Summer bloom

Red and yellow bloom line lawn in front of brick campanile

Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Central campus blooms are ready to help welcome summer visitors to campus.

Numbers are strong for new student orientation

Despite delays nationally this spring in the college financial aid cycle, students are committing to Iowa State and making plans to attend. Nearly 5,000 fall first-year students will visit campus for new student orientation starting later this month to begin their transition to college life. Another 900 will complete the virtual orientation program. Those numbers are similar to a year ago, said new student programs director Sarah Merrill.

Students who come to orientation have accepted their admissions offer to Iowa State, though not all have made their final college decision.

Merrill's team will coordinate 18 1.5-day sessions for first year students and their family members from May 30 through June 28; two of those will begin on Sundays, June 9 and 23. One-day orientations on May 29 and July 1 for transfer students kick off and wrap up orientation for fall-arriving students. About half of the 800 transfer students so far who'll participate in orientation chose to come to campus to complete it.

College presentations

3-5 p.m. on Day 1

  • Agriculture and Life Sciences, 0127 Curtiss
  • Business, 1148 Gerdin
  • Design, 0101 Design
  • Engineering, 2055 Hoover
  • Human Sciences, 1210 LeBaron
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, 1001 Troxel

They'll get their I.D. cards, learn how their U bill works, explore during campus or facility tours, discover more about their college and their degree program, register for fall classes and learn lots about services available to help them be successful Cyclones. There is time to learn about panhellenic or music ensemble options, visit with a financial aid officer, browse the resource fair or consult with a staff member about accommodations for disabilities. The full schedule of options is online.

"There is no way we could accomplish all this without the hundreds of people on campus coming together to support orientation. We're so grateful for the effort that comes from so many faculty and staff to make orientation possible," Merrill said.

Getting used to the idea of college

Students are a bit late this spring to make their college decisions -- and that makes sense, Merrill said.

"A good understanding of their financial aid really impacts their decision about what college or university to attend -- or their ability to attend at all," she said.

"We're finding that students are choosing Iowa State; there's just been less time for them to prepare for orientation because this all is happening in May -- instead of March or April."

For example, more than 300 first-year students registered for orientation last week, which would be atypical for mid-May any other year.

"Because of those delays in the financial aid awards, students have had less time to really assess their college decision and become confident in that decision," Merrilll said.

"It's going to be as important as ever this summer that students really feel we've rolled out that cardinal carpet to make them feel at home and that we're prepared to support them when they get here in August."

What's new at orientation?

Orientation T-shirt 

The Innovate 1858 store in the Student Innovation Center is selling a "Cyclone Power" shirt designed for students by students. Buy it at the store or online; proceeds support the store and Cyclone Aides program.

It all happens in Workday. As returning students did in April, first-year students will register for their fall classes in Workday. And like their peers, they'll need to first complete a half dozen onboarding tasks in Workday. The orientation team has encouraged students to complete the Workday onboarding prior to visiting campus because it's easier to do on a laptop than a smart phone. Even so, there will be computer stations in Carver Hall near several orientation sessions if students need to complete their onboarding.

New program for first-gens. Among the Day 2 programs is a new session, First Scholars Program, for first-generation students and Pell Grant-eligible students and family members. It's an overview of the services and support available in the new Center for Student Educational Success in the dean of students office, an initiative supported this year with 2022-31 strategic plan funding.

More diners on Union Drive. Orientation students who elect to stay overnight on campus are assigned to Maple Hall, but the adjacent Seasons Marketplace dining center is closing for two months for kitchen renovations. The Marketplace at the Union Drive Community Center will be an option for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Memorial Union food court and venues in the Hub also will serve lunch.


Provost's office honors 31 with recruiting innovation awards

Even during the summer months, the work of the university doesn't stop. This is especially true for Iowa State's recruiting and enrollment management professionals, who work tirelessly to bring new classes of Cyclones to campus each fall.

To reward their efforts, the provost's office has recognized 31 faculty and staff with Recruitment Innovation Awards. The monetary awards, funded by an anonymous donor, are the fourth in a series of recognitions. Previous categories were:

Here are a few examples of their work:

  • Hamdy Agha, associate director for first-year recruitment in admissions, developed a series of webinars with colleagues in student financial aid to help prospective students better understand their financial aid offers.
  • Mackenzie Schwartz, outreach and recruitment programs manager in the Program for Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), developed a residential summer program for high school juniors and seniors to promote majors on campus in the sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Among seniors who participated the first year, 87% accepted their Iowa State offer of admission, and 63% enrolled in STEM majors last fall.
  • Ron Sykora, veterans certification official in the registrar's office, helped unravel complex veterans' benefit rules to help military affiliated students make sound educational and financial decisions.
  • Graduate College program specialist Tiffany Kayser created a public Canvas course about human-computer interaction to answer common questions and better market the academic program to students.
  • Brittany Peterson, senior assistant director of student financial aid, helped migrate Iowa State's financial aid packaging system to Workday Student, creating a competitive recruiting advantage by making timely offers to prospective students.

"Recruiting and enrollment management are critical to Iowa State's mission as a student-centered leading research university," said senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert. "Our faculty and staff fulfill that mission in countless ways -- from campus visits and financial aid packaging to marketing our academic programs -- and we are pleased to recognize their efforts with these awards."  

Here is the full list of awardees, by college or unit:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

  • Katy Heineman, student services specialist
  • Jess Shaffer, student recruiter

Ivy College of Business

  • Tyler Easton, director of undergraduate recruitment
  • Sam Sivaskandan, assistant director of graduate recruitment

College of Design

  • Jennifer Anderson, assistant director, enrollment management and marketing
  • Bryce Bonnstetter, student recruiter

College of Engineering

  • Roger Bentley, transfer recruitment coordinator
  • Amy Carver, graduate recruitment coordinator

College of Human Sciences

  • Beth Foreman, recruitment director
  • Amie Zarling, associate professor and director for undergraduate education

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • Kathy Houseman, director of enrollment management
  • Stacey Maifeld, marketing specialist

College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Dave Gieseke, communications manager
  • Kathryn Kuehl, admissions coordinator

Graduate College

  • Robbyn Anand, associate professor, chemistry
  • Tiffany Kayser, program specialist

Academic administration

  • Mackenzie Schwartz, outreach and recruitment programs manager, WiSE

Enrollment management

  • Hamdy Agha, associate director, first-year recruitment, admissions
  • Heidi Christensen, assistant registrar for curriculum, registrar
  • Matt Dikeman, assistant registrar
  • Isaac Ehlers, senior assistant director, student financial aid
  • Kim Ferguson, orientation assistant director, new student programs
  • Brylee Groskreutz, guest relations coordinator, admissions
  • Sarah Heller, business systems analyst, student financial aid
  • Emily Johnson, business systems analyst, admissions
  • Nathan Orts, systems analyst, admissions
  • Brittany Peterson, senior assistant director, student financial aid
  • Cecilia Regueira, data analyst, enrollment research and analytics
  • Ron Sykora, veterans certification official, registrar
  • Jonah Tompkins, data analyst, enrollment research and analytics
  • Cole Westphal, admissions counselor, admissions



Jason Keith is Iowa State's next provost

Jason Keith has been named Iowa State's next senior vice president and provost, pending approval by the state Board of Regents.

Jason Keith head shot

Jason Keith

Keith has served for the past 10 years as dean of the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University, Starkville. Previously, Keith was director of Mississippi State's Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering (2011-14) and led the MSU Energy Institute (2013-14).

"Jason Keith has a proven record of academic leadership at a land-grant university," said President Wendy Wintersteen. "He will be an excellent fit to work with our faculty and university leaders in innovating the future of our academic programs and advancing our teaching, research and extension missions."

Keith will begin his tenure at Iowa State on Aug. 1 as a member of the president's senior leadership team and cabinet. And as the university's chief academic officer, he will oversee:

  • Seven academic colleges
  • Graduate College
  • University Library
  • Enrollment management
  • Office of the Vice President for Research
  • Office of the Vice President for Extension and Outreach

The director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames National Laboratory also reports to the provost.

"President Wintersteen's vision for Iowa State University resonates perfectly with my belief in what a public land-grant university should be all about," Keith said. "I am thrilled to join her leadership team and have this opportunity to lead academic affairs to new heights in teaching, research, extension and service."

The selection process involved a national search led by an 18-member search committee chaired by David Spalding, vice president for economic development and industry relations and dean of the Ivy College of Business.

"We had a strong pool of candidates and are thrilled to welcome Dr. Keith to Iowa State University," Spalding said. "He is an accomplished academic leader who brings a wealth of experience, and his expertise will be invaluable in working collaboratively with our talented team of deans."

Keith earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Akron, Ohio (1995) and doctoral degree from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana (2000), both in chemical engineering. He then joined the chemical engineering faculty at Michigan Technological University in Houghton as an assistant professor. He earned tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2006 and full professor status in 2011.

His research uses mathematical modeling to improve air quality and energy efficiency through the applied fields of reactor design and alternative energy. Keith is an active member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and American Society for Engineering Education.

Keith succeeds Jonathan Wickert, who is returning to the faculty as professor of mechanical engineering after serving 12 years as provost.

Wintersteen thanked Wickert for his leadership and members of the search committee and campus community for engaging in the search process and providing thoughtful feedback on the finalists.


Editor's note: This story is reposted from May 21.


Summer = construction opportunity

Fountain base and green pool basin surrounded by white fence

Once its new pump mechanics are programmed, the fountain on the north lawn of the Memorial Union will run for a 30-day test before the replicated maiden sculptures are set on their four platforms in early August. (That's rainwater in the bottom of the basin this week.) Christian Petersen's iconic Fountain of the Four Seasons sculpture was dismantled in November 2022. Photo by Christopher Gannon.


With a smaller student body on campus, summer typically brings a noticeable uptick in construction and maintenance projects. Inside worked with project managers and others involved in renovations to provide short summaries for some of the more visible projects around campus in the next few months.

Wrapping up this summer

Memorial Union: Remodeled areas on floors 2 and 3

Finishing work is slightly ahead of schedule and should wrap up by the end of June, when construction walls will be removed from the two construction areas, with technology and furniture installation to follow.

The top floor of the east, 1970s section of the building has been remodeled for three student service units within the Dean of Students umbrella currently housed in the Student Services Building. The area includes a larger event space for lectures or other programming, where students can hang out when no events are scheduled. The corridor connecting the building to the parking ramp was redone to resemble the second-floor hallway below it.

Near the west end of the second floor, the open area leading to Col. Pride Lounge, including the lounge itself and the MU desk, has been opened, modernized and furnished to serve multiple student needs for studying, eating meals or just hanging out. The area includes eight small group collaboration areas with wall monitors students can synch with their laptops. This area should be ready for use when fall semester begins.

Heating and cooling systems in both areas were updated. The $6.55 million cost will be covered with division of student affairs and MU funds.


Memorial Union north lawn: Pool and fountain replacement

Part of a larger project to replicate Christian Petersen's famed Fountain of the Four Seasons sculpture on the Memorial Union north lawn, its concrete pool, fountain base, mechanical pit and tunnel, electrical system and pool lighting were replaced.

This week, a team is programming the fountain pumps. When that process in complete, the fountain will be turned on for a 30-day test run.

Four new limestone maiden sculptures, currently being carved in a Vermont studio, are due to arrive on campus the first week of August. Assisted by a crane, art conservator Francis Miller and his team will set the sculptures and the terra cotta panels between them. While the grout that secures the sculpture on their pedestals cures (at least 30 days), crews will add a final coat of forest green to the fountain basin. Green was Petersen's color choice in 1941 when the original sculpture was added to a four-year-old fountain and pool. Petersen was the nation's first permanent artist-in-residence at a college or university.

A decision about when to begin using the fountain -- this fall or next spring -- will be made after fall semester begins. Thorough curing of grouts and mortars on the fountain and basin is a top priority.

The project is funded by the office of the president.


CYTown: Underground infrastructure and parking lots

The first of a multi-phased plan to develop a multi-use entertainment district, CYTown, this phase provides underground utility infrastructure (stormwater and sanitary sewers, water, electrical and telecommunication lines)and new parking surfaces. With fill dirt, this phase also raises a central, north-south corridor so buildings and other facilities will be five feet above Ioway Creek's 100-year flood plain. The project also will replace the CyRide transit hub.

Work has been ongoing since February 2023 and is scheduled to be completed by the first day of fall classes (Aug. 26). The exception is lot B5, which is adjacent to the proposed site of a McFarland Clinic healthcare facility. McFarland could begin that construction later this summer, pending approval of its agreement with the university at the state Board of Regents' June meeting.

This $37.7 million project is paid for with athletics department funds, university investment funds and private gifts.


Permanent traffic lights on a busy corner

The temporary traffic lights at the Mortensen Road-State Avenue intersection southwest of campus are being replaced. Construction is about 30% complete and should wrap up in August before fall semester begins.


Contained to summer

Farm House Museum exterior improvements

The oldest campus building (1860), the Farm House is getting a new cedar shingle roof this month, installed the old-fashioned way: with nails and hammers. Crews also will repair and paint exterior wood components, such as small sections of wood siding and porch floorboards and balusters.

This work began May 15 and is weather-dependent for completion. The Farm House Museum is scheduled to reopen June 10.

The $202,000 project is covered in part by a grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs' Historic Resource Development Program.


Seasons Marketplace kitchen renovation

This project updates behind-the-scene kitchen areas at Seasons Marketplace, the dining center in the east side Maple Willow Larch residence commons. It includes new flooring, ceiling and lighting throughout the space and replacing or adding appliances and stainless steel work surfaces. The project also adds a high-density shelving system and reconfigures the layout for greater efficiency, and remodels employee restrooms. The dining room and food serving stations aren't impacted by this project.

Work will begin May 27, with the goal of wrapping up by the end of July. The $2.45 million cost is covered by an ISU dormitory bond sale.


College of Design office updates

Approximately 95 faculty and staff offices on five of six floors in the College of Design building will be emptied and updated this summer. Work has begun and is scheduled to conclude by Aug. 15 to give employees time to move back in advance of fall semester. The improvements include paint, carpet, new office doors and office furniture, and new window shades for offices facing the atrium. This phase of office remodeling doesn't include the building's first floor.

This upgrade is part of the college's multiyear study to allocate space to departments, so faculty won't necessarily return to their previous offices. It will create single and double-occupancy offices as well as reservable rooms -- at least one on each floor -- all faculty and staff can use for activities such as small group collaborations, meetings with students or individual video conferencing. The project also creates a storage space for large-scale teaching tools so faculty don't have to keep those in their offices.

College funds will cover the $1.5 million project budget.


Cyclone softball field: Grass replacement

This project will replace the 14-year-old grass outfield with sod grown at the ISU horticulture farm north of Ames. During that process, drainage tiles will be cleaned and irrigation water heads replaced. The gravel warning track surrounding the playing field also will be removed and replaced. The two-week project will begin around June 1, and athletics department funds will cover the $160,000 cost.


Starting this summer

McKee Indoor Tennis Complex remodel

With the Cyclone tennis team moving to a facility in the ISU Research Park, its seven-year-old training facility on South Dakota Avenue in west Ames is being converted to a home for the Cyclone volleyball program, which currently is based at Hilton Coliseum.

Because the volleyball roster includes more student-athletes than the tennis team's, existing locker, training and team rooms will be demolished and larger ones constructed. A new mezzanine level creates space for volleyball coach offices. The practice facility will feature two courts with a rubber athletic floor.

Demolition will begin by the end of May and work should be substantially completed early in spring semester 2025. Athletics department funds will cover the $4.2 million cost.


LeBaron Hall

A 2+-year project to replace LeBaron Hall will get underway around July 1. It will close a short section of Morrill Road for the duration of the work and alter traffic rules on Morrill south of the closure.

Scheman Building: East end remodel on two floors

Reflecting Cyclone fan interest in Johnny's at Hilton Coliseum, this remodel will create additional social spaces next door for use prior to competitions and at halftime. The spaces also will improve the experience of groups that rent Scheman for professional and social events.

Demolition began last week on the theater-style Benton Auditorium. In its place, a level-floored event room will feature a slightly raised small stage on one side. Access to this room remains where it was to the auditorium, on the first floor. Ground and first-floor restrooms will be remodeled, as will the food service area and a northeast corner room on the first floor. The project includes new flooring, lighting, video boards and Cyclone branding. It will upgrade mechanical and electrical infrastructure in the impacted areas.

Late December is the targeted completion date. ISU Facilities Corp. bonds will finance the $12 million project.


Administrative Services Building: Repairing water damage

A team from facilities planning and management and risk management has worked this spring with stakeholders to review and document the necessary water damage repairs in the Administrative Services Building caused by a burst water pipe in mid-January. The goal is to complete the repair work, including some furniture replacement, by the end of fall semester. Employees who worked in ASB were relocated to a handful of campus locations or are working remotely.


Veterinary Diagnostic Lab: phase 2

Earth-moving work began last week on a $66.5 million second wing at the VDL on the College of Veterinary Medicine campus. Phase 1 opened in mid-March. When phase 2 is completed, estimated for late fall 2026, all functions of the VDL will be under one roof. The phase 2 wing is about 85% of the size of the first phase and will feature similar laboratory spaces for different functions of the VDL. It also will include the administrative offices for the lab. Conference rooms and employee break spaces included in phase 1 will service the entire facility.

  • Phase 1 sections: Client services, receiving/accessioning, sample processing, incinerator, necropsy, pathology, histopathology and bacteriology
  • Phase 2 sections: Molecular diagnostics, genetic sequencing, virology, serology, analytical chemistry, toxicology, biosafety level 3 lab, diagnostic research and development, information technology and quality assurance

Funding comes from dollars directed to Iowa in the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and pledged last winter by Gov. Kim Reynolds ($40 million), an $18 million state appropriation (Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund) this fiscal year, college funds ($6.5 million) and private gifts ($2 million).


Continuing beyond this summer

Friley Hall restroom remodel

This project, over several years and in nine phases or "stacks" (all floors in a vertical building section) will replace the residence hall's community shower and toilet areas with individual rooms containing a shower and toilet for accessibility and better privacy. In addition to new flooring and plumbing fixtures, the work updates the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and lighting systems in the restroom areas. Friley Hall is home to 1,220 students.

The second phase, in the building section surrounding the Friley arch, began in January and will be completed in August. The next two phases, impacting the building sections just east of the arch, are scheduled to conclude by December 2024 and July 2025, respectively. The residence department is experimenting with strategies for continuing the work year-round with the least impact on students who live in Friley.

When the state Board of Regents approved the project in spring 2021, the budget was $17 million, to be paid with dormitory system improvement funds.


West construction site: Therkildsen Building

Work on the future home of the industrial and manufacturing systems engineering department northwest of Beyer Hall began in December 2022 and remains on schedule for completion by the end of fall semester, with lab equipment, IT and furniture installation to follow.

Inside, crews are installing utilities infrastructure, including heating/cooling ductwork, bathroom plumbing, conduit runs, cable trays and the building's fire safety system. Wall framing is nearly complete on all floors and drywalling has begun. Office window installation also has begun.

The building is five levels (four above ground), with the basement and half of the top floor designated for mechanical and storage. The $70 million project is covered with private gifts, including a $42 million lead gift from alumni C.G. "Turk" and Joyce Therkildsen, and university and college funds.


Paycheck cycle for salary nonexempt employees to change this fall

To align with industry standards and best practices, beginning Oct. 1, Iowa State's merit, contract and professional and scientific (P&S) employees and postdoctoral scholars in salary nonexempt positions will change to hourly compensation and be paid twice a month.

Employees' compensation is not changing. Their current annual salaries will show up as an hourly rate in Workday, but their bottom-line pay is not impacted.

The change creates a consistent payment schedule for all nonexempt employees at Iowa State -- salary nonexempt and hourly nonexempt. Both designations require that employees are paid for hours worked exceeding 40 hours per week at one-and-one-half times their regular pay rate. The federal Department of Labor sets guidelines for nonexempt positions, and staff in ISU's general counsel and university human resources offices apply them to university positions.


Salary nonexempt transition to semimonthly pay schedule

"This change will benefit employees by increasing transparency of their paychecks. There will be a clear understanding of their earnings based on the hours they work," said payroll senior manager Teri Kruse. "In addition, the increased pay frequency can lead to more effective budgeting, which enhances financial stability."

As of this month, the change impacts 924 employees paid as salary nonexempt (493 merit, 421 P&S and four contract employees, and six postdoctoral scholars).

Why the greater frequency?

The change builds in additional transparency and efficiency to the payroll process:

  • Employees will be paid for actual time they've worked, rather than for days yet to be worked. There will be a direct link between hours worked and their paycheck.
  • For ISU's payroll team, the change streamlines the payroll process and reduces time and cost of processing off-cycle overtime checks.

Catch-up check in October

The transition from a monthly to semimonthly pay cycle creates a two-week lag in pay. To assure their 2024 salaries aren't diminished due to this lag, impacted employees will receive a one-time transition payment on Oct. 31, distributed the same as payroll checks.

When semimonthly pay is fully implemented in November, nonexempt employees will be paid twice a month for actual hours worked during two pay periods: Days 1-15 of the month and days 16-last day of month. Illustration of transition.

Impacted employees, their supervisors and administrative officers received emails about this change from university human resources leaders last week. Questions about this change may be emailed to


Tuition decision anticipated next month

A final decision on fall tuition rates is set for the state Board of Regents' June 13 meeting. The regents held a first reading of proposed 2024-25 tuition and mandatory fee rates at their May 10 meeting in Urbandale. 

The proposed rates include a 3.0% increase ($270) for resident undergraduates and 4.5% tuition increase for nonresident undergraduates. All graduate students -- except for the executive MBA program in the Ivy College of Business -- would see an increase of 4.5%. Business proposes a 10% increase for the executive MBA program to cover increases in cost of materials, instruction and participant travel. It would be the first rate increase since the program began in 2019. Professional students -- those enrolled in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program -- would experience tuition increases of 3.5% (nonresidents) to 5% (resident students).

The Business college also is in the second of a three-year process to align tuition rates for sophomore business majors with those of juniors and seniors. The proposed increase is $1,340 for resident undergraduates and $2,476 for nonresidents.

Mandatory fee increase

As proposed, all Iowa State students would pay an additional $20 (1.3%) next year in mandatory fees, bringing total fees to at least $1,535 (students in specific programs pay a higher technology fee, according to the demands of that program). The proposed increase would be divided among these specific fees:

  • Technology, $10 increase, to $384, for higher software license fees
  • Recreation, $7 increase, to $358.60, recreation services to keep up with inflation
  • Building fee, $3 increase, to $102.10, the Memorial Union to keep up with inflation

With the proposed increases, resident undergraduates would pay $10,787 in tuition and mandatory fees to attend ISU in 2024-25 while nonresidents would pay $28,881. Resident graduate students would pay $12,967 and nonresidents $30,577. 

Student leaders from the regent universities will have an opportunity to speak about the proposed increases during the June meeting.

In other business, the board approved student housing (about 6.5%) and dining (5%) rate increases, effective this summer. The price for a standard combination -- double room without air conditioning and the unlimited meal plan -- rises $560, to $10,286. The new door rate for meals at the dining centers is $12.25 for breakfast and $15.75 for lunch and dinner.

An update on student registration in Workday

As of May 13, approximately 20,380 students completed onboarding tasks and 18,978 students registered for fall classes. This is consistent with past years, and 87% of undergraduates have a full schedule of 12 or more credits, according to special advisor to the provost for student information systems Steve Mickelson. He provided an update the Professional and Scientific (P&S) Council at its May 16 meeting on how Workday performed during fall registration for returning and transfer students.

Mickelson said college help rooms received in-person and virtual assistance during registration in April. From March 4 to May 13, ISU staff and Huron consultants resolved 818 service tickets dealing mainly with course prerequisite overrides and data accuracy.

Iowa State staff and consultants continue to troubleshoot issues that may arise during new student fall registration. Going forward, Mickelson said colleges will decide how to best deal with the needs of their students, but graduate and undergraduate advising workgroups will help ensure any new-student orientation issues are addressed promptly.

Compensation report approved

The council approved a motion to submit its annual compensation and benefits report to senior leaders to influence decisions regarding fiscal year 2025 budget plans. No changes were made to the draft the council reviewed at its April meeting.

 Other business

  • President-elect Jennifer Schroeder, finance service delivery, took the gavel from Jason Follett, software engineering, who advances to serve as council president next year. The council also recognized outgoing members and welcomed elected and reelected councilors. 
  • The next event in the P&S seminar series focuses on ISU's budget model. The virtual event (June 11, 2-3 p.m.) is the same presentation from the P&S professional development conference in February. Preregister through Workday Learning.
  • The council is moving its meeting location to the Student Innovation Center. The next meeting is July 11 in room 4250.

Temporary employee, postdoc hires will undergo background checks

Beginning July 1, Iowa State will complete criminal history background checks on post-doctoral scholars (postdocs) and seasonal/temporary employees selected to fill a position. These two employee groups have been excluded from the practice, which is completed on all candidates selected for contract, faculty, merit, professional and scientific (regular and emergency), residents, interns and interim positions.

The talent acquisition team in university human resources (UHR) will manage the background checks during the hiring process the same way it does for the employee groups noted above. The cost of background checks isn't charged to the unit.

The policy change does not impact hourly graduate or undergraduate student hires. But graduating students (undergraduate or graduate) moving into temporary positions will be required to undergo a background check at the time of hire.

Why the change

Senior leaders approved the change for several reasons.

  • The current practice presents a potential liability for Iowa State. For example, an individual disqualified from a covered position for their criminal background could reapply for a temporary job with limited barriers to prevent their hire.
  • UHR reviewed peer institutions' policies on background checks for temporary/seasonal employees and postdocs. The schools included Big 12 Conference members, other land-grant institutions and the universities of Iowa and Northern Iowa. Among the 23 institutions reviewed, 21 have policies that require background checks for temporary/seasonal employees and postdocs at the time of hire.
  • In January 2023, UHR removed the criminal conviction question from the employment application to comply with the federal Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act. The law also prohibits a hiring manager from asking applicants questions about their criminal history. It allows a background check to obtain this information in the hiring process.

The change was shared in an April 29 memo from UHR and the Graduate College to hiring managers. Iowa State's Employment Reference and Background Checks policy will be updated to reflect these changes.


Summer guests on campus

It's summertime and campus will buzz with activities, conferences and camps held at Iowa State. Inside compiled a list of events with an anticipated attendance of 100+ guests using ISU facilities. If you don't see your event or know of an event we missed, email


Event Date Venues Attendance
Odyssey of the Mind World Finals May 21-24 Various* 11,000
George Strait Concert May 25 Jack Trice Stadium 40,000
Transfer Student Orientation May 29,
July 1
Various* 200 students, 220 guests
Iowa Library Association/Association of College and Research Libraries/​Iowa Private Academic Library spring conference May 29-30 Parks Library 100
First-Year Student Orientation May 30-
June 28
Various* 5,000 students, 7,000 guests
Cyclone Football Camp (multiple) June 1-20 Bergstrom Football Complex 1,000 total
USA Hockey Camp June 3-22 ISU Ice Arena 150
ISU Volleyball Camp: Elite June 10 Lied Recreation Center 150
ISU Volleyball Camp: Hitter/Serving June 13 Lied Recreation Center 150
Cyclone Marching Academy Camp June 14-15 Simon Estes Hall 200
USATF Iowa Outdoor Championships June 15-16 Cyclone Sports Complex 850
ISU Volleyball Camp: Junior Cyclone  June 17-20 Lied Recreation Center 150
Football Letterwinner Reunion June 19 Sukup End Zone 150
Dance Vision Spring Recital  June 20-23 Stephens Auditorium 425 students, 1,000 guests
National Cheerleaders Association Camps June 24-26 State Gym* 250
Iowa Reading Association Conference June 25-26 Scheman Building 300
Iowa 4-H Youth Conference June 25-27 Various 450
National Dance Association Camp July 6-9 State Gym* 225
Dance competion: BravO! Best in the Midwest July 8-14 Stephens Auditorium 800
ISU Volleyball Camp: Libero/Serving July 9 Lied Recreation Center 125
ISU Volleyball Camp: Setter July 10 Lied Recreation Center 125

Wyffels sales and marketing kickoff

July 10 Sukup End Zone 200
Iowa Summer Games July 13-21 Various 7,000
ISU Volleyball Camp: All Skills Gold July 16-18 Lied Recreation Center 100
ISU Volleyball Camp: Cardinal Team  July 22-23 Lied Recreation Center 100
Wyffels Western Business Unit Sales Kickoff  July 23-24 Sukup End Zone 400
ISU  Volleyball Camp: Gold Team July 24-25 Lied Recreation Center 100
Conference: Iowa Swine Day July 25 Scheman/Stephens 500

*Participants will use ISU residence halls.