The University of IowaAnnual Report 2008-09

October

President Mason pushes the button to blow the whistle on the Power Plant.A familiar sound echoes across campus when President Sally Mason sounds the UI Power Plant’s steam whistle for the first time since the Iowa River flooded the facility in mid-June. The steam blow marks the Power Plant’s return to full operation after extensive work to bring boilers back online for the winter heating season.

About 250 works of art from the UI Museum of Art permanent collection return to campus and are available by appointment, thanks to collaboration between the museum and UI Libraries Special Collections.

Three writers connected to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop are named National Book Award finalists: faculty member Marilynne Robinson, alumnus Salvatore Scibona, and former faculty member Mark Doty.

The University Hygienic Laboratory is one of six public health labs in the nation to help validate a new rapid influenza test. The new test cuts the analysis time from days to hours and can detect and identify commonly circulating human influenza viruses.

Faculty and staff break participation records for the Working at Iowa survey. More than 62 percent respond, registering improvement since 2006 on measures of conflict and performance management, fair distribution of work, and other factors.

Young woman reading A Long Way Gone.Author Ishmael Beah speaks on campus as part of the One Community, One Book project. Beah’s book, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, is the selected text for the year’s community reading program, sponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights. For the first time, the book is provided to 4,300 first-year students and incorporated into coursework across the curriculum.

A UI study finds that a genetic variant likely contributes to one in five cases of isolated cleft lip. The study by Jeff Murray, who holds appointments in the Colleges of Dentistry, Public Health, Medicine, and Liberal Arts and Sciences, establishes the first link between a genetic variant and cleft lip alone, rather than both cleft lip and palate.

A pharmacy professor receives an American Cancer Society grant to study the most serious form of skin cancer. Aliasger Salem, assistant professor of pharmaceutics in the College of Pharmacy, plans to use the four-year, $717,000 grant to develop a vaccine to treat and prevent melanoma.

The McCord Research Foundation of Iowa City commits $2.3 million to the UI Foundation in order to support studies of free radicals in aging and healing, and to assist UI graduate students.

Optherion, Inc., and the UI Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences open a new corporate and academic research facility at the UI Research Park, the University’s site for developing partnerships with industry.

Facilities Management is again ranked in top 10 infrastructure management groups by Buildings magazine.

The UI Alumni Association’s career services unit sponsors a “market yourself” seminar in Chicago—one of several events around the Midwest aimed at helping alumni cope with the flagging economy.

These highlights offer a snapshot of UI news and achievements during October 2008. For more, visit the University News Services archives.