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University purchases 22 mobile units to be used by School of Music, theatre arts

The University of Iowa has purchased 22 mobile units for use next semester by its School of Music faculty, staff, and students and by teaching assistants in the Department of Theatre Arts.

The mobile units will be delivered to the campus by mid-January, prior to the beginning of the spring 2009 semester, and will be clustered in the parking lot immediately west of the Theatre Building. The mobile units are 24 feet by 12 feet and can be moved in the event of any anticipated flooding.

According to University officials, it is especially important to physically bring together students, staff, and faculty of the School of Music, who have been displaced and dispersed around the campus and community in the wake of the June flood. Also strongly influencing their decision to purchase the mobile structures is the importance of providing better acoustical space, which is critical for teaching, practicing, and performing.

Read the full University News Services release at


Combined undergraduate commencement to be held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Due to the June flooding, commencement ceremonies originally planned to take place at Hancher Auditorium have been rescheduled and/or relocated.  
For the first time in decades, a combined undergraduate ceremony has been planned. Graduates from the Tippie College of Business and the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Education, and Nursing will participate together at 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 20, in Carver Hawkeye Arena.

The College of Law will hold its ceremony at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 20, in the Boyd Law Building.

The College of Engineering will hold its ceremony at noon, Saturday, Dec. 20, in MacBride Hall Auditorium.  
The Graduate College ceremony will take place at 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 20, in Carver Hawkeye Arena.  
Several spring 2009 ceremonies usually held at Hancher also will be relocating. For information regarding time and location, go to


Conversations from the Iowa Writers' Workshop to debut on Big Ten Network

The University of Iowa Center for Media Production has announced that a new UI television series, Conversations from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, will debut on the Big Ten Network at 3 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 11.
The premiere episode will feature Writers’ Workshop graduate Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep, The Man of My Dreams, and, most recently, American Wife, a book New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd refers to as a “fantasy version of Laura Bush’s life.”


The Sittenfeld episode will air again at 3 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 16, and 9 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 17.
Future episodes of Conversations will feature interviews with Michael Cunningham, Marilynne Robinson, Ethan Canin, and Andre Dubus III.
Click here for more information about the Big Ten Network.


University updates pandemic influenza response plan

The University of Iowa has released an updated version of its Pandemic Influenza Response Plan with the recommendation that emergency planning efforts should be standardized and expanded to meet a broad range of threats.

The revised plan utilizes the standardized emergency-planning framework developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) known as the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

The original pandemic plan was completed in June 2006 at the request of then UI Provost Michael Hogan. This updated version was completed in October 2008 and includes an organizational chart and position descriptions that assign emergency management functions to departments and agencies. It is believed that this version of the plan represents one of the most comprehensive public health emergency plans now in place in an academic setting.

The UI pandemic plan is available at

Read the full University News Services release at


UI tubas team with Toys for Tots for Dec. 12 outdoor concert

The University of Iowa Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble will team up with "Toys for Tots" for the second year running when they present their annual "Holiday Tubas," a free performance at 12:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 12, on the front steps of the UI Old Capitol.

The music will be the usual fun mix of holiday favorites, including "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," "Jingle Bell Rock," and "Frosty the Snowman." And in addition to enjoying the unique sound of the tuba ensemble, audience members will be able to contribute toys to be collected at the concert and distributed to needy children in the community.

Read the full University News Services release at


Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity adjusts hours

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity will be closed during the lunch hour beginning Monday, Dec. 8.

The office will be closed between noon and 1 p.m. daily to allow ample time for staff to break for lunch. A secure drop box with a message pad has been installed outside of the office to receive correspondence. Those who wish to request a meeting or make an appointment with a staff member can do so by placing a message in the drop box during the lunch break. Telephone messages can be left at 319-335-0705 and 319-335-0798.

Lunch-hour appointments can be arranged in advance by phone or e-mail


Encourage grad students to apply for Weiss Dissertation Memorial Scholarship

Do you know a UI doctoral candidate whose dissertation focuses on issues pertaining to women? Encourage that person to apply for the Jane A. Weiss Dissertation Memorial Scholarship.

The Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) and the Women's Studies Department at The University of Iowa are accepting applications for the $2,000 scholarship, which will be awarded to a UI doctoral candidate whose dissertation meets the aforementioned focus and who has demonstrated commitment to women's issues through activism in the University or larger community.

Application materials must be received by Feb. 6, and are available at or
Graduate students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. The scholarship award is presented annually at the UI Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women, which will be held April 1. For more information, contact Rosemarie Scullion at 319-335-0322.


W-2 forms will be available on HR Self Service web site

Once again, the University of Iowa W-2 and/or 1042-S (for nonresident aliens) forms will be available on the HR Self Service web site ( The IRS allows for electronic delivery of W-2/1042-S forms if permission is given. To do this, select “Stop Paper Mailings” under the general section on the Personal tab on the HR Self Service site.  

The 2008 W-2/1042-S forms will be available mid- to late-January 2009, and by electing electronic delivery you will have access to your form approximately one week before the forms are mailed. For more information, refer to the Payroll Office web site,


Resources available for UI faculty, staff members impacted by flood

An emergency relief fund is available to help faculty, staff, and students recover from the floods.

Staff and faculty interested in applying for financial assistance from the UI Flood Relief Fund are encouraged to visit the UI Flood Assistance Request Page A Hawk ID and password are required to enter the site. Faculty and staff requesting financial support from the flood fund will be asked to schedule a confidential appointment to meet with an eligibility coordinator. Appointments can be scheduled by visiting the UI Flood Assistance Request Page or by calling 3UI-FUND (384-3863).

Additionally, a UI Flood Exchange web site,, has been created where members of the UI community can post messages seeking or offering assistance to one another.

For more flood-related resources, news, and information, visit the UI Flood Recovery web site


See what Learning and Development courses are right for you

UI Learning and Development, a unit of Organizational Effectiveness, provides professional development services to faculty and staff. There are many learning opportunities that will support your professional development and growth. Look for classroom instruction on leadership issues for managers, frontline supervisors, human resource professionals, and office professionals.

Check out the following links:

  • To see the latest online newsletter, with listings of current courses and seminars, visit
  • For registration information, log in at the UI Human Resources Self Service site at and click the “My Training” link to register for any available session. This tool will let you see the status and location of a class, get e-mail confirmations, withdraw from a class, check your course registration history, and even do online evaluations. Courses with a fee (Special Events, 7 Habits, Reframing Your Work) will use the printable registration form.
  • To visit Learning and Development's home page, go to



Research suggests lower costs result from streamlining corn seed supply chain

A group of University of Iowa business professors has developed a more efficient seed corn distribution system that would cut costs significantly for the seed industry.

The waste in the conventional system comes from a supply chain that delivers seed from producer to retailer to grower, according to Samuel Burer, associate professor of management sciences and Martha and Dennis Hesse Research Fellow in the Tippie College of Business. The distribution system, in place for decades, inadvertently encourages dealers to overorder seed from the production company, which leads to unnecessary costs all along the supply chain.

Burer, along with Timothy Lowe, Chester A. Phillips Professor of Operations Management, and Philip C. Jones, Clement T. and Sylvia H. Hanson Chair of Manufacturing Productivity, said the supply chain could become more efficient if retailers made better use of demand forecasts, and production companies could be more open to renegotiation so they don't ship too much seed.

Read the full University News Services release at


IEM within less than half percentage point in presidential race prediction

With all the votes counted, the Iowa Electronic Markets predicted the final vote count in this year's presidential election to within a half percentage point.

Prices on the IEM's Vote Share Market predicted that Barack Obama would receive 53.55 percent of the two-party presidential popular vote, and John McCain would receive 46.45. After the ballots were counted, Obama received 53.2 percent of the vote, and McCain received 46.8 percent, leaving an average error per contract of only .3 percent.

The Iowa Electronic Markets is operated by the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business as a real-money futures prediction market. Begun in 1988, the IEM is a research and teaching tool that has achieved an impressive prediction record, substantially superior to alternative mechanisms such as opinion polls. Such markets have been significantly more accurate than traditional tools in predicting outcomes ranging from political election results to movie box office receipts.

Read the full University News Services release at



Ingram named interim UI associate provost for undergraduate education

Beth Ingram, associate dean for undergraduate programs in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, has been named interim associate provost for undergraduate education and dean of the University College at The University of Iowa, effective Jan. 1. She assumes the responsibilities previously held by Tom Rocklin, who left the Office of the Provost in September 2008 to become interim vice president for student services and dean of students.

Ingram will oversee UI academic support services, including the Office of Admissions, the Office of the Registrar, the Academic Advising Center, the Office of Student Financial Aid, the Center for Teaching, and the Evaluation and Examination Service. She also will oversee the credit-generating units and programs that fall under the University College organizational unit, including the Honors Program, College Transition, Career Center programs, and study abroad.



  • Elizabeth McKray, 87, retired social work specialist I, Nov. 11 in Iowa City. (obit)
  • Mark Weiger, 49, associate professor, Nov. 12 in Iowa City. (obit)
  • Ellen Rhodes, 92, retired nursing unit clerk, Nov. 15 in Ankeny, Iowa. (obit)
  • Kenneth Jensen, 75, retired hospital maintenance manager, Nov. 26 in Iowa City. (obit)
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