Metro briefs

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 15, 2014 5:00 AM

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Regents to mull old water plant demolition

A new residence hall could take one step further towards fruition.

At next week’s state Board of Regents meeting in Iowa City, University of Iowa officials will propose demolishing the city’s former water plant, located near North Hall and the North Campus parking ramp.

Officials have designated the site as the home of a new residence hall. It has sat vacant since the UI acquired it in 2003.

The estimated cost of the demolition is $1 million to $1.5 million and would be funded by income from UI’s treasurer’s temporary investments, which has funded capital projects in the past.

The UI has consulted the city of Iowa City about the demolition.

The regents’ Property and Facilities Committee will consider recommending that the regents approve the demolition next week.

Wisconsin officials to demonstrate nontraditional plan

A Wisconsin idea could soon make its way to Iowa universities.

At the Oct. 22 regents’ meeting in Iowa City, they will hold a video conference regarding the University of Wisconsin system’s Flexible Option Program.

The program is designed for working adults and other nontraditional students. It awards degrees to students without fully adhering to credit hours or academic years.

Instead, students are self-paced and attain credit by demonstrating they have mastered certain skills, including through off-campus experience such as through work or military.

Aaron Brower, interim chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and Extension, will provide the presentation.

Regents to receive intervention presentation

Iowa officials will soon learn about something required of all University of Iowa freshmen.

Making Achievement Possible Works is a survey completed by UI first-year students within three to five weeks of enrollment. It measures how well students have adjusted to college and identifies those who may be in need of intervention by university officials.

Mirra Anson and Danielle Martinez of the campus leadership team for the program and graduate assistant Ben Walizer will provide a presentation. They will give an overview of the program and share data from this year and previous years.

There are 140 colleges and universities that contract with Educational Benchmarking Inc. to provide the survey. The UI pays $63,000 a year for it.

UI to propose new institute

University of Iowa officials will request creation of a new institute.

At next week’s state Board of Regents meeting, regents will hear a presentation about a proposed Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy in the College of Public Health.

According to the proposal, the institute would “promote development, implementation, and application of cutting-edge public-health research to address grand challenges in population health.”

Officials plan to use philanthropy dollars and grants to sustain the institute. In fiscal 2016, its first year should it be approved, $285,000 would come from college reallocations, $1.7 million would come from grants, and $52,000 would come from philanthropy.

Members of the regents’  Education and Student Affairs Committee will decide whether to recommend the institute for full approval by the regents.

— by Chris Higgins

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