DES MOINES, Iowa -- We're learning more about the proposed merger between the AIB College of Business and the University of Iowa. Thursday we discovered several discrepancies between what AIB President Nancy Williams told students and the press, and what she shared with her board of trustees behind closed doors.
Friday we received a copy of the memorandum of understanding between AIB and the University of Iowa. It's basically an agreement between the two schools to negotiate in good faith for the possible merger.
According to the document, the deal will not go through unless it is, "Approved by the board of trustees of AIB and the Iowa Board of Regents."
We know from confidential meeting minutes we obtained from AIB that trustees are on board with the plan. The minutes show AIB is struggling financially. The document shows board member Dick Rollin said, "This is an excellent opportunity to go out in glory on our terms before it becomes a crisis. In two years we may have to take the first deal to come along."
In terms of AIB's finances, during a Monday press conference, Williams assured us that the school is in good financial shape. "AIB College of Business is not seeking any kind of financial relief. In fact the college is virtually debt free."
But the meeting minutes say the college is "1.4 million dollars in debt" with "2-point-5 years of cash to fund things."
Tax records we obtained show a steady decline in revenue. For the fiscal year ending in August of 2011, AIB made $1.3 million. That fell by more than $1 million the next year to $336,000. The year after that, the last year that we have records for, the fiscal year ending in August of 2013, the school was operating $393,000 in the red.
Kyah Drake is a freshman at AIB. She says she would have never gone to AIB in the first place if she knew the business college was considering going out of business. "How can you give me a business degree when you can't run your business," she asks, "I would have gone somewhere way far away from AIB because I wouldn't have wanted my tuition money going there and I wouldn't have wanted to invest in a year of credits that are basically useless."
The University of Iowa says it will accept AIB students and honor any scholarships. But Drake says she may not want to transfer to the University of Iowa, and she says her credits won't transfer to any schools she wants to go to. With the semester ending in March, her mother says the lack of transparency by AIB leaves her leery about writing another check to the school.
"There's a lot more to this story than what the students, the professors are being told and the parents..,you know, we're writing a check and we know nothing," Kim Renaud says, "We have to watch the news to find something out."
View the tax records below:
View the Memorandum of Understanding below: