Inside Iowa State for faculty and staff
Jan. 28, 2021
Inside news
Many ISU employees embraced new roles and spent long hours to create, run and refine the university's highly effective contact tracing system.

Vice president for research Peter Dorhout started in his new post this week.

How instructors deliver their courses this semester will resemble the fall, but the university is expanding opportunities and spaces for students to interact with each other.
The normal use-it-or-lose-it rules of flexible spending accounts for health and dependent care are suspended for 2020 contributions, due to a temporary change in federal law.

University counsel Michael Norton and senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert addressed faculty academic freedom and student freedom of expression. They also talked about the rise in cases of trolling and doxing impacting faculty.

A sweeping plan to revitalize the Iowa State Center as an arts, culture and entertainment district anchored by Stephens Auditorium takes a first step next month when the university sends to the state Board of Regents a proposal for a pedestrian gateway bridge across University Boulevard.

ISU WellBeing has several new programs to help people cope during the ongoing pandemic and look after their physical and mental health.

One assesses satisfaction across nine broad areas such as promotion, mentoring, shared governance and institutional leadership. The other illustrates a typical faculty work week -- both how many hours and how they're spent.
The following announcements were added this week:
  • Student entrepreneurs sought for college pitch off in February
  • Register now for P&S Council professional development event
  • National recycling competition kicks off Jan. 31
  • Workshop series to focus on term faculty
  • Complete Workday and HR, finance delivery survey by Jan. 31
  • Maps highlight available study spots
  • Goldfinch live music series resumes Feb. 6
  • New university style: Advisor, not adviser
  • On-demand passes on sale for 'Sleep Squad'
  • New tutorial videos explain classroom technologies
Around campus
Jan. 27 marked one year since Iowa State activated its Emergency Operation Center in response to the COVID-19 outbreak (it would be another six weeks before it was termed a pandemic). A collection of stories captures the hard work, dedication and collaboration across campus.

ISU researchers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, are working to develop a portable sensor capable of detecting biothreats like the coronavirus. It can be used in government buildings, airports and other high-risk areas.

Two ISU research teams received seed grants from the office of the vice president for research as part of efforts to grow the state's economy through innovation and technology transfer in four bioscience areas. Terms of the grant require an industry partner to facilitate eventual commercialization.

ISU researchers -- led by associate professor of veterinary clinical sciences Joyce Carnevale -- received a $50,000 grant to streamline the decision-making process for treating dogs with acute vomiting. It's a common issue for dogs and the best treatment varies, with some options quite costly.
Next week
  • Pat Trammell, Ames Laboratory, Feb. 5
Seminars and conferences
  • Workshop series, Ready to Run Iowa, sponsored by the Catt Center, two virtual sessions/day on three dates: Feb. 26, March 26 and April 30
Arts and events
Ames Community Theater will stage a lively production of "Don’t Dress for Dinner," a Tony-nominated fast-paced sex farce, in four performances this weekend at Stephens Auditorium. COVID-19 guidelines will be followed, with face coverings required and physical distancing maintained between seated groups and in aisles and restrooms. Shows at 7:30 p.m. will be held nightly Jan. 28-30, with a 2 p.m. matinee Jan. 31. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online or at the door.

The first in a series of education programs at University Museums through July will be held at 4 p.m. Feb. 1 when associate curator of collections and education Adrienne Gennett leads a virtual tour of the Brunnier Art Museum exhibition, "Compelling Ground: Landscapes, Environments, and Peoples of Iowa," which examines agriculture in Iowa through art. Virtual tours are hosted on University Museums YouTube channel. Additional programs are in University Museums' online calendar.
Learning opportunities
Provost office programming
  • Online program for faculty and staff, Smile and Write, Tuesdays (11 a.m.-1 p.m.), also: Feb. 4 (11 a.m.-1 p.m., Feb. 10 (1-3 p.m.), via Zoom, register
  • Workshop, Preserving Your Legacy: Archives, with Greg Bailey and Daniel Hartwig, university library, Feb. 9 (2-3 p.m., via Zoom), register via Learn@ISU

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) programming

ISU WellBeing programming
  • 13-week series, Meditation 301: Beyond Mindfulness -- Working with Difficult Emotions, facilitator Doug Gentile, ISU psychology, Feb. 1-April 26 (Mondays 2:30-3 p.m., via Zoom)
  • 3-week series, Mindfulness Practice for Beginners, Feb. 17, 24, March 3 (8:30-10 a.m. weekly, via Zoom)
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Inside Update is published Thursday mornings by Strategic Relations and Communications. Questions may be directed to 515-294-7065.