While you were away

Man on ladder replaces heating system component

Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Robert Milbrandt, building systems specialist with facilities planning and management, is pictured replacing a control line for the radiant heat system in the Parks Library periodical room on Dec. 26. Teams from several FPM departments took advantage of a smaller campus population during the partial shutdown to get dozens of small -- and not so small -- projects done, everything from shrub pruning and tree removal to carpet replacement, from office painting to a finely orchestrated electrical shutdown in Durham Center for a tie-in to a new electrical grounding system. And don't forget cleaning -- lots and lots of cleaning!

Finance and HR service delivery leaders hired

The first hires have been made to fill top roles in the improved service delivery (ISD) structures. The positions will serve as liaisons with university and unit leaders to implement and ensure efficient service delivery in finance and human resources.

Dwaine Heppler and Heather Paris were named associate vice presidents in human resources and finance, respectively, and will help assemble and implement teams of specialists in their areas. Paris will report to interim senior vice president for finance Pam Cain, and Heppler will report to interim vice president for university human resources Kristi Darr.

Heppler will assume the AVP for human resources and strategy role on Feb. 4. He comes to ISU from Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, where he has worked 11 years -- the last five as HR business partner. Heppler earned his bachelor's degree and a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State.

Paris, who has served as recreation services' business manager since 2016, will move into the AVP for finance and support services position Jan. 17. Prior to coming to ISU, she was CEO at Stewart Memorial Community Hospital, Lake City, and chief financial officer at Monroe County Hospital and Clinics, Albia. Paris earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa, and a Master of Health Care Administration from Des Moines University.

What's next

The next step in the hiring process is to fill openings for three finance managers and senior human resources partners who will report to the AVPs and oversee the specialist teams. The guaranteed consideration date for those positions was Dec. 16.

A Jan. 8 job showcase is open to all university employees interested in finance and HR specialist positions. ISU employees must complete an online interest survey Jan. 9-18 to be considered for a specialist role.

Reminder: Service delivery job showcase is Jan. 8

Organizers are putting the final touches on a one-stop event for employees and supervisors who want to learn more about specialist positions that will form the human resources and finance improved service delivery (ISD) teams. The Jan. 8 job showcase will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Memorial Union.

What to bring

Participants need their ISU Card or employee number for check-in at the table in the lobby outside the South Ballroom west entrance. No preregistration is required for the come-and-go event. Employees who require Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations should contact Liz Kurt (lvkurt@iastate.edu) immediately.

The showcase is not a formal interview. Participants do not need to bring resumes or wear interview attire. Position descriptions and an FAQ are available on the WorkCyte ISD website to help employees formulate questions for finance and HR staff members who will be available at the showcase.

What to expect

The South Ballroom will be set up with information tables about the employee interest survey, specialist position descriptions and Workday.

The Sun Room will be divided into two spaces for live presentations by HR and finance leaders. Five-minute presentations on each ISD position will rotate continuously throughout the day, with time for questions after each session.


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Interest survey for specialist positions opens Jan. 9

All merit and professional and scientific staff will be asked to participate in an online employee interest survey this month. The survey, open Jan. 9-18, will help match qualified employees with new specialist positions on human resources and finance improved service delivery (ISD) teams.

Staff must select "maybe" or "yes" to be eligible for consideration and can withdraw from the process at any time. A "no" selection will terminate the survey.  To be considered for a specialist role, employees must complete the interest survey by 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18.

Survey details

Employees must meet the minimum qualifications and describe their related experience for specialist positions they're interested in pursuing. Resumes are not required. Positions in the HR and finance service delivery models include:

Respondents can rank their preferences for the specialist positions (up to four) and team assignments (up to three). For example, a staff member could rank interest in the finance services (No. 1) and procurement expense (No. 2) positions, and an assignment to the Redwood (No. 1) or Sycamore (No. 2) ISD teams.

The survey link will be emailed when it goes live on Jan. 9. A preview of the survey will be included in an ISD update email expected later today.

Next steps

The employee interest survey and an evaluation matrix of qualifications will be used to match qualified staff with specialist jobs. Individuals are not guaranteed an ISD specialist position.

Transition teams and HR and finance administrators will follow up with interested employees. When possible, potential supervisors also may meet with employees during the ISD selection process. Employees must make a final decision on offered ISD roles by March 1 but will not officially assume new positions until July 1.


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Job descriptions released for new HR, finance specialists

Position descriptions for the finance and human resources specialist jobs created by the improved service delivery (ISD) initiative assign existing job titles and classifications to the roles, along with a refined list of responsibilities.

The specialists will work in the 11 service teams that will provide HR and finance support to departments, offices and colleges across campus beginning July 1, a reorganization that pairs with the rollout of the new Workday software platform for Iowa State's business processes. Staff with HR or finance duties -- or both -- often have other responsibilities in the current workplace structure. The new model for most of the university's HR and finance work is based on full-time specialists reporting to supervisors in their fields instead of department leaders, creating more consistency, balance and opportunity for training and promotion.

All specialist jobs will be offered first to qualified internal candidates and won't post externally unless necessary. Hiring for the positions will be more streamlined than usual, beginning with an interest survey staff can submit from Jan. 9-18. A job showcase event Jan. 8 will give staff a chance to learn more and ask in-depth questions.

A new FAQ about the ISD transition and hiring process posted Dec. 21 indicated a March 1 deadline for employees to decide whether to accept an offer to join a service team. It also reiterated that the service delivery changes aren't meant to reduce the size of Iowa State's workforce and won't impact an employee's salary, in most cases. A timeline for the ISD project, also released Dec. 21, set dates for various steps before the July 1 go-live deadline, and the main FAQ for ISD has been updated with several new questions and answers. 

Resources available

Courses through Lynda.com

  • Coping with Change
  • Why We Dislike Change
  • The Change Curve
  • Know Your Thought Processes
  • How to Plan for Change
  • How to Develop Mental Toughness
  • Managing Organizational Change for Managers

Need someone to listen?

Don't forget

A Dec. 21 ISD email releasing the more detailed position descriptions noted that the duties listed for the finance positions encompass the breadth of responsibilities for staff in each role. Employees who work in those positions will have a reasonable workload of the potential duties listed. The descriptions include a new ISD position, assistant finance manager.

Here are the basics of the job descriptions:

Procurement and expense specialist

  • Category: Merit
  • Classification: Clerk III
  • Pay grade: 508
  • Summary: Procures and pays for supplies, services and equipment. See description for full list of responsibilities and minimum qualifications. 

Finance specialist I

  • Category: Merit
  • Classification: Account clerk or account specialist, depending on complexity of service team
  • Pay grade: 509 or 513
  • Summary: Performs various tasks related to accounting. See description for full list of responsibilities and minimum qualifications. 

Finance specialist II

  • Category: Professional and scientific
  • Classification: Program coordinator I or II, depending on complexity of service team
  • Pay grade: 33 or 35
  • Summary: Provides accounting, finance and payroll expertise. See description for full list of responsibilities and minimum qualifications. 

Grants finance specialist

  • Category: Professional and scientific
  • Classification: Program coordinator I or II, depending on complexity of service team
  • Pay grade: 33 or 35
  • Summary: Works with researchers, grant coordinators, central offices and other specialists to monitor all financial activities and financial reporting specific to grants. See description for full list of responsibilities and minimum qualifications. 

Assistant finance manager

  • Category: Professional and scientific
  • Classification: Program coordinator III
  • Pay grade: 36
  • Summary: Oversees the delivery of accounting, finance and payroll support of large service teams. See description for full list of responsibilities and minimum qualifications. 

HR coordinator

  • Category: Professional and scientific
  • Classification: Program coordinator I or II, depending on complexity of service team
  • Pay grade: 34
  • Summary: Supports managers and employees with direct HR guidance. See description for full list of responsibilities and minimum qualifications. 

Staff recruiting specialist

  • Category: Professional and scientific
  • Classification: Human resources specialist II
  • Pay grade: 34
  • Summary: Provides direct recruiting and hiring support for managers. See description for full list of responsibilities and minimum qualifications. 

HR partner

  • Category: Professional and scientific
  • Classification: Human resources specialist IV
  • Pay grade: 36
  • Summary: Responsible for training, communicating and executing strategies, policies and programs. Provides oversight for service delivery and handles complex issues. See description for full list of responsibilities and minimum qualifications. 

CyThx successful in first campaign

The last weeks of the semester may have been a busy time, but that didn’t stop many at Iowa State from taking a minute to send a thank you to someone who deserved it. 

The effort to have students send CyThx to people who make them feel like a valued member of the Iowa State community succeeded in its first campaign. A total of 337 CyThx were submitted and directed to seven colleges and other areas, and 100 departments and units were represented. 

"Extremely pleased," said Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) director Sara Marcketti. "We targeted this for students -- undergraduate and graduate students -- but what we have been somewhat surprised by is there are a number of people who thanked colleagues or other people in their units, making it more peer-to-peer at the faculty or staff level." 

Students were able to offer their CyThx, anonymously if they chose, through a short online form. The thanks were directed toward instructors, mentors, staff members, advisers and peer leaders.  

“What made me happiest is that we were able to touch all of the colleges and so many areas around campus, and we have room to grow,” CELT program coordinator Laura Bestler said. “We are proud that there are a number of people on campus that want to send thanks to someone.”  

CyThx is a collaborative effort between CELT, the learning communities program, office of multicultural student affairs and Student Government.

"In the first year we were hoping to work out the logistics of it, and we wanted to make sure there was student support for it," Marcketti said. "When Student Government came on board and said 'absolutely, we want to support this' that was a really good win for us. (Graduate and Professional Student Senate) had us out to their meeting and were very enthusiastic about it as well." 

Members of the campus community receiving a CyThx were notified through an email. The messages are displayed on the CELT website. A list of CyThx recipients also was sent to the department chair or unit head and senior administration in the area that individual works. For example, if thanks was given to someone at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the department chair and dean were notified. 

The campaign ran from Nov. 1 through Dec. 14, and the decision already has been made to bring it back again in November.

"We started it in November in conjunction with the idea of being thankful for all that is done by so many," director of learning communities Jen Leptien said. "Students in learning communities tend to be first-year, full-time students, and this is a good time because they know who their mentors are and have made some good connections.

"I think (CyThx) is a wonderful indication of how many people are spending that extra time to reach out and share their appreciation for other people."