Faculty and staff, as you prepare to settle in for the fall semester, check out this recap of summer at Iowa.
Provost, vice president for research, CLAS dean get to work
Iowa welcomed three new leaders to campus this summer. Montserrat (Montse) Fuentes began June 28 as Iowa’s new executive vice president and provost. Also starting June 28 was J. Martin Scholtz in the role of vice president for research (VPR). Steve Goddard began June 1 as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).
The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved a new health plan called UISelect to be offered to benefit-eligible employees in addition to UIChoice. University Human Resources will offer extra time this fall to enroll in health plans and will provide extensive information for employees to make informed plan selections.
Grants and other funding that support Iowa research and scholarship reached an all-time high in FY19. Total external funding increased by 6%, or $34.8 million, to an unprecedented $588.8 million.
Iowa won the single largest externally funded research project in its history, a $115 million NASA contract awarded to Craig Kletzing, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Kletzing’s team will study the connection between the magnetic fields of the Earth and sun.
UI Libraries awarded 15 grants for Open Educational Resource (OER) projects for the 2019–20 academic year. OpenHawks is a campuswide grant program that funds faculty efforts to replace current textbooks with OERs for enhanced student success.
Kevin Kregel was appointed executive vice provost and senior associate provost for faculty. Kregel most recently served as associate provost for faculty, a position he held since September 2014. He began the new role July 15.
High-risk undergraduate drinking has decreased significantly at Iowa thanks to its 10-year commitment to alcohol harm reduction. In addition, the recently published 2019–2022 Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan outlines evidence-based strategies to continue addressing high-risk drinking and its negative effects.
The UI is continuing its exploration of a potential public-private partnership (P3) with its utility system, moving forward from the request for qualification stage to the request for proposal stage. The campus community will have two new opportunities to share feedback about the proposal.
University Human Resources will develop campuswide supervisor training to ensure university policies are implemented more consistently and equitably. The goal is for the new training to be developed this fall and completed by the approximately 3,500 faculty and staff supervisors within 12 months.
The Office of the Provost this spring transitioned all seven faculty cluster areas to independence after nearly 10 years of direct oversight. The cluster areas no longer report directly to the provost’s office, and these multidisciplinary initiatives were encouraged to continue with leadership and activities determined by the participants.