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

Aug. 29, 2008

No smoking signage

New signs across campus reflect the July 1 implementation of Iowa's new state-wide smoking ban. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Summer synopsis

by Anne Krapfl

If you were away from campus this summer -- or if you were here and wonder what happened to summer -- here's an Inside summary of some of the happenings at Iowa State since May.

Smoke-free campus

A new state law that took effect July 1 prohibits smokers from lighting up virtually anywhere on university property. The ban applies to all university grounds, including buildings, work and study areas, residence halls, outdoor areas, parking lots, farms, Veenker golf course, and sports arenas such as Jack Trice Stadium and Hilton Coliseum. Smoking also is prohibited in all university vehicles, including farm trucks, tractors and implements. Exceptions to the ban exist for some apartments in Schilletter and University Village designated for smoking, and for research labs involved in smoking research. The fine for violating the law is $50; the environmental health and safety department is coordinating compliance on campus.

Hilton management goes to athletics

The athletics department took over management of Hilton Coliseum July 1, giving the department the chance to streamline its operation and staff, thus reducing costs. SMG continues to manage Stephens Auditorium, Scheman Building and Fisher Theater. Concerts, graduations and other events still will occur in Hilton. Vice president for business and finance Warren Madden said changes in the entertainment environment, including new competing venues such as Des Moines' Wells Fargo Arena, resulted in athletics events becoming a more significant part of what Hilton offers.

Those aren't high-tech birdhouses

Crews installed emergency warning equipment on five 50-foot poles in early July. The outdoor system comes with the usual array of warning tones, as well as the option to broadcast live or prerecorded messages as far as 4,000 feet. Tower locations are: west of the Forker Building, the Vet Med campus, east sides of Jack Trice Stadium and Beyer Hall, and the south edge of the Schilletter University Village residence neighborhood.

Serious about conserving energy

President Gregory Geoffroy announced in June a sustainability and energy efficiency initiative aimed at reducing ISU's carbon footprint. "Live Green!" plans include hiring a director of sustainability programs early this semester, creating a $3 million internal revolving loan fund to provide interest-free capital to campus projects and developing a web site ( to share best practices by departments and offices.

Key leader positions

College deans Cheryl Achterberg (Human Sciences) and Mark Kushner (Engineering) announced their resignations in mid-June. University Professor of food science and human nutrition Pam White became interim dean of Human Sciences July 1; Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering Jim Bernard becomes interim dean of Engineering Sept. 1. Dean searches will get under way this fall. Vice president for research and economic development John Brighton retired from Iowa State in May; Ted Okiishi, professor emeritus in mechanical engineering, is serving as interim vice president. Ames Lab director Alex King is leading the search for Brighton's successor. In mid-May, LAS dean Michael Whiteford was named to lead the search for a successor to Design dean Mark Engelbrecht, who is retiring June 30, 2009.

Flood assessment

Iowa State's flood damage report to the governor's office in July estimated losses of more than $1.2 million following flooding in late May and early June. This includes physical and revenue losses. The most significant damage was at ISU farms around the state ($847,500). The main campus sustained minimal damage, but Veenker golf course losses were an estimated $356,000. FEMA funds likely will reimburse 90 percent of documented physical losses, and some university farms have crop insurance to help recover some crop losses. Revenue losses will need to be reflected in future budgets.

Easy transfer

Iowa's three regent universities launched a web site July 1 that lets students at any of the state's 15 community colleges know -- before they even register for class -- if a course will transfer to an Iowa public university. The intent is to help students make informed decisions about their education plans, and give them a smoother transition from community college to university. The site is

Black biker shorts

Organizers of the (Des Moines) Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa selected Ames as the third overnight stop (July 22) and wound the route through campus. The Iowa State community set out the welcome mat and offered music and other entertainment, tours of campus facilities, rooms in Wallace Hall, campground areas and space at the Iowa State Center for food vendors, and a concert stage that featured Styx and The Nadas. An estimated 20,000 cyclists ride RAGBRAI.

Compensation increases

About $17.5 million in state appropriations and internally reallocated funds was committed to compensation increases in the university's FY09 budget year, which began July 1. The average P&S salary increase is 3.95 percent; the average faculty increase is 5.46 percent. In August, the state Board of Regents awarded Geoffroy a 6.7 percent increase. Geoffroy also could receive a "performance payout" of $25,000 to $50,000 following his evaluation next summer.

Staying fit in style

Planning moved forward this summer on facilities improvements for recreation services, following a green light from the regents in May. A 17-member committee, 10 of whom are students, will guide the process of determining what the specific recreation needs are on campus. University leaders received regent approval in July to hire RDG Planning and Design, Des Moines, as architect for the project. Proposed improvements include air conditioning for the Lied Center, renovations to Beyer Hall and State Gym, and a west addition to State Gym roughly one-third the size of the Lied Center. Student fees will pay for the work.

West courts

The regents granted permission in early August to move ahead on a new basketball practice facility for the Cyclone men's and women's teams in southwest Ames (intersection of South Dakota Avenue and Mortensen Road). Local developer Dickson Jensen will build the proposed 34,000-square-foot facility. When it's completed, as early as next fall, Iowa State will buy the building for not more than $6.9 million, and spend another $1 million to furnish it. Jensen will donate the 2-acre land parcel to the university.


Construction glance: May-August 2008


  • Alumni Center
  • Seed Science Center addition
  • Coover Hall addition
  • Hub Grill & Cafe and Caribou Coffee
  • MU Market and Cafe
  • Jack Trice Stadium
  • Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center


  • Fisher-Nickell
  • Industrial Education I
  • Ag Engineering Shed

Under construction:

  • College of Design addition
  • Hach Hall
  • Snedecor Hall renovation
  • Maple-Willow-Larch dining remodel/addition
  • Multicultural Center, Memorial Union