Communications

Messages and updates, 2022-23

November 17, 2022

Dear Iowa State University faculty and staff,

We continue to prioritize performance-based salary increases to recognize and retain our dedicated and hard-working faculty and staff. This is our top budget priority.

New timeline starting 2024. We’ve decided to move the timeline for performance-based salary increases for non-Merit employees to take effect each year on January 1, beginning January 1, 2024. This will better align with state appropriations and tuition decisions resulting in more time for budget planning.

2023 transition; July 1 increase. During this next year of transition, the university will plan for a 1% salary increase effective July 1, 2023, for all eligible faculty, professional and scientific staff, contract staff and post-doctoral researchers. Then in the fall, a decision will be made on salary parameters effective January 1, 2024. This will be the timeline for subsequent years: salary parameters will be announced in the fall with an effective date of January 1.

Performance review transition. This transition period will impact the schedule for 2023 performance reviews.

  • Faculty reviews. The timeline for faculty annual reviews will shift from calendar year to align with the academic calendar (July 1 – June 30). The majority of faculty will wait to submit their review materials until early fall 2023 and their evaluation will cover 18 months. There will be some exceptions for those in the promotion and tenure/advancement process and some extenuating circumstances. The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost will provide further communication on the exceptions and the transition process. In 2024 and thereafter, faculty will submit 12-month reviews each fall. 

  • Staff reviews. Reviews normally scheduled in December 2022 – February 2023 should continue at their regular time. These staff should receive their next formal review in fall 2023 and continue on this timeline each fall thereafter. 

Reviews normally scheduled in March – May should occur at their regular time in 2023. Supervisors should complete a less formal check-in review with staff in fall 2023 prior to the implementation of the January 1, 2024 salary policy.

Reviews normally scheduled in June – August should shift to occur in fall 2023 (September – November) and continue on this timeline each fall thereafter.

Reviews already occurring in September – November should continue as scheduled.

Beginning in 2024, all formal staff reviews should be completed in the fall (September – November).   

More information. University Human Resources and the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost will provide additional information and resources to help supervisors understand how and when to transition the performance review schedules for their faculty and staff. UHR will also provide guidance for other situations, including new hires, transfers, and promotions, etc.

Merit staff. The new timeline will not impact Merit staff. Merit review dates for Merit staff will remain the same and pay increases will remain consistent with the state’s collective bargaining agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Iowa council and Regents Merit System rules.

Thank you. We recognize competitive salaries and pay raises are critical to support our talented employees. Thank you for the good work you do every day to advance Iowa State’s mission.

Wendy Wintersteen, President

Jonathan Wickert, Senior Vice President and Provost

Toyia Younger, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs

Heather Paris, Interim Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance

Kristi Darr, Vice President for University Human Resources

November 11, 2022

Dear Iowa State faculty and staff,

Governor Reynolds has announced two additional paid holidays as a show of appreciation for state employees’ service.

Iowa State University will implement the paid holidays on Wednesday, November 23 and Friday, December 23. Normal holiday procedures will be followed on these days. Supervisors should begin to review and make decisions on necessary operations and work schedules for the additional paid holidays. Units should communicate these changes to their employees, customers and constituents.

We deeply appreciate your hard work and dedication to the university. Thank you for all that you do for Iowa State.

Sincerely,

Wendy Wintersteen, President

Kristi Darr, Vice President for University Human Resources

September 26, 2022

Dear Iowa State University faculty and staff, 

The university will be implementing changes to employee health care premiums as part of a previously announced multi-year plan to address the increasing costs of Iowa State’s health care program. As a self-insured employer, our ability to maintain a sustainable health insurance plan depends on adequate premium income to cover rising expenses.

To address this challenge, the Employee Benefits Advisory Committee carefully reviewed Iowa State’s annual premium income and the cost of our self-insured health care program. As advised by the committee, the university will increase premium rates for 2023, effective January 1.

The new monthly PPO and HMO employee contributions are shown below.  

New Medical/Rx Plan Monthly Premiums 

(Beginning January 1, 2023)

Tier of Coverage

BluePPO

BlueHMO

Yourself Only

$49.00

$29.00

Yourself + Spouse/Partner

$298.00

$152.00

Yourself + Children

$221.00

$100.00

Yourself + Family

$382.00

$193.00

Family Double Spouse (contract holder pays)

$270.00

$129.00

We thank the advisory committee for its review and appreciate the input on this decision.

Providing an exceptional health care program to our employees continues to be a priority. Iowa State University will continue to pay nearly 90% of the overall health care costs of the plan. We are proud to note employee premiums will still fall far below the national average of $1,299 per year for employer-sponsored single coverage and $5,969 per year for employer-sponsored family coverage. As health care costs continue to increase, the Employee Benefits Advisory Committee will evaluate the need for necessary adjustments and the university will work to minimize the impact to employees.

University Human Resources will release additional details about these new changes through webinars, video recordings and other electronic communications in anticipation of open enrollment that begins November 1, 2022, for the 2023 plan year. If you have questions about open enrollment, please contact benefits@iastate.edu. If you have questions regarding the rates noted above, please contact Fringe Benefits at fbac@iastate.edu.

Sincerely,

Wendy Wintersteen, President

Heather Paris, Interim Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance

Kristi Darr, Vice President for University Human Resources

August 22, 2022

Dear Iowa State Community,

Welcome to Iowa State University and the start of a new academic year!

It was wonderful to see many of our new and returning students enjoying the activities of Cyclone Welcome Weekend and Destination Iowa State for our first-year students. My deep thanks to all of the faculty and staff who volunteered to support these special events.

I encourage our students to continue on this path of getting involved and contributing to our incredible ISU community. From our exciting innovation and entrepreneurial programs at the Student Innovation Center, the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship and in every undergraduate college through the Start Something Network … to learning communities, research projects, study abroad, hundreds of student clubs and organizations, and so much more. 

I am constantly amazed by our faculty and staff whose achievements illuminate Iowa State’s tradition of excellence. A few highlights include:    

  • Attracting a record $601.7 million in external funding, including $284.2 million in grants and contracts, supporting Iowa State’s #16 national ranking for research among universities without a human medical school.
  • Transferring technology and innovation to create economic opportunities and improving our ranking to #65 worldwide for U.S. patents.
  • Marking 75years of our extraordinary partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the Ames National Laboratory and sharing the Lab’s impact on the lives of Iowans at the Iowa State Fair.
  • Gaining national prominence for our innovation and entrepreneurship programs – ranked #11 in the country for the second year in a row.

We look forward to building on these successes. We know that learning and achievement go hand-in-hand with health and wellbeing. Iowa State is taking new actions this year to support our community’s wellness: 

Iowa State strives to have a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels supported to shine their brightest. So with our Principles of Community as our guide, let us always be curious – learning from each other and lighting the way for new achievements and moments to celebrate.

Have a great year and Go Cyclones!

Wendy Wintersteen, President

August 10, 2022

Dear Iowa State Community,

We are saddened to learn of the death of an Iowa State University student who was found today at a Welch Avenue apartment complex off campus. This is a tragic loss, and our condolences are with the family and friends of the victim.

The Ames Police Department is leading the investigation and believes there is no ongoing threat to the community. 

We know this news has caused members of our community to feel anxious. If you need assistance, the following resources are available for students on campus or at home for the summer:

  1. Student Counseling Services, For crisis debriefing, mental health and well-being supportive services, 515-294-5056

     

  2. Student Assistance, For support with academic needs, connections to campus and community resources, or unsure where to start, 515-294-1020

     

  3. Thielen Student Health Center, For mental health and well-being support, 515-294-5801

     

  4. Crisis Text Line, text “ISU” to 741741 (available 24/7)

     

  5. Personal safety tips and resources, including the ISU Guardian App and Safe Ride 

Again, the Ames Police Department believes there is no ongoing threat to the community.

As we wait to learn more, we ask that everyone extend care and compassion to one another.

Sincerely,

Wendy Wintersteen

President

Jonathan Wickert

Senior Vice President and Provost

Toyia Younger

Senior Vice President for Student Affairs

Pam Cain

Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance

July 28, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

We need your help to support Cyclone Welcome Weekend. This is a brand new, two-day event that will be held Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19-20 for all Iowa State students – both new and returning. This set of events is directly aligned to highlight the tenants of Iowa State’s new strategic plan, specifically to be a student-centric leading research university with a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. The goal is to engage ISU students in healthy, community-building activities to reduce high-risk behaviors often associated with the weekend before classes.

About 140 volunteers are needed to support the activities scheduled for the afternoon and evening of Friday, Aug. 19 and all-day and evening on Saturday, Aug. 20: welcome cookout, Camp Iowa State Breakfast, outdoor movie nights, BINGO and hypnotist. You can find more information about the volunteer requirements for each activity in the volunteer description document. 

Please consider the volunteer options and sign up for one or more shifts through the Registration System. Those who sign up by 4:00 p.m. on Aug. 1 will be guaranteed their preferred T-shirt size and a gift card to the Iowa State Creamery or an ISU Dining market café. All volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and commemorative event poster, and those who participate in Adventure2 can join the Volunteer – Cyclone Welcome Weekend activity and earn 100 points following the completion of their service.

We recognize the weekend before classes begin is a busy time. Many Student Affairs and Admissions staff will already be working that weekend to support Destination Iowa State and Residence Hall move-in; others will also be supporting those activities and the ISU exhibit at the Iowa State Fair. For those who are able, we strongly encourage you to make time to volunteer for Cyclone Welcome Weekend. Please notify your supervisor to consider appropriate adjustments to your schedule during that week.

Thank you for helping make Cyclone Welcome Weekend a successful event.

Wendy Wintersteen

President

Jonathan Wickert

Senior Vice President and Provost

Toyia Younger

Senior Vice President for Student Affairs

Pam Cain

Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance

This email was sent to all faculty and staff at Iowa State University

June 22, 2022

Dear President’s Council,

Next week we will take a significant step in making the debut of our redesigned Iowa State University website — the homepage plus more than 100 other pages.

Last year I charged the website project team (led by Strategic Relations and Communications, Information Technology Services and Admissions) to reimagine our homepage as one that primarily appeals to an audience of prospective students and their families. The redesigned site is strategically scheduled to launch in coordination with Admissions’ next recruitment and application cycle, beginning July 1.

Redesigned website focuses on prospective students

What you will see in the new pages’ look, feel and tone reflects a design and direction that was grounded in research focused on this primary audience. The approach brought forward the features and functions that research including focus group feedback told us was the most important to prospective students. Our approach intentionally serves their needs and desires first.

This CyBox link shows selected screenshots of the new site. Please do not share or forward these images as changes will continue up to the site’s finalization in the next few days.

From day one, the project’s aim was to differentiate Iowa State in a highly competitive landscape. The homepage is our digital front door. Those who show up now will be welcomed inside to explore the innovative, friendly experience that awaits them here at Iowa State.

Starting next week, these primary users will encounter a modern-looking, easy-to-navigate, mobile friendly experience. They will be welcomed into a site designed with accessibility and inclusion as top of mind, thanks to the partnership with our Digital Accessibility Lab throughout the process. An inclusive content advisory group advised the project team during development, and will continue to serve as a resource.

Separate portals for faculty and staff, current students

Audiences other than our primary one certainly remain important. The wayfinding to resources important to them is addressed clearly but in a separate portal approach. Tomorrow’s Inside Iowa State will include an article that talks more about portals for faculty and staff and for current students.

Campus-wide transition to new design

Once the initial website pages launch, I ask for your help in supporting and contributing to this transition.

This fall semester, a set of resources will be made available for all units on campus to transition to the new web design. This step should be an especially high priority for your student-focused, student-serving sites. The transition will do much to make the user experience across our most student-centric pages as seamless as possible while improving the ease and speed of navigation across units.

My request is for you to set a goal to transition the majority of your most student-centric sites to the new design by July 2023.

Resources and more information coming this fall

Fortunately, the project team has worked very hard to make the transition as easy as possible. They have developed an impressive portfolio of plug-and-play web templates, elements and assets. They will offer training, guidance and consultation for your units. If specific situations arise where additional web assets may be required, we will provide the resources to meet the need. The team will also provide a comprehensive web style guide. These resources and more information will be shared with you later in the fall. 

Thank you

I want to thank all the members of the web redesign team for their contributions to date. Next week’s website launch is a big strategic step forward for us.

Thanks to each of you in advance in the role you will play in the coming year. Let’s continue to work together as one university on the strategies and practices that lift up Iowa State, enhance our reputation and strengthen our brand.

Sincerely,

Wendy Wintersteen, President