Issue: 33

COLLEGE NEWS

- Corn board sets research funding meeting

- Institute for sustainable ag education established

- 115 graduating students to attend reception

- Net gain of students coming from other colleges

- Deadlines & Reminders

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

- Consensus-making: What's the rush?

INFOGRAZING

- Institutional trust the key in times of crisis

EXTERNAL VOICES

- Managing a wealth of information

MARGINALIA

- A holiday story

C O L L E G E N E W S

CORN BOARD SETS RESEARCH FUNDING MEETING

The Iowa Corn Promotion Board invites College of Agriculture researchers

to a meeting on research funding. It will be held Friday, Jan.

5, 9-11:00 am in the Technology Transfer Theatre, Food Sciences

Building. ICPB representatives will discuss the priorities, process,

selection criteria and budgets for funding research projects.

Representatives from the National Corn Growers Association also

will be available to discuss national research priorities. If

you plan to attend, or want more information, call the ICPB at

86345 or 59242.

INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABLE AG EDUCATION ESTABLISHED

A $128,000 USDA Challenge Grant to ISU has established a regional

institute for undergraduate education in sustainable agriculture.

The institute is a partnership of ISU, the lead institution, and

universities in Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Michigan.

The three-year pilot project will draw upon the resources of universities,

farmers, agribusiness representatives, agricultural lenders and

others. Students will supplement courses at their own institutions

with the institute courses. For more information: Ricardo Salvador,

294-9595 (rjsalvad@iastate.edu); Gina McAndrews, 294-1360 (gina@iastate.edu);

or check out the World Wide Web home page at: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/departments/agronomy/nciss/nciss1.html

115 GRADUATING STUDENTS TO ATTEND RECEPTION

About 115 graduating students will participate in the College

of Agriculture convocation and reception Saturday in C.Y. Stephens

Auditorium. More than 700 students, friends and family members

are expected to attend. Charles Staudt, ag studies, will be the

student speaker. Approximately 190 agriculture students will graduate

this semester.

NET GAIN OF STUDENTS COMING FROM OTHER COLLEGES

As ISU students make decisions about majors and careers, they

sometimes change colleges. Last year, students transferring to

the College of Agriculture from other ISU colleges exceeded those

leaving. For the year that ended Sept. 30, the college had a net

gain of 80 students -- 249 transferred to agriculture from other

colleges while 169 left the college. The college has registered

a net gain in these student transfers within the university for

every year except one during the past 30 years.

DEADLINES & REMINDERS

Dec. 15: Nominations due for Louis Thompson Award for Outstanding

Teaching and College of Agriculture P&S and Merit awards,

121 Curtiss

Dec. 16: College convocation and ceremony for graduating students,

C.Y. Stephens Auditorium

Dec. 18: Promotion and tenure materials due, 122 Curtiss

Jan. 3: Foreign travel grant applications due, 122 Curtiss

C O M M U N I C A T I O N S K I O S K

CONSENSUS-MAKING: WHAT'S THE RUSH?

The faster a group moves toward consensus the less satisfied it'll

be with the result. Researchers at the University of Texas and

the University of Houston found that group consensus on a decision,

individual acceptance of the decision and member satisfaction

with the group were all higher when the decision was reached by

a "structured, conflict-enhancing dialectic approach"

that forced participants to hammer out differences, than when

it was reached by an approach meant to facilitate and speed the

consensus process. (R.L. Priem, D.A. Harrison, N.K. Muir, "Structured

Conflict and Consensus Outcomes in Group Decision Making,"

Journal of Management, 21:4, 1995)

I N F O G R A Z I N G

INSTITUTIONAL TRUST THE KEY IN TIMES OF CRISIS

"If you run a public company you cannot ignore the public.

Institutional trust is a lot more important than most people realize.

The operative word is trust . . . and whether people will take

one's words when one badly needs them to do so will depend on

how much confidence has been built in the organization over the

years before the crisis occurs." Jim Burke, CEO of Johnson

& Johnson during one of the great examples of crisis management

-- Johnson & Johnson's response to the series of deaths from

cyanide adulteration of Tylenol capsules. (Harvard Business Review,

November/December)

E X T E R N A L V O I C E S

MANAGING A WEALTH OF INFORMATION

"What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes

the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information

creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention

efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that

might consume it," says Nobel laureate economist Herbert

Simon. University of California-Berkeley Dean Hal Varian predicts

the emergence of "information managers" who provide

a value-added filtering process in sifting and managing the cornucopia

of information at our digital fingertips, to make it meaningful

to the rest of society. (Scientific American, September)

M A R G I N A L I A

A HOLIDAY STORY

The world's best chess players recently gathered in New York for

the finals of the International Chess Championship. The match

was held in the central hall of the convention center. As all

the contestants began to play, the hall was silent except for

the sounds of moving pieces and stopped timer clocks. Suddenly,

one contestant jumped to his feet and declared, "I AM THE

GREATEST CHESS PLAYER IN THE WORLD!" For a moment there was

stunned silence. Then the hall erupted in pandemonium as all the

other players began bragging. It must be Christmas -- when else

would you find chess nuts boasting in an open foyer? Happy holidays.

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