May 2, 2008
Planning will move forward for rec services facilities, phase 2 improvements to stadium
by Anne Krapfl
Following about 20 minutes of discussion -- including a scolding for monitoring the student advisory vote on the proposal in late February -- the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, gave Iowa State officials permission May 1 to proceed with planning for an estimated $50 million of recreation facility improvements. The approval was unanimous.
Vice president for business and finance Warren Madden told the board a planning committee will begin its work this summer, and that a majority of the spots on the committee would be for students representing student groups from across campus and a range of viewpoints -- not just "recreation proponents."
Preliminary plans call for adding air conditioning to the Lied Center, remodeling parts of Beyer Hall, and completing a major renovation at State Gym that includes a west addition that would more than double the size of the building.
Board president David Miles encouraged students and employees who feel strongly about the proposal to be involved in the process. "And it will be a process, not an event," he noted.
Earlier in the discussion, regent Robert Downer was critical of reports that ISU recreation services staff received access to vote results before the process had concluded.
"I don't think any of us under any circumstances would tolerate anyone having access to ballots as they're cast," he said. "It's a very serious mistake that has given ammunition to opponents of this project."
Downer asked board staff to develop a policy that would ban vote monitoring in "campus referenda" at any of the regent institutions.
Jack Trice Stadium
The athletics department received the green light to begin planning, including retaining the same architect and project manager currently working on phase 1, for a second phase of improvements at Jack Trice Stadium. The proposed phase 2 "bowls in" the south end of the stadium with up to two decks of seating, upgrades the concessions/restroom facility on the east side, adds a building for storage and maintenance for the stadium and adjacent indoor practice facility, replaces the security fence around the stadium and, if a market/cash flow analysis warrants it, adds more premium seating (such as suites, club seats or loge seats).
A detailed budget hasn't been developed yet, but the estimated cost of phase 2 work is $65 million. Athletics department officials anticipate the debt would be repaid with donor pledges and greater revenues at the stadium made possible by the expansion. They don't expect to rely on general university support or higher student fees. When a proposed budget is ready, the department again will hire an outside firm to assess the "reasonableness" of its financial planning assumptions. The board required this check for phase 1.
FY09 salary plans
President Gregory Geoffroy outlined preliminary salary increase plans at Iowa State for the board. The three regent universities will share $41.9 million in new salary funds appropriated in late April by the Iowa Legislature, but regent staff have not yet determined each school's share of that.
After the merit employees' contract has been fulfilled, Geoffroy said he will distribute 3 percent additional salary funds to unit leaders to be shared with faculty and P&S staff based on performance. He will distribute an additional (unknown at this time) amount that unit leaders will use to make market adjustments and recognize "extremely meritorious performance."
He estimated that, overall, average salary increases will be "in the same range as last year."
"Iowa is blessed with good state appropriations. We know this, particularly when we see what our peers in other states are dealing with," Geoffroy said. "We should make advances in our faculty salary competitiveness, based on what we know is happening around the country."
The cost of employee parking permits will go up about 4 percent July 1, under rates approved by the board. Annual and semester permits for the Memorial Union parking ramp will go up 2.9 percent, and most of the hourly rates for the ramp will remain unchanged, including the daily maximum rate ($8).
*includes residence dept. and Ames Lab
Residence hall rates
The regents also approved residence hall and meal plan rates for 2008-09. There are nearly 40 room rates, based on the residence hall a student selects and the number of roommates, and 12 meal plan options; students can choose the options that best suit them.
Room rates in all the halls will go up 2.75 percent, and meal plans will rise 3.7 percent to 5.1 percent, depending on the plan selected. For example, the cost for a double-occupancy room in the Richardson Court residence halls and a full board plan next year is $6,884, a 3.6 percent increase over the current rate of $6,645.
Apartment rates at Frederiksen Court will go up 1.75 percent, and monthly apartment rates in the Schilletter and University villages will go up 2 percent.
In other business, the regents:
Approved Iowa State's list of faculty tenure and promotions for 2008-09. The list is online at the provost's Web site.
Heard an update from ISU director of student financial aid Roberta Johnson on the status of federal and private student loans and the temporary suspension of loans by the private, non-profit, self-funded Iowa Student Loan. Over the last three years, about 70 percent of private student loans received by students at the three regent universities have been provided through Iowa Student Loan.
Received an ISU report on the new non-tenure eligible research faculty policy approved by the Faculty Senate in February. The policy is intended to encourage responsible use of non-tenure track faculty and allow Iowa State to compete with peer schools in recruiting and retaining high-quality research faculty.
Approved a revised budget for the College of Design addition (up $369,197, to $6.62 million). An additional private gift will provide funds to purchase furnishings for the undergraduate design studios. This component was eliminated at bid time to keep the project on budget.
Gave ISU permission to proceed with planning for a research facility to replace a 1960s-era building on the ISU poultry farm south of Ames. The estimated cost is $2.2 million. Demolition, site work and utility connections would be covered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Building construction would be covered with private gifts and in-kind gifts from the poultry industry. Design services would be provided by the university.
Approved a name change for the B.A. program in African American studies, to African and African American studies.
Held public interviews with two finalists for the board's executive director post: Robert Donley, Board of Governors, State University System of Florida, Tallahassee; and John Hayek, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Frankfort.