Safety upgrades coming for campus elevators


Ryan Joens of Eletech, Inc., Omaha, works atop a Gilman Hall freight elevator to install a new alarm bell, security light and telephone on Tuesday. Many elevator cars are currently receiving the upgrades on campus. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

An extensive project that began last summer will update the majority of older elevators across campus, but hopefully you'll never need the most noticeable improvements.

Crews are installing safety enhancements in about 115 elevators, work prompted by the state elevator board's 2015 adoption of new requirements for older elevators. The rules, which go into effect in May 2020, mandate for older elevators many of the safety measures required in new elevators.

A survey last summer produced a list of deficiencies to address in each of the campus elevators installed or last modernized before 2010, said Kerry Dixon, the facilities planning and management (FPM) project manager overseeing the elevator work. That's about 75 percent of campus elevators, not including those in residence halls.

"Every elevator we inspected had something," Dixon said. Some had as few as three issues, while others had as many as 45.

Many fixes are minor, such as maintenance paperwork or proper labels. The most substantial changes are adding emergency bells, lights with battery backups and phones in each elevator car, both for passengers and freight.

"After this is done, every elevator on campus will have an emergency phone that rings directly to the department of public safety," she said.

Adding mechanisms to keep elevator doors from being forced open is another major safety improvement, Dixon said. Though it's a common sight in movies, elevator doors with modern safety equipment can't be forced open without a special tool, she said.

Portions of the project that require elevators to temporarily shut down should be done by early July, Dixon said, with some minor work in mechanical rooms continuing into the fall. The project will cost nearly $3 million, not including the residence hall elevator work also occurring this summer.

All fixes should be complete well before the enforcement deadline next year, said Dixon, who sits on the state elevator board. She said Iowa State has been especially proactive in tackling the compliance issues, which if not fixed would eventually lead to a shutdown due to a lack of a state permit.

"We are ahead of most of the other major property owners in the state," she said.

With go-live near, last-day deadlines set for legacy systems

Workday training

Be sure to take the needed training to be ready. Many employees need less than two hours of computer-based sessions to prepare. 

At some point, data entry has to pause to make go-live work.

To enable the July 1 launch of Workday -- Iowa State's new platform for managing human resources, finances and payroll -- deadlines throughout June (and some in July) mark the last days to enter new information in the dozens of current systems being replaced. These "cutover" dates allow time to extract, prepare and transfer the troves of data to upload in Workday.

The team that for months has been planning the logistics of the cutover process created a webpage for sharing those deadlines. The cutover webpage includes a calendar of cutover dates with broad effects as well as links to spreadsheets with more detail about general deadlines and finance and grants deadlines -- including the impact cutover will have on the fiscal year's end.

While the last-day deadlines are firm, the cutover webpage will be updated as Workday's implementation approaches. It will be an important resource for up-to-date information. WorkCyte PIT crews and campuswide communications also will share cutover dates.

Kristen Constant, interim vice president and chief information officer, said cutover deadlines were set to minimize disruption and are vital to the success of Workday's launch.

"Those dates aren't arbitrary. They are very important for a successful go-live," she said.

Here are a few examples of major cutover milestones:

  • June 11: Last day to update the FY20 budget in ADIN
  • June 12. Last day to create a new account in Kuali Financials
  • June 14: Last day for new hires to complete onboarding electronically in AccessPlus
  • June 17: Last day for employees to change their W-4, address or direct deposit in AccessPlus
  • June 27: Last day to reallocate and approve procurement card transactions for FY19 in AccessPlus

“The WorkCyte program team has been and continues to work with stakeholders across campus to ensure that Iowa State community is ready for go-live,” said Joli Coil, a program manager in information technology services. “Our employees have worked hard to design, test and learn the new system and procedures. July 1 will be a very exciting day for ISU.”

For more information, visit the cutover webpage.


ISU Research Park president Rick Sanders

ISU Research Park president Rick Sanders. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Rick Sanders became president of the ISU Research Park on June 1. He comes to Iowa State from the Story County Board of Supervisors, where he'd served since 2010 and was in his third elected term.

Previously, Sanders served as commissioner of the Midwest Collegiate Conference, affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (2005-15), owned Cyclone Vending in Ames (2003-06), and was an associate athletics director at the University of Maine, Orono (2001-03). As Story County supervisor, he served on the National Association of Counties' International Economic Development task force and the Central Iowa Workforce Development Board, and chaired the Iowa Association of County Supervisors' legislative committee.

Sanders earned a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

His office is in suite 1210 of the Economic Development Core Facility in the south part of the research park. He can be reached by phone at 296-9950, by email at

He succeeds Steve Carter, who retired in December after leading the park for 18 years. Former senior vice president for business and finance Warren Madden served in the interim.


Internal job applications will be easier with Workday

Job portal changes

The website where Iowa State lists employment opportunities and takes applications is transitioning from PeopleAdmin to Workday. Check out the key dates to know.

Workday will make it easier for Iowa State employees to apply for jobs at the university.

When the new platform for human resources, finances and payroll launches July 1, Iowa State faculty and staff no longer will need to use the external website to apply for ISU positions. They will apply through Workday, which will be more convenient and quicker, interim vice president for university human resources Kristi Darr said in a memo to employees this week.

"We are tremendously excited about the upcoming launch of Workday and the many benefits and efficiencies it will provide for the university, including this improvement in the employee careers/talent acquisition area," Darr said.

Employees can build a career profile in Workday that includes their work experience and education, along with any licensing and certifications. That information will automatically transfer to the job application when an employee applies for a different position at Iowa State. The system also will track application status and history.

The internal application system won't give employees preference over external candidates or provide information not available to the public. Employees will continue to receive the same consideration for open positions as external applicants, except in the rare case of internal-only postings.

Employees can access the career site by searching for "find jobs" in the search bar on the upper left of any Workday page or by entering the career application from the homepage.

Other candidates will continue to apply with the external site, including ISU undergraduate and graduate students as well as temporary and seasonal employees.

Regents approve tuition, fee rates for fall

Iowa State students will pay between 3.7% and 4.8% more in tuition and fees next year, following the state Board of Regents' final approval of 2019-20 tuition and mandatory fee increases June 6 in Ames. For resident undergraduates, the increase is $331; for out-of-state undergraduates, it's $1,115. Graduate students will pay $485 (in-state) and $1,185 (out-of-state) more next year, respectively.

Last month, the board announced tuition increases that respond to the 2019 Legislature's operating support for the regent universities and fall within the board's five-year tuition plan for predictability.

The table below provides specifics on increases for this fall.

2019-20 base tuition increases for ISU students


Tuition-only increase

Tuition/fees price (increase)

Iowa residents




$302 (3.9%)

$9,320 (3.7%)


$456 (4.9%)

$10,990 (4.6%)

   Vet Med*

$932 (4%)

$25,498 (3.9%)





$1,086 (4.9%)

$24,508 (4.8%)


$1,156 (4.9%)

$25,952 (4.8%)

   Vet Med*

$2,050 (4%)

$54,582 (4%)

*Years 1-3 of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program

This fall begins year two of a three-year plan to align numerous differential tuitions at both the undergraduate and graduate levels into two categories: $1,600 and $2,612 ($3,026 for nonresident and international students) annually when fully implemented. Most undergraduate differential tuitions begin in the junior year, but beginning this fall, Iowa State will charge the differential to sophomores in engineering disciplines and the agricultural systems technology and industrial technology programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

All Iowa State students will pay an additional $29.50 in mandatory fees next year, for a total of $1,277.90 for most students. An $18.50 increase to the student activities fee provides additional support for student government ($2.50) and new operations support for the student newspaper ($16), replacing the Iowa State Daily's funding contract with student government. An $11 increase to the student services fee will help cover cost increases in the CyRide bus system.

The $1,277.90 fee is standard for most undergraduates and reflects a $290 technology fee. This annual fee varies from $244 to $506, depending on the program.

State operating support

The board agreed to allocate $4 million each to Iowa State and the universities of Iowa and Northern Iowa from a new $12 million state appropriation for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The appropriation, which is separate from each school's general university appropriation, is to be used "to support new strategic initiatives, meet needs caused by enrollment increases, meet the demand for new courses and services, fund new but unavoidable or mandated cost increases, and support any other initiatives important to the core functions of the universities." The board sought $18 million in additional funding, $7 million of which it would have directed to Iowa State.

President's compensation

The board completed performance evaluations of the university presidents June 4-5. Wanting to sync its employment agreements with the campus leaders on the fiscal calendar, the board extended its employment agreement with President Wendy Wintersteen through June 30, 2023. Her five-year term was scheduled to end in November 2022. The board's 2017 agreement with Wintersteen calls for a $40,000 (7.3%) salary increase this Nov. 20, to $590,000.

The board also extended its three-year deferred compensation plan for Wintersteen about 2.5 years, through June 30, 2023. The original agreement called for deferred compensation that reaches $200,000 in year three (Nov. 20, 2019-Nov. 19, 2020). The board approved extending this amount annually through June 2023.

"There's a strong feeling [among board members] that we have the right individuals to lead our public universities. Together, they are a very strong team that can help lead the entire state of Iowa regents system now and into the future," said board president Mike Richards. "We want to be clear and transparent to all that this is the team we want to be here now and in the foreseeable future."

In other business, the board approved Iowa State requests:

  • To raise its undergraduate application fee $10, to $50 for U.S. applicants and $60 for international students. The former will help cover additional costs of joining the national "common application" and "coalition application" portals, which allow students to apply to multiple colleges and universities through a single web portal and expose Iowa State to larger prospective student audiences. The latter will help cover higher overseas mailing costs.
  • For a $21.2 million, six-building feed mill and grain science complex on the Curtiss Farm south of U.S. Highway 30 at State Avenue. It will include a feed mill tower, grain handling and storage complex, warehouse, education building, scale and sampling building, and biosecurity/vehicle wash building. Construction begins this fall and continues into spring 2021.
  • For a $1 million addition (to $6.8 million) to the new poultry research and teaching facility on South State Avenue the board approved last November. The change adds two buildings for teaching and research on turkeys, both of which also could be used for chicken research, as needed. Work at the site began last fall and will continue this fall with the turkey buildings.
  • To begin planning for an estimated $14 million, multi-phased replacement of a power system (substations, switchgear, load centers and motor control centers) in the power plant, critical to the university's cogeneration of steam, electricity and chilled water to cool buildings.

New student regent is a Cyclone

Iowa State junior Zack Leist ("leest") has been appointed to the state Board of Regents by Gov. Kim Reynolds, pending confirmation by the Iowa Senate next winter. He began his service Tuesday at the board meeting in Ames.

"It is a great honor to be asked to serve as a regent," Leist said. "I know this is a big responsibility, and I will do the best I can to learn and serve on the board. I hope that I can use my knowledge and skills to best represent students from Iowa State, Iowa and UNI.

"I am looking forward to this exciting opportunity," he added.

Student regent Zack Leist

Zack Leist

The Clarion native is majoring in agricultural business with a minor in agronomy. He is involved in a variety of campus activities, including Agricultural Business Club, Iowa Corn Growers Club, Collegiate Cattlemen's Club, Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and CALS Ambassadors. He also has completed several study abroad trips. Leist currently works as an intern at Syngenta, a global ag research and development company.

"We welcome regent Leist to the board and we look forward to working with him and getting his views on issues that come before the board," said board president Mike Richards. "The perspective of a current student is critical as we continue to strive to provide a top-quality education to our students."

Leist fills the unexpired term of former University of Northern Iowa student Rachael Johnson, who served four years and resigned in March. Leist's term on the board expires April 30, 2021.

The board of regents first added a student regent to its membership in 1985. Leist is the 11th student regent and the fifth undergraduate from Iowa State.

P&S Council backs anti-bullying effort, considers training request

The Professional and Scientific Council supports establishing a campuswide anti-bullying policy and might ask the university to offer staff a training program about discussing difficult matters.

The motions were among several the council passed at its June 6 meeting, its last of the year before new members and officers take on their 2019-20 roles at the end of the month.

In a first reading that will come up for final approval in July, the council heard a motion requesting that staff be offered Crucial Conversations training beginning in January 2020. The intensive two-day program aims to make talking about sensitive subjects more constructive. The request is meant to address the council's long-standing goal to improve supervisor training.

Incoming president-elect Sara Parris said she has participated in Crucial Conversations training and recommends it.

"It gave me a lot of the tools I need to be a good supervisor, a good co-worker," Parris said. "Supervisors need to be able to deliver tough messages in a kind and caring way, and people also need to be able to understand how to receive those."

ISU Extension and Outreach offers the $250-per-person program to its staff, county extension councils and volunteers a few times a year, but due to licensing rules, extension and outreach can't make the course available to other university employees.  

Anti-bullying effort

The council approved a motion to work with the policy library advisory committee and Faculty Senate to create, without infringing on academic freedom and free-speech rights, a policy prohibiting workplace and classroom bullying.

The senate passed a resolution calling for an anti-bullying policy at its January meeting.

Council president Stacy Renfro noted that the university ombuds also has recommended something similar based on her experiences with staff and other employees, writing in the ombuds office's FY2018 report that Iowa State should, "Refine policies regarding hostile work environments, harassment or harassing behavior exhibited by a supervisor or colleague that is not related to protected class."

Other business

Councilors passed motions endorsing proposed minor, Workday-related changes to university policies on salary adjustments and nonexempt time reporting.

The council also approved a motion endorsing proposed changes to the hiring and employment policy and related guidelines. At its May meeting, the council delayed voting on the hiring and employment policy and the guidelines to provide constituents more time for feedback. Parris said university human resources is working to address the clarifications the council requested on the hiring and employment policy.

Council members also approved a motion to form a committee to seek ways to make its meeting spaces and events more inclusive.

Committee will provide service delivery oversight

An advisory committee has been appointed to monitor and support continuous improvement of the finance and human resources improved service delivery (ISD) models that go into effect July 1.

The committee picks up the reins from the institutional effectiveness leadership team (IELT) and a "super group" of stakeholders that guided development of the ISD plan. It will meet monthly through 2019, then quarterly.

The advisory committee will evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of ISD, identifying areas for improvement. Customer satisfaction, career development of ISD specialists and operational processes are among the areas that will be monitored. Feedback and data will be used to measure ISD performance.

"The committee has representation from across campus to provide input and feedback on ISD. It will be a positive voice to the rest of campus on the improvements we're making," said Dwaine Heppler, associate vice president for human resources and strategy. Heppler and Kyle Briese, finance manager and the finance leadership ISD liaison, will lead the advisory committee meetings.

"It's important for us to demonstrate that with Workday and the ISD organizational structure that we're able to offer a higher level of finance and HR service," Heppler said.

Committee membership

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean Beate Schmittmann and vice president for research Sarah Nusser co-chaired the IELT group and will serve on the advisory committee through June 2020. Representatives from nine areas will serve three-year terms:

  • Faculty Senate, Rob Wallace (associate professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology)
  • Professional and Scientific Council, Amy Ward (program coordinator, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching)
  • Merit staff, Beth Wing (secretary, human development and family studies)
  • Council of Deans, Dan Grooms (dean, College of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Department chairs, Chad Gasta (professor and chair, world languages and cultures)
  • Research, Jerry Zamzow (assistant vice president, research office)
  • Academic affairs, Dawn Bratsch-Prince (associate provost for faculty)
  • Student affairs, Bonnie Whalen (director, administrative services)
  • Operations and finance/president’s office, Ellen Rasmussen (interim associate vice president, operations and finance)

Four committee members will serve on a permanent basis:

  • HR service delivery and strategy, Dwaine Heppler (associate vice president, university human resources)
  • Finance and support services, Kyle Briese (finance manager, operations and finance)
  • Workday technical team, Joli Coil (program manager, information technology services)
  • Communications, Megan Landolt (assistant to the president for communications)

The committee's findings, including recommendations and milestone achievements, will be summarized in quarterly reports to the president and senior vice presidents. The reports will be shared campuswide.

Big groups coming to campus this summer

Students, faculty and staff share campus in the summer with a variety of camps, conferences and competitions held at Iowa State facilities. Here's a list of summer gatherings expected to draw 100 people or more to campus. Email to suggest any additions we've missed.





League of Women Voters state convention

June 7-8

Alumni Center


Transfer student orientation

May 24, July 1


200 students,

250 guests

Freshman orientation

May 29-June 28


5,400 students, 9,300 guests

Iowa Simmental Jr. Field Day

June 1-2

Hansen Ag Center


Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival

June 14-16

Hansen Ag Center


USA Track and Field Iowa state meet

June 15-16

Cyclone Sports Complex


USA Hockey 14U camp

June 16-21

Ice Arena


Insuring Iowa's Agriculture Conference

June 18



Cyclone Gymnastics Cardinal Camp

June 22-25



National Cheer Association camp

June 23-26

Beyer and State Gym


Iowa Reading Association Conference

June 25-26



Iowa 4-H Youth Conference

June 25-27



Cyclone Gymnastics Gold Camp

June 26-29

Beyer Hall


Universal Dance Association camp

July 6-9

State Gym


Kevin Dresser Skills and Drills wrestling camp

July 7-10



National Dance Alliance camp

July 9-13

State Gym


USA Track and Field Masters Outdoors Championships

July 11-14

Cyclone Sports Complex


Cyclone Volleyball All Skills Gold camp

July 16-18



Kevin Dresser team wrestling camp

July 24-27



Summer Iowa Games

July 13-11, 19-21, 26-28



Custodian Maintenance School

July 22-26



Ag and Food HR Roundtable

July 29-Aug. 1