandt said. At Iowa State, the main impetus for correcting heating and cooling issues is improved working conditions.
"We're looking at it more for occupant comfort, making people's lives better. That's our primary goal," he said. "We're on the maintenance side. We get all the hot and cold calls."
In the first year, the team tackled Jischke Honors Building, Hixson-Lied Student Success Center, and Catt and Sweeney halls. Black Engineering, Durham Center, Howe Hall and the Seed Science Building were addressed in FY17. Since July, the new targets are the college of Design and Veterinary Medicine, Parks Library, Gerdin Business Building and the Livestock Infectious Disease Isolation Facility.
Milbrandt said it's too soon to tell whether the recommissioning efforts have reduced energy usage or maintenance calls about room temperatures, given the small sample size and the variations in weather year-to-year.
"I think if you give it time, some of that will shake out," he said. "The sentiment we're getting from people, in Catt for example, is it's much better. But it's hard to quantify."
The process begins at the heart of each building, as the technicians put the major mechanical systems through their paces and check to make sure valves and dampers operate normally. They work their way out to a building's individual rooms, where they calibrate thermostats.
Minor issues are fixed when they're found, and most of them seem to be in individual rooms, Milbrandt said. More expensive fixes are added to the university's list of deferred maintenance projects. Buildings are selected based on their age and complexity, as well as their history of room temperature complaints.
Though the focus is on heating and cooling, other issues are discovered sometimes. In Black Engineering, for example, the recommissioning team corrected a pressurization problem that sometimes made it difficult to open doors and caused ventilation issues in some of the building's labs.
As the team moves on to bigger buildings, it's exploring ways to streamline its process, such as only inspecting individual rooms if an occupant responds to a survey asking if temperature control has been a problem. But with an annual budget of $200,000, reaching every building on campus will be a lengthy process, Milbrandt said.
"If you're only doing four buildings a year, and we have over 100 on campus, it'll be 25 years before we get done, and by then we'll have to start over," he said.
The Iowa State football team will face Texas on Thursday, Sept. 28, for an ESPN national broadcast. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Most stadium-area parking lots, including all Cyclone Club donor lots, will open to fans at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Take a look
It's a regular class and work day, so parking adjustments are planned. Here's what you need to know:
Long-term student parking
Students who usually park at Jack Trice Stadium (S lots) during the week will be asked to move their cars between noon and 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27. They will be directed to Lot G8, south of South 16th Street near the College of Veterinary Medicine, with overflow parking in lots G4 and G5. Their cars may remain in the alternative lots until Monday morning, or they may return their cars to the stadium lots by 8 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 29.
Commuter lots at the center
Commuters (students and employees) who normally park in the Iowa State Center lots may park in any of these locations on Thursday:
- C1/B1/C2/B2 north of Center Drive near Hilton Coliseum – both paved lots and grass
- Grass area south of the Towers (Wallace and Wilson residence halls)
- Parking areas at Brookside Park
Traffic staff will be on hand to assist parkers.
Campus lots open at 3 p.m.
All campus general and reserved staff lots will be open to the public and commuters at 3 p.m. Thursday. ISU parking director Mark Miller advises faculty and staff to stay on campus for lunch and meetings that day if at all possible, or run the risk of losing their usual parking spots in the afternoon.
If you're going to the game (single game parking):
- (Grass) lots G-2, G-3, G-4 and G-5 will open at 1 p.m. Thursday
- College of Veterinary Medicine parking lots, including for campers and RVs, will open at 3 p.m. Thursday
- Availability in lots adjacent to Hilton Coliseum will be extremely limited
CyRide route information
- Student parking (Lot G8): Gray, Plum and Orange routes will service the area
- Hilton Coliseum (Lots B1/B2/C1/C2): Orange route will service this area until 3:30 pm. Gray route also will detour.
- Grassy area south of the Towers: Brown route services this area
Detour information will be available on the CyRide site next week.
More than 50 faculty and staff will be honored during the annual awards ceremony on Monday, Sept. 25, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The program begins at 3:30 p.m., followed by a reception.
This year's event will include two recipients of a newly established award. Tera Jordan, assistant professor of human development and family studies, and Audrey Kennis, multicultural liaison officer in the College of Design, will receive the inaugural university Award for Inclusive Excellence, which recognizes faculty or professional and scientific staff who promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
Overall, 29 awards will be given to 54 recipients. Presenters include interim President Ben Allen, senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert, vice president for diversity and inclusion Reg Stewart, senior vice president for student affairs Martino Harmon, vice president for research Sarah Nusser, vice president for economic development and business engagement Michael Crum, senior vice president for university services Kate Gregory and interim vice president for extension and outreach John Lawrence.
The title of Distinguished Professor, first awarded in 1956, is the highest academic honor the university bestows. It recognizes a faculty member whose accomplishments in research or creative activities have had a significant impact on his or her discipline, and who has demonstrated outstanding performance in at least one other area of faculty responsibility. Nominees must hold the rank of professor and have served for at least five years prior to the current year on the Iowa State faculty. The awardee retains the title for the remainder of his or her career at the university.
Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences
- Thomas Baum, professor and chair in plant pathology and microbiology
- Dermot Hayes, Pioneer Hi-Bred International Agribusiness Chair, professor of economics and finance
Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering
- Balaji Narasimhan, professor and Vlasta Klima Balloun Faculty Chair in Chemical and Biological Engineering
The title of University Professor is awarded to a faculty member who has acted as a change agent by having made significant contributions to improve the university, and who has demonstrated outstanding performance in at least one other area of faculty responsibility. Nominees must hold the rank of professor and have served for at least 10 years prior to the current year on the Iowa State faculty. The awardee retains the title for the remainder of his or her career at the university.
- William Crumpton, professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology
- Brenda Jones, professor of art and visual culture
- Mark Rectanus, professor of German, world languages and cultures
The title of Morrill Professor is conferred on a faculty member who has exhibited excellence in undergraduate or graduate teaching or extension and outreach programs, and who has demonstrated outstanding performance in at least one other area of faculty responsibility. Nominees must hold the rank of professor and have served for at least five years prior to the current year on the Iowa State faculty. The awardee retains the title for the remainder of his or her career at the university.
- Thomas Holme, professor of chemistry
- April Katz, professor of art and visual culture
- D. Raj Raman, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering
Regents Award for Faculty Excellence
The award is presented by the state Board of Regents to recognize tenured faculty members are outstanding university citizens and who have rendered significant service to the university or the state of Iowa.
- Tom Baas, professor of animal science
- Susan Bradbury, professor of community and regional planning
- Jay Harmon, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering
- F. Chris Minion, professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine
- Frank Peters, associate professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering
Regents Award for Staff Excellence
The award is presented by the state Board of Regents to recognize members of either the professional and scientific (P&S) or supervisory and confidential staffs who are outstanding university citizens and have rendered significant service to the university or the state of Iowa.
- Carol Cordell, academic adviser, kinesiology
- Lisa Sebring, administrative specialist, College of Veterinary Medicine
Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching
The award recognizes a faculty member for outstanding teaching performance over an extended period of time.
- David Flory, senior lecturer, geological and atmospheric sciences
- Monica Lamm, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering
- Stacey Weber-Fève, associate professor of French, world languages and cultures
Louis Thompson Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award
Established by the late Louis Thompson, emeritus associate dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences, this is a special designation within the Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award to recognize an outstanding teacher who is dedicated to helping undergraduate students.
- David Flory, senior lecturer, geological and atmospheric sciences
- Stacey Weber-Fève, associate professor of French, world languages and cultures
James Huntington Ellis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Introductory Teaching
Established by a 1928 Iowa State graduate, the award recognizes a faculty member for exceptional achievement in teaching introductory courses.
- Sergio Lence, professor and Marlin Cole Chair of International Agriculture Economics
Award for Early Achievement in Teaching
The award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding teaching performance unusually early in his or her career.
- Shannon Jones Hostetter, assistant professor of veterinary pathology
- Dorothy Mukudi Masinde, senior lecturer, horticulture, global resource systems
Margaret Ellen White Graduate Faculty Award
Established by a long-time staff member of the Graduate College, the award recognizes superior performance by a member of the graduate faculty in enriching the student-professor relationship and enabling students to finish their work in a timely and scholarly manner.
- Dan Nettleton, Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Laurence H. Baker Chair in Biological Statistics, professor of statistics
Award for Departmental Leadership
The award recognizes outstanding departmental leadership that helps faculty members meet their complex obligations to undergraduate teaching, graduate mentoring, research and service.
- Steven Mickelson, Charles R. and Jane F. Olsen Professor in Engineering, professor and chair in agricultural and biosystems engineering
Award for Early Achievement in Departmental Leadership
Recognizes the exceptional impact of a department chair or school director within the first three years of his or her leadership role.
- Carl Weems, professor and chair in human development and family studies
Award for Inclusive Excellence
Recognizes faculty and P&S staff who have advanced the university’s mission of diversity, equity and inclusion beyond their usual job responsibilities.
- Tera Jordan, assistant professor of human development and family studies
- Audrey Kennis, multicultural liaison officer, College of Design
International Service Award
The award recognizes a faculty member for outstanding international service in teaching, research or administration within the United States or abroad.
- Hongwei Xin, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences, assistant dean for research, Iowa Egg Council Endowed Professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, professor of animal science
Award for Academic Advising Impact
The award recognizes outstanding performance by an academic adviser over an extended period of time.
- Beth Hartmann, senior lecturer, civil, construction and environmental engineering
- Devna Popejoy-Sheriff, student services specialist, industrial and manufacturing engineering
Award for Early Achievement in Academic Advising
The award recognizes outstanding performance by an academic adviser early in his or her career.
- Dawn Walker Chalmers, academic adviser, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences student academic services
Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research
The award recognizes a tenured faculty member who has a national or international reputation for contributions in research and has influenced the research activities of students.
- Christopher Tuggle, professor of animal science
- Jeffrey Zimmerman, professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine
Award for Mid-Career Achievement in Research
The award recognizes a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary research performance or scholarship accomplishments as documented by peers or experts in the field.
- Emily Smith, professor of chemistry
- Jianming Yu, Pioneer Hi-Bred Distinguished Chair in Maize Breeding, professor of agronomy
Award for Early Achievement in Research
The award recognizes a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments unusually early in his or her professional career.
- Simon Laflamme, associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering
- Paul Plummer, associate professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine
Professional and Scientific Research Award
The award recognizes a P&S staff member employed at Iowa State for at least five years for excellence in research.
- Igor Slowing, scientist, Ames Laboratory, adjunct professor of chemistry
Award for Achievement in Intellectual Property
The award recognizes individuals or teams of faculty or P&S staff for outstanding university-based achievements in producing intellectual property.
- Kan Wang, Global Professor in Biotechnology, professor of agronomy
Award for Achievement in Economic Development in Iowa
The award recognizes individuals or teams of faculty or P&S staff for outstanding university-based achievements in advancing the state of Iowa's economic development.
- Lisa Shimkat, state director, Small Business Development Center
- Center for Crops Utilization Research and BioCentury Research Farm: Peggy Best, administrative specialist; Sharon Colletti, administrative specialist; Bill Colonna, assistant scientist; Steven Fox, research technician; Darren Jarboe, program manager; Kevin Keener, director; Jeni Maiers, program assistant; John Strohl, fermentation manager and assistant scientist; Andrew Suby, BioCentury Research Farm manager and associate scientist; Hui Wang, pilot plant manager; Ethan Wiegle, assistant pilot plant manager and agricultural systems technology senior
Professional and Scientific Excellence Award
The award recognizes contributions made by a P&S staff member within and beyond the university and career progress demonstrated by accomplishments at Iowa State.
- Tera Lawson, program coordinator, Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching, School of Education
- Rita Phillips, director, ISU Book Store
- Andrew Severin, scientist, office of biotechnology
Carroll Ringgenberg Award
Named for a long-time staff member in purchasing and facilities, the award recognizes an extraordinary professional and scientific staff member who exhibits constant and contagious dedication to and goodwill for Iowa State.
- Deborah Lewis, curator of the Ada Hayden Herbarium, ecology, evolution and organismal biology
Professional and Scientific Outstanding New Professional Award
The award recognizes a P&S staff member who has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments unusually early in his or her professional career.
- Elizabeth Juchems, extension program specialist, agricultural and biosystems engineering
- Lesa Vold, communications specialist, animal science, Egg Industry Center
- Diana Wright, program coordinator, College of Business, Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship
Award for Distinguished Service in Extension
The highest award bestowed on an Extension professional, it recognizes sustained distinguished performance and educational contributions to Iowa State's clientele through Extension programs.
- Donna Donald, human sciences specialist, field operations, ISU Extension and Outreach
Award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice
The award recognizes a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated outstanding performance in statewide leadership in extension or professional practice, and has achieved national recognition for outreach activities.
- Kent Schwartz, clinical professor, veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine
Award for Early Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice
The award recognizes a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in extension or professional practice unusually early in his or her career.
- Bailey Hanson, systems analyst, community and economic development, ISU Extension and Outreach
R.K. Bliss Extension Award
Named for the director of Extension from 1912 to 1946, the award recognizes outstanding achievement of an Extension staff member for developing an overall or continuing extension education program.
- Russell Euken, beef and swine field specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach