Culver’s budget proposal is good news for the University, Braun says
The University of Iowa soon may get a welcome break from the Iowa legislature. Iowa Gov. Chet Culver plans to increase funding to Iowa’s Regents universities by $25 million in operating funds and fully funding regent salaries, which is a total of roughly $65 million in the next fiscal year, according to the budget proposal he sent to the Iowa legislature in January.
The University’s budget figures for the fiscal year beginning July 1 won’t be finalized until the Iowa legislature votes on the state appropriations bill at end of the legislative session in late April or May, but UI administrators are encouraged by the governor's announcement, according to Mark Braun, UI state governmental relations director.
“We realize the budget figures are not yet final, but we are pleased that the governor feels that Iowa's public universities—and specifically The University of Iowa—merit an increased share of the state's resources,” says Gary Fethke, interim UI president. “To recruit and retain the best and brightest educators and researchers, we need to pay them a competitive wage. Those top-notch professors will attract the best students and collect research funding to attract even more high-quality employees to our campus. It’s as simple as that. Raising faculty salaries to a competitive level is the key to maintaining Iowa’s standing as a premier institution.”
Other funding initiatives in the governor's proposal include a Center for Regenerative Medicine and a College of Public Health building.
It is difficult if not impossible to predict what initiatives the legislature will adopt from the governor's proposal, according to Braun, who is a frontline liaison for the University and the Board of Regents, State of Iowa with state lawmakers.
But Braun also thinks the odds stand in the University’s favor, given that the governor and the majority leaders in both the Iowa Senate and House share the same political party.
“A lot can happen between the time the governor releases his budget proposal and the legislature votes on the budget,” Braun says. “But if the governor’s proposal is an indication of what is to come, the state will once again be strongly investing in the quality and future of the University and those they teach and serve.”
WRAC offers support and discussion groups
The Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) at The University of Iowa is offering a variety of support and discussion groups this month. All groups are open to the public and meet at WRAC, 130 N. Madison St., in Iowa City. For more information, or to arrange for accommodations to participate, please call the center at (33)5-1486 or visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~wrac/groups.htm.
Festival lectures? Uff da!
Lectures on topics ranging from nationalism in 19th-century music to the origins of modern physics will be presented as part of Scandinavian/Nordic Fest, a month-long series of events on the University of Iowa campus celebrating Scandinavian and Nordic music and culture. The festival, most of it taking place during February, was started by the Maia Quartet, the string quartet-in-residence in the UI School of Music. Most of the festival events feature musical performances or have a strong musical component. For details of all Scandinavian/Nordic Fest events, including times, locations and programs, go to http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/nordicfest/events.htm.
Faculty members win Instructional Improvement Awards
Nine Instructional Improvement Awards have been given to University of Iowa faculty members for projects designed to improve classroom teaching. The University's Council on Teaching presents the awards each year. The 2007 awards ranged from $1,550 to $5,000.
(in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)
• Michael Dailey, associate professor of biological sciences, will purchase a cell culture incubator for a new team-taught undergraduate neurobiology laboratory course.
• Anita Jung, associate professor of art and art history, will help bring contemporary techniques to the school's printmaking curriculum by purchasing a professional-quality photo printer and studying the techniques of nontoxic photo intaglio and photo intaglio color printing.
• Judy Leigh-Johnson, a lecturer in theater arts, will purchase a set of tools called Phonetics Pillows to help teach phonetics, an essential component of an actor's training in the acquisition of dialects and the mastery of speech for use with classic texts.
• Dan Moore, professor of music, will enhance educational offerings currently available to percussion students by developing an Electronic Media Percussion Ensemble, to be anchored by a powerful new electronic instrument called the MalletKAT pro and a musical workstation called the Muse Receptor AM.
• Christine Rutledge, associate professor of music, will supplement the School of Music's collection of Baroque stringed instruments with two violin bows, two viola bows, and one cello bow, and will complete the conversion of several instruments to Baroque standards for a new course in Baroque performance technique and style.
(in the College of Dentistry)
• Ali Fakhry, assistant professor of periodontics, will equip the Department of Periodontics with a post-production video editing workstation, expanding the college’s online electronic repository of instructional material.
(in the College of Engineering)
• Wilfrid Nixon, professor of civil and environmental engineering, will develop a set of diverse visual aids for the required undergraduate engineering course Fundamentals of Engineering I–Statics.
(in the Tippie College of Business)
• Philip Jones, professor, Jeffrey Ohlmann, assistant professor, and Barrett Thomas, assistant professor, all in management sciences, will create a computer simulation to provide a capstone experience in the required undergraduate business course Operations Management.
• Lopo Rego, assistant professor of marketing, will acquire access to a marketing intelligence database that details advertising expenditures among Fortune 1000 companies in the United States, to help students analyze the effectiveness of advertising expenditures in creating and sustaining brand equity.
Longing to be homeward bound?
Emergencies happen. You become sick at work, or your son or daughter comes down with the flu at school. But what can you do if your ride home doesn’t arrive for another four or five hours?
Thanks to UI Parking and Transportation’s new Emergency Ride Home program, you don’t have to feel like you’re stuck at work if you depend on a ride from a carpool or bus. If an emergency arises while you are at work and you rode to work using one of the University’s ridesharing programs, the University will pick up your tab for a taxicab ride home. Save your taxicab receipt and turn it in with a reimbursement form (available online—see link below) and a copy of your University Absence Report (signed by your supervisor) to Commuter Programs, 100 HPR2.
Any UI employee (except student workers or biweekly non-student workers) enrolled in the University’s vanpool, TRIP-Pool, or Employee Bus Pass program is eligible for the emergency ride reimbursement. Employees cannot use the program for non-emergency inconveniences, such as needing to work overtime or past a normal departure time or to handle personal errands, appointments, weather conditions, vehicle malfunctions, or transit service disruptions or delays. For more details about the Emergency Ride Home program, go to the program’s web page at http://www.uiowa.edu/~commprog/erh_program.html.
Award to The Wall Street Journal stems from UI research
The Wall Street Journal has received one of investigative journalism's top awards for a series of articles based on research by Erik Lie, associate professor of finance in the UI Tippie College of Business.
The ongoing article series, "Perfect Payday," exposes the widespread practice of secretly backdating stock option grants to benefit corporate insiders, and is based on material provided to the newspaper by Lie, who had studied the questionable timing of stock options grants for several years.
Lie began researching stock options in 2002 and soon noticed that many executives were consistently granted stock options on days when their companies' stock was at its lowest price. The research suggests the options were backdated, a violation of federal law. He published his first piece on the issue in an academic journal in 2004, and then in December 2005, met with Wall Street Journal reporters to discuss his findings.
For more on this story, read the University News Services release at http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2007/january/012507lie-wsj.html.
UI radiologist helps set new lymphoma treatment guidelines
An international team of cancer specialists and imaging experts, including a University of Iowa radiologist, has developed standardized guidelines for assessing lymphoma response to treatment. The guidelines will provide clinicians worldwide with uniform criteria to compare and interpret clinical trials of lymphoma treatments and should facilitate the development of new therapies. Malik Juweid, associate professor of radiology in the UI Carver College of Medicine and a member of the UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, was cochair of the committee that developed the recommendations for performing and interpreting PET scans in response assessment of lymphoma.
For more on this story, read the University News Services release at http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2007/january/012307lymphoma-guidelines.html.