First-year students moved into their residence halls Tuesday and Wednesday this week, assisted by a small army of student volunteers in neon T-shirts. Move-in for returning students begins Thursday and continues through Sunday.
Destination Iowa State programming begins Thursday afternoon for new students, and fall classes begin Monday morning.
In February 2022, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) announced Reimagining LAS, a multi-year initiative to transform the college into a financially sustainable, student-centered home for learning and research. The initiative addresses an annual budget deficit projected to grow to $15 million by 2025 due to changes in the higher education landscape such as declining enrollment and students bringing more credits to campus.
Reimagining LAS realigns resources and program offerings with student and workforce demands. This includes right-sizing some programs and initiatives, while pursuing strategic growth opportunities in other areas that show promise.
In March 2022, LAS department chairs began their work on individual plans that would enable them to meet the college's realignment goals and their department budget targets by July 2025. The budget targets were set by the college, based on historical and projected data measuring undergraduate student credit hours, undergraduate majors and research productivity.
Department plans outlined a wide range of steps to help them reach their budget targets. To date, approximately $7.5 million has been trimmed from the $15 million goal.
"I really appreciate the hard work and thoughtful deliberation that department chairs, faculty and staff have invested into Reimagining LAS," said Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "It's been an incredibly challenging process, but an important one that will prepare the college for a sustainable future."
Faculty retirements contributed to many departments' budget targets. Twenty-four faculty members retired in fiscal year 2023, and 17 of the 24 took advantage of a special retirement program created for faculty in LAS and LAS co-administered departments.
One area of concentration in departmental plans is examining the degree programs offered. The bachelor's degrees in speech communication and biophysics and the graduate program in history are in the process of sunsetting, pending approval by the state Board of Regents. Students currently enrolled in these programs will have ample time and support to finish their degrees.
Another area is course and curricular offerings. Departments examined historical course enrollment, teaching resources and course delivery methods to find opportunities for improvement, assess student interest and achieve efficiencies. Departments identified courses that could be discontinued, combined with others or offered in a different format. They also proposed opportunities for new courses based on student and employer demand.
Some departments even re-evaluated prerequisite and degree requirements. For example, by expanding the course options that could be used to meet a meteorology degree requirement, the department of geological and atmospheric sciences gave students more flexibility, while ensuring they still meet the requirement for a career at the National Weather Service.
"Meteorology had been actively discussing curriculum changes the past several years, but this initiative and the loss of a faculty member sped up some of these changes," said Kristie Franz, Smith Family Foundation Departmental Chair in Geology. "It also generated new ideas for maintaining the meteorology undergraduate and graduate programs with fewer faculty."
Administrative efforts help lower burden on departments
At the college level, programs and operations were identified for potential restructuring. Some units currently operated by LAS, such as Chemistry Stores and LAS Research Information Technology, will be transferred to university control to gain efficiencies and better campuswide support. The college also is leveraging donor and endowment resources to fund select support services provided to students and departments, such as supporting LAS' participation in Iowa State's Start Something network.
Innovation remains key to the reimagination process, and a recent gift will help accelerate both. The Janson-Hilsinger Innovation Fund, established by math alumna Barbara Janson ('65) and her late husband, Art Hilsinger, provides funds to departments to accelerate curricular innovation, with the goal of providing the best possible student learning experience at an affordable cost.
Reimagining LAS helped spark a new focus on strategic growth in high-demand areas. Three new degree programs -- a bachelor of arts in computer science, a bachelor of science in climate science and a master of science in artificial intelligence -- launched in 2022.
In addition, LAS is collaborating with other colleges on campus to create degrees in integrated health sciences, game design and financial technology, which have been proposed, pending approval by the regents. The Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication also is developing proposals for a new digital media degree and a sports media program. The degrees under development are supported by a university jump start initiative designed to expedite the creation of high-demand degrees that support the university's strategic plan.
"Dean Schmittmann, working with her faculty and staff, has done the hard work of addressing common financial challenges faced by peers nationwide," said senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert. "What makes 'Reimagining' unique, however, is that the college is simultaneously positioning itself to serve the next generation of students, as well as the Iowa companies that employ our graduates."
Plans will be implemented over the next two years, with a final completion date for the initiative of July 2025.
- Schmittmann discusses Reimagining LAS initiative with senators, March 10, 2022
- LAS announces effort to reimagine programs, begin budget reduction, Feb. 24, 2022
Pay grade assignments for 44 Professional and Scientific (P&S) job profiles have changed following an annual analysis of market data by university human resources (UHR).
Impacted job profiles moved to new pay grades Aug. 14. UHR sent direct communication to managers of impacted employees Aug. 7 and to individual employees impacted by these changes Aug.14. Of the approximately 100 P&S employees whose profiles moved to new grades, 15 employees will be below the minimum salary for the grade and must have their salary increased to the minimum of the new grade on or before Feb. 1, 2024.
Director of compensation and talent acquisition Emma Mallarino Houghton said pay grades are informed by salary data from reputable third-party salary surveys and are adjusted when market data changes significantly.
"In an ideal world, we would be adjusting the pay grade structure itself rather than moving job profiles," Mallarino Houghton said. "However, the market for some jobs moves faster than others, and we want to be sure we account for these changes in the market."
The first systemwide market review resulted in more than 170 job profiles moving to a higher pay grade in Aug. 2022, an amount compounded by the economic effects of the pandemic as well as market changes since the launch of the current classification and compensation system in Sept. 2020. Mallarino Houghton said UHR anticipated a smaller impact this year.
"As we continue to do these types of reviews and plan for structure adjustments, we should see smaller impacts over time," she said. "We anticipate future movements of the pay structure, though the amount will vary depending on market movement, leadership support and the university’s ability to fund the increases."
Though job profiles moved in August this year and last, Mallarino Houghton said UHR is planning to standardize the timeline to align with university priorities and accommodate shifts in the annual meritorious salary increase for eligible faculty, P&S, contract and postdoctoral employees. The performance-based increase previously happened July 1 each year but will take place Jan. 1 beginning in 2024.
Questions about pay grade assignments and salary increases for impacted employees can be directed to the HR Delivery team. For more information, review the compensation and salary structure policy and find additional resources on the ISU Service Portal.
Michael Harwood began as Iowa State's associate vice president for campus life and director of residence on Aug. 11.
The campus life unit, created in 2020, integrates the work of staff and student employees in the residence department, ISU Dining and the Memorial Union. He joins senior vice president for student affairs Toyia Younger's leadership team, which also includes associate vice presidents Erin Baldwin (student health and wellness) and Sharron Evans (dean of students).
Harwood has more than 30 years of experience in student affairs, much of it in the Fargo-Moorhead area. He comes to Iowa State from the University of Montana, Missoula, where he had served on the residence leadership team as director of fiscal and facility operations for UM Housing since early 2021.
Prior to his role at Montana, he served as associate vice president for student success (2018-21) at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and assistant vice president and assistant dean of student life (2008-17) at North Dakota State University, Fargo. The latter included leadership for the bookstore, dining, student union and residence life. He also served in residence life leadership roles (1998-2008) at North Dakota State and as a complex director, responsible for policy development and implementation in 14 halls and 900 apartments, for about five years at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
Harwood earned a bachelor's degree in public administration from Montana State University, Bozeman, and a master's degree in counseling and college student development from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He began coursework toward a doctoral degree in education during his time in Fargo.
His office is in 3514 Friley, 212 Beyer Ct. He can be reached by phone at 515-294-5636; by email at email@example.com.
He succeeds Pete Englin, who retired May 1. Director of residence life Virginia Speight led the campus life unit during the interim period.
For some, summer might be a time to ease up on the accelerator, but for information technology services' audiovisual experience team (AVXT) manager Mike Pedersen, it is the busy season. This summer a team of seven employees updated technology in 21 of the 209 general university classrooms.
Instructors with questions about learning technology or who would like an individualized training session can contact the audiovisual experience team at 4-9063 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each room received a new audio video switcher with built-in control processors and amplifiers, new projector and touch panel to control equipment. Some rooms were updated to Level 1 equipment while others received Level 2. The biggest differences are Level 1 service offers a pan/tilt/zoom camera and microphone and the ability to record lectures while Level 2 rooms have web cameras. The updates ensure instructors are familiar with technology and can connect to it in a timely manner even if they teach in different buildings across campus.
"We focused on mostly smaller projects in general university classrooms," Pedersen said. "They were a lot of rooms that had not been updated in some time."
In addition to the 21 rooms updated by the AVXT, five others were updated by a contractor and adjusted by the team to the university standard. Four of the 26 updates occurred in larger lecture rooms: 1002 and 1352 Gilman, 0118 Horticulture and 0171 Durham.
Staying on schedule
The AVXT had to work efficiently because summer is the only time besides winter break it can get into rooms without disrupting classes.
"I keep a running list of all of the general university classrooms and the last time we knew they were updated. It's something that is never complete, but we try to update the technology, " said Pederson, who noted at least 21 rooms must be updated each year to ensure it occurs in each general classroom once every 10 years.
AVXT member Dan Brauer said to update the 21 classrooms before fall semester begins the team had to complete had to complete either two Level 2 classrooms or one Level 1 each week. It gave it about a week's worth of wiggle room. One of the reasons the team could work so efficiently is because supply chain issues are finally easing since the heights of the pandemic, Pederson said.
Always be planning
Pedersen maintains a spreadsheet of all general classrooms and will begin planning for the next round of updates as soon as the academic year begins. During the first few weeks of the semester, AVXT will shift from technology installation to troubleshooting with instructors -- in all general university classrooms.
When classes are in session, the AVXT does a significant amount of fee-for-service work. That includes updating audiovisual components in conference rooms and other spaces.
David Spalding, Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business, was appointed to a new five-year term, beginning July 1.
Spalding, who also serves as interim vice president for economic development and industry relations, experienced numerous achievements during his second term. These include completing a 45,000 square foot addition to the Gerdin Business Building, securing a $50 million gift to name the college, growing graduate enrollment and faculty numbers, establishing several new academic programs responsive to student and employer demand, and leading the college through a successful reaccreditation in 2019.
"David Spalding has transformed the Ivy College of Business during his 10 years as dean," said President Wendy Wintersteen. "He has engaged students, alumni, and Iowa's business community to create an exceptional educational experience that prepares graduates for successful careers, across a wide range of fields, and sets a high bar for peers across the nation."
Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert expressed thanks to the college’s Committee to Review the Dean for managing the comprehensive review process. Committee members were:
- Jon Perkins, accounting (chair)
- Marc Anderson, management
- Michele Appelgate, communications
- Michael Bootsma, accounting
- Ginka Borisova, finance
- Greg Buttery, IT services
- Rui Chen, information systems and business analytics
- Annaleena Parhankangas, management
- Sridhar Ramaswami, marketing
- Ann Wright, management
Wickert also noted his appreciation to students, faculty and staff in the college who participated in the review process and provided insightful and helpful feedback.
"I would like to thank everyone who works hard every day to make the college a success," Spalding said. "Our faculty and staff are committed to the success of our students, our research mission and Iowa State University."
Spalding joined Iowa State in 2013 after serving eight years at Dartmouth College in a variety of roles including vice president for alumni relations, chief of staff in the office of the president, and senior vice president and senior advisor to the president. Previously, he held positions with Chase Manhattan Bank, First National Bank of Chicago, GE Capital Corporate Finance Group, Lehman Brothers and the Cypress Group, a private equity firm he cofounded and comanaged.
Spalding earned a bachelor's degree in history from Dartmouth and an MBA in finance from New York University.
The fall semester begins Aug. 21. If you were away from campus this summer, here's a quick summary of what you missed:
- Nineteen teams will share a $3.9 million investment this year in Iowa State's 2022-2031 strategic plan. The projects range from expanding student academic services to helping Iowa communities.
- The committee considering requests to remove Carrie Chapman Catt's name from a campus building is preparing a draft recommendation for public review in the fall.
- In July, faculty, P&S and contract staff and post-docs with satisfactory performance evaluations received a 1% salary increase. In September, parameters for additional salary increases will be announced. Those increases take effect Jan. 1, 2024.
- The state Board of Regents approved increases to tuition and mandatory student fees for 2023-24. Resident undergrads will pay 3.5% more, and nonresident undergraduates and graduate students have a 4% increase.
- A new publication, Inside Impact, debuted during June's new student orientation, and highlights faculty and staff doing excellent work every day.
- The Benefits and Pay Hub launched June 1. The Workday feature provides a single location for employees to review benefits, compensation and pay information.
- The ISU Internal Careers Hub in Workday helps employees looking for internal job opportunities.
- Eligible employees interested in a WorkFlex arrangement no longer need to wait for scheduled request windows to apply for the flexible work program or alter an agreement.
- Employees verified dependents on their health care plan. Any changes go in effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
- Summer enrollment increased slightly to 8,468 following five summers of declining numbers.
- Iowa State Online continues to adjust to give online learners the best experience possible.
- ISU researchers topped $300 million in research funding for experiments and projects for the 2023 fiscal year. It set a record for annual, external, sponsored research funding.
- Three faculty members received Fulbright fellowships for the 2023-24 academic year.
- Lots of building projects began, continued or wrapped up across campus.
- CyRide added two electric buses to its fleet.
- The Sloss Resource Room is open to all on campus and stocked with nonperishable food, personal care items, parenting supplies and more.
- Recreation services became the second unit, after ISU Dining, to go to cash-only transactions in June.
- In athletics, the Big 12 Conference officially added four new members on July 1. Four others will join next summer and the universities of Oklahoma and Texas will depart.
- Seda McKilligan, to senior associate dean for academic personnel success and strategic success, College of Design
- Cris Schwartz, to assistant dean for student success in the College of Engineering
- Rob Whitehead, to associate dean for academic programs and student success, College of Design
- Laura Greiner, to director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center
- Michael Harwood, to associate vice president for campus life and director of residence
- Melea Licht, to assistant director of communications, university library
- Mike O'Donnell, to CIRAS director
- Jeremy Paul, to director of transportation services
- Peter Ralston, to director of the Ivy Supply Chain Forum
- Jonathan Kelly, to chair of the psychology department
- Kotaro Nakamura, to chair of the interior design department
- Nigel Reuel, to the Stanley Chair in Interdisciplinary Engineering
- Kristin-Yvonne Rozier, to the aerospace engineering department's Dennis and Rebecca Muilenburg Professorship
- Kim McDonough, to strategic initiatives project specialist, president's office
- Abram Anders, to the inaugural interim associate director of the Student Innovation Center
- Wendy Kisch, to interim associate vice president for facilities planning and management
- John Netwal, to interim associate director for facilities services
- Mary Howell Sirna, to interim director of equal opportunity and Title IX coordinator
At the Aug. 3 meeting, the Professional and Scientific (P&S) Council learned about the 2023 P&S job profile market review and heard from senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert and special advisor for student information systems Steve Mickelson.
Wickert discussed the record-setting year for externally funded research with ISU researchers bringing in $301.3 million during fiscal year 2023, surpassing the previous record of $284.2 million. He said this is the third consecutive year university researchers have produced record external research funding.
"It's a great testament to the creativity of the faculty, staff and students working on these research projects as well as our team in the sponsored projects office and grants hub -- it's really a team effort," Wickert said.
Fall enrollment continues to rebound following the pandemic, and Wickert said he anticipates a growing freshmen class for the third consecutive year. He also spoke about Workday Student, touching briefly on the June rollout and sharing a story about the first application submitted using the new system by an ambitious future Cyclone from Linn-Mar High School (Marion, Iowa), who applied mere hours after the application launched at midnight.
P&S job profiles
University human resources compensation and talent acquisition director Emma Mallarino Houghton presented on the annual market review of P&S job profiles at the Aug. 3 council meeting. As a result of the review, 44 job profiles moved to new pay grades.
Wickert also provided updates on some facilities projects, including ribbon cuttings for the Kent Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex and the first phase of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory this fall, and said he anticipates airport interviews to be scheduled in September as part of the searches for the next dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the director for the Ames National Laboratory.
The senior vice president and provost discussed the recent state Board of Regents meeting to formally approve the budget for this fiscal year and provided an update on the board's study group examining diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at the universities. He said the committee has asked all three universities to provide information on budgets, programs and curriculum and that leaders from each university have met with the group to answer additional questions.
A link to the board's DEI feedback survey -- which is also open to the public -- arrived in inboxes for faculty, staff and students at the three regent universities Aug. 7. Wickert said the committee will develop a report for the November board meeting where the regents will vote on a course of action before the report is sent to Gov. Kim Reynolds and the General Assembly by Dec. 1.
Mickelson provided a brief overview of the six Workday Student rollouts. The first rollout started in June and will conclude in September. He said testing has begun for the next rollout this fall which will address curriculum management and student financials for fall 2024.
"There will be more requests for input and participation over the next several months before we go fully live in the fall of 2024," Mickelson said. "We're taking more of a just-in-time approach to training and providing it closer to when people are going to need it so they can get training and then get into the system."
Council president Patrick Wall said the council's executive board held its retreat last month and developed five goals for the next year.
- Maximize the student experience
- Better educate P&S employees on how to optimize their university benefits package
- Advocate that all P&S employees receive equal and fair treatment as ISU staff
- Improve professional development opportunities through cross-disciplinary collaboration
- Improve efficiency and inclusion of meetings and elections
Wall also accepted a motion to fill two vacancies, adding Heidi Nye, veterinary diagnostic lab, and Jake Pippin, student innovation center, to council.
- Susan McNicholl, vice president for DEI, discussed the committee's focus on assisting staff and students impacted by the temporary freeze in hiring for DEI positions and considerations to make council meetings more accessible.
- Awards committee chair Michelle Thompson reminded council to submit nominations for Highlight ISU Staff and that the P&S Council CYtation Award nominations open Oct. 2.
The next council meeting is Sept. 7 (2:10 p.m., 3560 Memorial Union). The council's Seminar Series returns Sept. 12 (2-3 p.m., location TBD, register on Workday Learning) with "Constructive Conversations in Difficult Situations" presented by university ombuds Laura Smythe.
Upgraded by information technology services' audiovisual experience team:
- Agronomy 2026
- Black 1026, 1028
- Carver 0202, 0294
- Communications 1041
- Curtiss 0225
- Food Sciences 2311, 2315
- Gilman 1002 (Level 1, 283 seats), 1051, 2109
- Hoover 1322
- Horticulture 0118 (Level 1, 111 seats), 0138 (Level 1)
- Howe 1220 (Level 1)
- Lagomarcino 1445
- MacKay 0116, 0135
- Science II 0115
- Town Engineering 0230 (Level 1)
Upgraded by an outside contractor:
- Carver 0204 (Level 1)
- Durham 0171 (Level 1, 92 seats)
- Gilman 1352 (Level 1, 182 seats)
- Hoover 1312 (Level 1)
- Howe 1304 (Level 1)
All Iowa State students -- returning and first year -- are invited to safely celebrate the start of a new academic year at Cyclone Welcome Weekend events Aug. 18-19. Faculty and staff are asked to encourage students to participate in this second annual, free event coordinated by the student affairs and president's divisions. Students will need their university ID for all events.
The athletics department is co-hosting a "Cyclone Magic Experience" Saturday night, Aug. 19 (7-10 p.m., north doors open at 6:30 p.m.) at Hilton Coliseum. It begins with a 7 p.m. pep rally featuring head football coach Matt Campbell and athletics director Jamie Pollard. For the rest of the evening students can shoot hoops on the Hilton court and enjoy Cyclone trivia games in Johnny's lounge and lots of fun activities -- face painting, selfie photo stations -- on the concourse. Free popcorn and pop will be available all evening.
The first 3,000 students will receive a gold Juicy Wiggle T-shirt in honor of the second-half Cyclone fan favorite song, and a half dozen students will win a door prize of two pregame field passes on Sept. 2 when the Cyclone football team opens its home season against Northern Iowa.
More activities, including inflatables, a mechanical bull and dance music by a DJ, will be outside Hilton in the adjacent Scheman Building courtyard.
Instead of their ISU ID, a ticket on the ISU Cyclones mobile app will admit students to the Cyclone Magic Experience. The athletics department has preloaded a Cyclone Magic ticket for every student on its app, and students will need to download the free app on Apple or Google Play. They'll use their Iowa State email to access their free ticket on the app, and door greeters at Hilton will scan their ticket to admit them. The app will help students keep up with all the Cyclone teams this year.
Saturday breakfast on central campus
The second annual Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) Breakfast returns to central campus Saturday (food served 8-11 a.m., activities continue through noon). ISU Dining will serve pancake and sausage on a stick, eggs and beverages. There will be games, inflatables and a caricature artist. And this GOAT breakfast actually features about 20 goats, ready for five sessions of goat calisthenics (8:15, 9, 9:45, 10:30 and 11:15 a.m). If it rains, GOAT Breakfast moves inside to the Lied Recreation Athletic Center.
Cyclone Welcome Weekend begins Friday evening with a carnival-themed cookout and activities inside the Lied center (6-8 p.m.).
Kudos to faculty and staff volunteers who, so far, have filled more than 110 volunteer slots at the three events. Katy Cran, who serves as communications advisor to senior vice president for student affairs Toyia Younger, said spots still are available Saturday evening to supervise smaller activities at Hilton Coliseum. Recreation services staff will oversee the on-court competitions.
"We're so grateful to faculty and staff for their willingness to engage with our students during this opening weekend," she said. "Offering safe, supervised events and involving faculty and staff in them is a great beginning to building our Cyclone community this year."
The three Cyclone Welcome Weekend events coordinate with Destination Iowa State programming for first-year undergraduates. Younger and university counsel Mike Norton co-chair the planning team for Cyclone Welcome Weekend. Questions can be sent to email@example.com.
On the opening day of the Iowa State Fair, university photographer Chris Gannon captured some of Iowans' interest in the university's exhibit at the Varied Industries Building. As part of a yearlong commemoration of the legacy of student-athlete Jack Trice, planners made his story the focus of the fair exhibit this summer. It includes photos and other archival information, a prototype of the 1923-inspired football uniform the Cyclone team will wear for a home game on Oct. 7, and a scale wood replica of artist Ivan Toth Depeña's Breaking Barriers sculpture north of Jack Trice Stadium.
Trice died in Oct. 8, 1923, from injuries suffered during a football game several days earlier.
Below is a list of college and university events to open the new academic year. If we missed yours, please send a note and we'll add it.
- Aug. 17, 8:30-11 a.m., College of Human Sciences, fall welcome event, LeBaron Hall auditorium
- Aug. 17, 5:30 p.m., Ivy College of Business, annual faculty and staff picnic, Brookside Park, 1325 Sixth St.
- Aug. 18, 11:30 a.m.-noon, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, ice cream social for college faculty and staff, patio east of Curtiss Hall (Harl Commons if weather threatens)
- Aug. 28, 2 p.m., College of Veterinary Medicine, convocation, Ramsey classroom, 2532 Patterson
- Aug. 30, 5:30-7:30 pm., College of Design, convocation with faculty awards, hors d'oeurves reception follows, Speer Room, Reiman Gardens
- Sept. 7, 11 a.m., College of Engineering, box lunch, dean's welcome and presentation of awards and honors for faculty and staff, Howe Hall auditorium
- Sept. 7, 3:30-5:30 p.m., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, MU Sun Room, fall convocation and presentation of the college's faculty and staff awards
- Sept. 20, 3:30 p.m., University Awards Ceremony, MU Great Hall, honoring recipients of university awards, state Board of Regents excellence awards for faculty and staff, and faculty members promoted as Distinguished, University and Morrill professors