Read back issues
Bridges: Designing, Building, Preserving
Celebrating 125 Years
Doing More with Less
Ask an Expert: Traveling Abroad
Return to Sender
Software for the Real World
When in Rome
More with Less (return to top)
Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack’s reduction of Iowa State’s annual appropriation
by 2.5 percent ($5.8 million) due to shortfalls in the state’s tax
collections, combined with the impacts of a tuition income shortfall ($1.5
million) and a shortfall in reimbursement costs associated with large
research contracts ($1 million), resulted in an announcement by ISU President
Gregory Geoffroy in early November that a total of $8.3 million will be
trimmed from the university’s current fiscal year budget.
As the university works through the latest rounds of budget cuts, Geoffroy
said that every effort would be made to minimize the impact of the cuts
The university has experienced the loss of more than $63 million in state
appropriations since 2001. The current fiscal year appropriation is $227
million, less than the university’s appropriation for 1996-97. During
that time, enrollment has increased by nearly 2,500
“Through previous budget cuts, we have maintained our focus on meeting
the needs of students,” Geoffroy said. “And we will continue
to make that our highest priority, but that requires cutting other university
services – all of which are important to the people of Iowa. I regret
we have no choice but to make these reductions if we are to maintain the
excellence of our educational programs.”
Meanwhile, Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost Ben Allen said
a review of the organization of academic units would be conducted, with
a possible end result of academic units and/or colleges being combined.
A complete list of budget cuts is available online.
an Expert: Traveling Abroad (return to top)
Our expert is Jan Breitman, travel director for the ISU Alumni Association.
How safe is international travel today?
It’s really very safe. Just use common sense and don’t plan
to travel to countries where there is active terrorism or war.
What about airline security? How has it changed since the Sept. 11 attacks,
and how has that affected air travel?
Airline security is much tighter today. There are more baggage searches,
which make travel less convenient perhaps, but much safer. To get through
security, bring as little carry-on luggage as possible, and don’t
pack any of the items that could cause alarm, such as duct tape, scissors,
or nail files.
Do I really need to get to the airport two hours
prior to my flight? That seems awfully early.
A: It often doesn’t take two hours, but sometimes it’s necessary
to allow that much time to get through security, especially in major airports.
Also, flights have been cut back, so be prepared for a full flight when
you travel overseas. If you’re not there early, the airlines can
give away your seats.
How can I get the best deals on airfare?
There are lots of Internet sites out there that offer bargain flights,
especially last-minute deals. But before you buy, be sure you’re
really getting a bargain, and get written confirmation from the company.
Also, traveling off-season reduces airfare and hotel costs. In Europe,
November through May is considered the off-season, except for the holidays.
And you can get good off-season bargains on tropical destinations during
Which is better, independent or group travel?
It’s a matter of preference. When you travel with a group, you’ll
be with people you know and may have things in common with. Group travel
is hassle-free: Everything is planned for you. You don’t have to
concerned about tours, hotels, or carrying your own
luggage. There’s always someone else worrying about the details
and always a tour guide who knows the
travel can be less expensive, and you can determine where you want to
go and how much time you want to spend there. It’s much more flexible,
but you have the responsibility of organizing and planning the whole tour.
You might also find you have to stand in more lines as an independent
traveler than you would if you were part of a group.
What’s the best way to deal with money? Are travelers’ checks
still the best way to go?
Not anymore. I think it’s best to use your ATM card. You’ll
get a better exchange rate, and it’s really simple. You can also
use credit cards. And the euro has made it easier to travel in Europe
because about a dozen countries use the same currency.
You’ve traveled to more than 30 countries. Give us some insider’s
advice on international travel.
Most people make the mistake of bringing too many clothes. Don’t
think you have to wear something new every day; just mix and match and
• Make a copy of your passport and put it in your
• If you plan to rent a car, be sure you have an
international drivers license.
• Get a guidebook for the country you’re going to and
familiarize yourself with the local customs. I person- ally like the “Eyewitness
Travel” series, but your local bookstore will have a variety of
different travel guides from which to choose.
• Take a long-distance phone card.
• Buy travel insurance – the peace of mind is well
worth the cost.
The ISU Alumni Association has sponsored a travel program for its members
since 1972. Breitman has directed the program since 1991.
Return to Sender (return
A birthday card that arrived 60 years late had connections to Iowa State
In April 1943, Evangeline Maxwell sent a birthday card to her husband,
Daniel, at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri, where he was stationed during
World War II. It never arrived.
Recently the long-forgotten card was found at the U.S. Post Office in
Springfield, Mo., and postal officials began to search for the letter’s
intended owner. It was a journey that would bring them to Iowa State.
The card was addressed to Sgt. Daniel H. Maxwell.
The Springfield Post Office contacted Ft. Leonard Wood, who joined in
the search. Their detective work led them to an Internet site –
database of the Plaza of Heroines, located at Iowa State’s Catt
Hall. The Plaza contains more than 3,500 bricks sponsored by individuals
honoring women who have influenced their lives. Each brick is recorded
on the Web, and one of the bricks recognizes Evangeline Maxwell. Maxwell,
a 1939 ISU home economics education graduate, was honored by her daughter,
Denise Maxwell (’79 journalism).
Iowa State officials contacted Denise, and the long-lost letter was soon
on its way to her father – 60 years late.
Evangeline Maxwell died in March 2003, and her husband, a retired postmaster
from Spencer, Iowa, had relocated to Texas.
Denise says the arrival of the birthday card was “quite an event”
for her family.
“In a period of mourning my mother’s passing, the
letter has been a powerful re-connection with her.”
on the Web on the College
of Liberal Arts and Sciences Web site
for the Real World (return to top)
EDS, a global outsourcing services company, this fall donated a $282
million in-kind software grant that will prepare Iowa State engineering
graduates to more quickly and productively enter the corporate world.
EDS PLM Solutions provided Iowa State with industry-leading software tools
for product lifecycle management (PLM). The in-kind grant is the largest
in ISU history.
The software will allow students to gain practical experience with the
full range of PLM technologies, including computer-aided design, computer-aided
manufacturing, computer-aided engineering, visualization, digital manufacturing,
collaboration, product data management, and engineering process management.
James Oliver, associate professor of mechanical engineering, worked with
EDS PLM Solutions and the ISU Foundation to secure the grant. Oliver characterized
the software as a “concept-to-completion solution,” meaning
that it can be used to create products and manage the product lifecycle
from concept through design, analysis, testing, manufacturing, service
“Iowa State students will have the same computer tools used by contemporary
engineers in Fortune 100 companies such as General Motors, Ford, Lockheed
Martin, Deere & Company, and Boeing,” Oliver said. “This
grant will allow us to build entire programs around state-of-the-art software,
the tools our students will use to make a living.”
in Rome (return to top)
For 12 years, ISU students from the College of Design have immersed themselves
in the culture and history of Rome, taking courses on such topics as art
history and Italian language, and traveling throughout the region on extended
College of Design Rome Studio has become a “non-stop beehive of
creative activity for Iowa State students” according to art history
professor John Cunnally.
Each semester, at least three College of Design faculty take up residence
in Rome to teach the courses, aided by a pool of local scholars and practitioners.
“It’s like a dream to be able to introduce students to the
great masters, letting them see and study these masterpieces firsthand
instead of from books,” said Brenda Jones, associate professor of
art and design.
For 10 days in the summer, alumni join the students and faculty for an
in-depth study of the historical sites of Rome. Last summer, 15 alumni
participated in the Rome study tour, led by Cunnally and organized by
the Alumni Association and the College of Design Rome Studio. Mornings
were spent attending lectures, followed by guided tours of the lecture
sites. The study tour will be repeated this summer, May 24-June 4, 2004.
The Rome Program is directed by Patricia Osmond
more information about the Rome study tour for alumni, visit
our travel site, or call Jan Breitman at (515) 294-6526.
(return to top)
at the top
Four of Iowa State’s eight colleges are undergoing
changes in top management. Searches are currently underway to replace
Liberal Arts and Sciences dean Peter Rabideau, who left Iowa State in
August, and Veterinary Medicine dean Norm Cheville and Engineering dean
Jim Melsa, who will both retire in June. A search has been halted to identify
a new dean of Family and Consumer Sciences until a study of the university’s
academic structure can be completed. We’ll let you know how it all
Atanasoff legacy continues
An estate gift from John Atanasoff II will enhance Iowa
State’s academic programs through an endowed faculty position, fellowships,
or scholarships. The John V. Atanasoff Family Academic Endowment was announced
during Iowa State’s International Symposium on Modern Computing,
held last fall in recognition of the 100th anniversary of John Vincent
50 years of diversity
State is celebrating a yearlong observation of the 50th anniversary of
the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown vs. Board of Education. The
1954 ruling ended racial segregation in public schools and laid the groundwork
for the civil rights movement. “The last 50 years have shown that
diversity and education go hand in hand,” said ISU President Gregory
Geoffroy. Speakers and diversity discussions will highlight the
A plan to realign Knoll Road with Union Drive and create
a new south entrance to campus will temporarily close roads on central
campus this spring and summer. Knoll Road will be closed from mid-March
to mid-July. Union Drive immediately east of the Memorial Union will be
closed following Veishea through mid-August. The MU parking ramp will
remain accessible from Lincoln Way throughout the project; the east exit
will close temporarily, with ramp exits allowed only north onto Union
Water, water everywhere
Hundreds of gallons of water poured into the southwest
end of Reiman Gardens Nov. 16, causing thousands of dollars of damage
to the Marge Hunziker House, Lake Helen, walking paths, outdoor garden
areas, and irrigation and drainage systems. The flood occurred when a
city water main burst. Exact damages have yet to be calculated.