April 4, 2003
It's official; Union transferred to ISU
by Anne Krapfl
The legal transfer of the Memorial Union from its own former non-profit
corporation to Iowa State was completed March 31. Vice president for student
affairs Tom Hill, who will oversee operations of the Memorial Union, said it
probably will take several more months to sort out operational questions as
The transition of Memorial Union operations began Jan. 1, following a
memorandum of agreement signed in November by representatives of the
Memorial Union corporation, Iowa State University, ISU's Government of the
Student Body (GSB) and the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The state
becomes the official property owner. Iowa State assumes approximately $4.7
million in debt incurred by the Memorial Union for renovations to the food
court and parking ramp several years ago.
Fifty-one Memorial Union employees in non-food areas became Iowa State
employees on April 1; another 38 food service and catering employees have
been university employees since January. All of the Union's food operations
are part of ISU Dining.
The transfer of the Union from the separate corporation to the university
was initiated by students, via the GSB, seeking better programs and
Because the university has a higher bonding (i.e. funding) capacity than the
Union enjoyed, plans are under way for physical improvements to the facility
that are expected to boost the caliber of programs.
The improvements include modernized meeting rooms, a new southwest entrance
and redesigned hallways to improve traffic flow through the building,
renovations to the three floors of hotel rooms and required fire and life
safety improvements. University bonds, in addition to a new $15 student fee
approved by GSB a year ago, will pay for some of these improvements.
Search is on
A search committee to find a new director for the Memorial Union has begun
its work. Current executive director MaryJo Mertens is retiring, effective
April 30. The search committee is co-chaired by Terry Mason, student
counseling service, and associate vice president for student affairs Teresa
Branch, who will leave Iowa State next month for the University of Montana,
Hill said the goal is to bring candidates to campus later next month, with a
new director on board before Sept. 1. An interim director will be named
sometime this month.
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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