Metro Briefs

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 25, 2014 5:00 AM

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New dorm to be named after Petersen

The new University of Iowa dormitory will be named the Mary Louise Petersen Residence Hall after being approved by the state Board of Regents Thursday.

In addition, the new residential learning commons will be named after Theodore M. “Ted” Rehder.

Petersen graduated from the UI College of Education in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in science education. She was appointed to the Board of Regents in 1969.

Petersen served as the regent president from 1973-1981. She also served as a member of the UI Foundation Board of Directors from 1991-2006. 

UI President Sally Mason said naming the dormitory after Petersen will be an excellent way to honor Petersen for her years of service.

Redher was the first director of Dormitories and Dining at the UI, a position he held for 30 years until he retired in 1976.

During his time at the UI, the university added five new residence halls — Daum, Burge, Stanley, Rienow, and Slater.

The new dorm will house 501 students and will include a student dining sports grill.

Officials expect it to be completed by May 2015.

UI receives approval for capital improvements

The regents approved a list of capital improvements for the UI on Thursday.

The UI is authorized to proceed with planning for the Power Plant air-regulation-compliance project. The estimated cost is $9 million.

The project will update the plant to meet the new federal emissions requirements for the steam generating boilers at the Power Plant. The regulations require compliance by January 2016.

The UI Hospitals and Clinics received approval of the design and budget for the pediatric cardiac catheterization relocation and expansion.

In addition to those updates, the university received approval for the design and budget for the UIHC Centralized Emergency Power Generation Facility Project.

This will provide emergency power service to the main UIHC campus. It will utilize a network of fiber-optic cables. The emergency generator will tested once per month for one to ensure it is functioning properly, and officials said it will not be tested during operating hours.

Officials expect these projects to cost approximately $34.3 million.

The university also received approval for upgrades to the Oakdale Chilled Water Plant.  The upgrades will improve reliability of chilled water at the UI research campus by extending chilled water lines; officials expect the project to cost approximately $5.6 million.

UI to purchase pediatrician practices

University of Iowa officials received regent approval to purchase three pediatricians’ buildings Tuesday.

The buildings and their adjacent parking lots, 605 and 615 E. Jefferson St. and 2591 and 2593 Holiday Road, Coralville, are the sites of Pediatric Associates of Iowa City and Coralville.

UI Health Care will purchase the clinical practices to develop the pediatric-health system, allowing UI Health Care to further develop in the area.

The physicians will continue to work at their locations under the name of Pediatric Associates of UI Children’s Hospital.

Officials expect the purchase of both the buildings and their adjacent parking lots to be a total of $4.11 million.

Regents select leaders

The state Board of Regents voted to re-elect President Bruce Rastetter to another term. The board also re-elected the President Pro Tem Katie Mullholland to her second term.

Rastetter said his goals for the second term are similar to his first. He said he hopes to continue to work with the Legislature to make college affordable for students, as well as remain focused on the goals of the ongoing efficiency study.

The regent president and president pro tem will start their second terms on May 1 and will serve for another two years, according to Iowa Administrative Rules.

— by Ian Murphy

Iowa Public Radio gets more funding

Iowa Public Radio will receive additional funding this year from the state Board of Regents.

The regents voted unanimously to increase funding for the public radio back to the level of funding Iowa Public Radio received in fiscal 2013.

Iowa Public Radio hopes to become financially independent by the fiscal 2017, but it had administrative issues, resulting in the appointment of a new director and a new ambassador to the regents.

New ambassador Mary Kramer said Iowa Public Radio has been on the air for approximately 100 years, but that the lack of leadership from the former director led to poor implementation of the strategic plan, which is why the organization needs more funding.

The plan was to reduce regent funding to Iowa Public Radio by 10 percent each year, but the funding will increase this year and be evaluated later. 

“I certainly am supportive of this,” said Regent Robert Downer. “I think that public radio has done a great job.”

Regent President Bruce Rastetter agreed.

“Having leadership in the executive director is critical,” he said. “I applaud your efforts in making sure this gets back on track.”

— by Ian Murphy

Senate passes limited drug measure

The Iowa Senate passed a limited measure to allow patients who are diagnosed with severe cases of epilepsy on Thursday.

The senate passed 36 to12 a bill, which would allow patients who have tried traditional treatments for epilepsy, but the treatment was unable to prevent, significantly improve or traditional medicine resulted in harmful side effects for uncontrolled seizures.

The cannaibdiol would have to come from outside the state and would have to be recommended for oral or transdermal delivery.

Patients who would fit the criteria outlined in the bill would have to receive a written recommendation from a board-certified neurologist.

While the neurologist could be from outside of Iowa the law only applies to patients who are permanent residents in the state. The patient would also need to have been treated for at least six months and for have tried other alternative treatments.

If these conditions were met, the department of public health would approve the department of transportation issuing a cannabidol registration card for someone who is at least 18-years-old, submits an application and a written statement signed by a neurologist.

A primary care giver, including those who care for minors, could also apply for the classification.

— By Brent Griffiths 

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