May 26 update from the dean

CATEGORIES: Announcements

Dear LAS faculty and staff,

Allow me to wish you an official welcome to summer at Iowa State University. Despite the current disrupted state, I hope you all found some time to relax during the holiday.

President Wintersteen and the numerous ISU planning committees and working groups already kicked off the summer with the first phase of gradually increasing operations on campus. As part of the planning phase, last week University Human Resources released initial guidelines to help colleges and other administrative units plan for returning to campus.

Beginning June 1, department chairs and other supervisors will begin developing plans for a safe return, initially for faculty and staff who have a demonstrated need to return to campus, and eventually for others. To return to campus, employees need to receive approval from their supervisor, and their workspace must be addressed for safety.

Department chairs or other administrative unit leadership will reach out to supervisors in their units to coordinate local plan development. If you work in a building shared with other departments or programs, individual unit plans need to be integrated into a building plan to ensure everyone is respectful of everyone else’s safety. Since our goal is an integrated process, please do not order equipment or schedule workspace modifications until a comprehensive department or building plan is in place.

As we create these plans, remember this will be a gradual process. Employees will have at least two weeks to prepare before returning to campus, and we will not sacrifice safety in a rush to return. If you have health concerns that may prevent a return to campus, please contact Andrea Little in University Human Resources:

In the meantime, LAS continues to advance. I’d like to send a special thank you to faculty and staff in the college that followed up with LAS students who were not yet registered to return to Iowa State in the fall. Your extra efforts and compassion have truly made a difference in our students’ academic future. Please continue to reach out to students in order to encourage them to stay on track with their education.

I’d also like to highlight the resilience of our students. Geology graduate Gabbie Ledesma was asked to co-present right after graduation at the Geological Society of America’s North Central Section annual meeting on May 15. While she didn’t get the in-person conference experience, she produced and delivered an impressive video about her most recent undergraduate research.

And I’d like to thank all of you for your continued good work, your adaptability and your fortitude. I know there are many demands on your time right now, and yet we are still moving forward together.

Here is Micah, in this photo from last week as she helped me prepare for a meeting with the LAS Faculty Senate Caucus – while her buddy Benny goofed off and watched birds.

Micah on the desk in front of monitor and another cat in background in the window

With my best wishes,