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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

February 4, 2005

Regents still like transformation plan

by Anne Krapfl

Members of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, reaffirmed their commitment to the "Partnership for Transformation and Excellence" plan during their Feb. 3 meeting in Iowa City. With the recent resignations of board members John Forsyth, David Neil and Sue Nieland, there was some public speculation about whether the proposal for a funding partnership between the Iowa Legislature and the regents universities would falter. Forsyth conceived of the transformation plan last year and board members endorsed it in September. University leaders from all three schools also have expressed support for the plan.

"The positive changes John brought to the board will continue," said interim president Robert Downer in an opening statement at the meeting. "There is no change in this board's commitment to the plan. We are continuing and accelerating our meetings with legislative contacts. Nothing is substantially different in this regard," he said.

In his Jan. 31 state budget proposal, Gov. Tom Vilsack recommended the full $40 million in additional state funding to the three regents universities requested in the plan. In Vilsack's recommendation, $20 million for operating costs would be shared by the schools, and another $20 million for university salaries would be included in the state salaries appropriation.

In the regents' "transformation" plan, a maximum new state appropriation of $40 million annually for four years would be matched by a maximum $20 million in internal reallocations. Iowa State's portion of those numbers is approximately $15.4 million and $7.7 million, respectively.

"We remain absolutely committed to this plan," said President Gregory Geoffroy. "In fact, we are actively working on our campus to fully implement it.

"I'd urge 'full steam ahead.' Let's work to get it done," he said.

Geoffroy said he talks about the plan in his visits with ISU alumni and friends around the state, and is receiving strong support for it.

Building plans

The regents also approved Iowa State's request to name the Physics Addition for Daniel Zaffarano. Zaffarano, a professor emeritus in physics and astronomy and former Graduate college dean, died Dec. 3, 2004, in Ames at the age of 86.

Zaffarano came to ISU in 1949 as a research associate professor, was appointed professor in 1957, and served as chairman of the physics department from 1961 to 1971. He also held the title of physics division chief of the Ames Laboratory from 1961 to 1971. He was appointed vice president of research and dean of the Graduate College in 1971, retiring in 1987.

The five-story Physics Addition, located between Physics and Wilhelm halls, was completed in 1968.

In other business regarding campus building projects, the regents:

  • Approved a budget ($16.5 million) and general project outline for a 57,000-square-foot addition to Coover Hall for a state-of-the-art teaching and research lab facility for the department of electrical and computer engineering. Half of the money would come in state-issued bonds, the other half in private gifts. A proposed second phase (estimated $10 million) would remodel part of the existing building, including upgrading mechanical systems.
  • Approved a budget ($51 million) and project outline for the remodel of 90,000 square feet and addition of 35,000 square feet to the College of Veterinary Medicine's teaching hospital and diagnostic lab. The project also would upgrade the chilled water system in the whole complex. Funding would come from three sources: state-issued bonds ($38.7 million), utility infrastructure funds ($3 million) and private gifts ($9.3 million).
  • Approved a budget ($15.3 million) and project outline for phase 1 of a new dairy education and research facility. A site has yet to be announced, but the goal is at least a 1,000-acre parcel south of Ames. Costs would be covered by the sale of the university's former dairy farm in Ankeny.
  • Approved a budget ($3.4 million) and project outline for structural repairs to the Memorial Union parking ramp. The work involves testing all post-tensioning slab tendons and replacing damaged ones, replacing deteriorating concrete and waterproofing the floor slab. MU revenue bond funds would pay for this project.

The regents' next meeting is March 14-15 at the ISU Memorial Union.


"I'd urge 'full steam ahead.' Let's work to get it done."

ISU President Gregory Geoffroy, speaking about the Partnership for Transformation and Excellence plan