AMES, Iowa- The Iowa Board of Regents today heard from Universities and Schools under Regent authority on how they would handle mid-year state budget reductions.
The cuts became a necessity in the Iowa Statehouse due to tax revenues falling sharply. Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI are asked to cut a total of $18 million dollars. $8 million at Iowa, and Iowa State, $2 million at UNI.
“So we’re going to look at this from a number of perspectives, the first strategy is deferred maintenance and capital improvement,” said ISU President Steven Leath. “We’re going to try to absorb the majority of the reduction 4.7 million or 60% of the total reduction, out of deferred maintenance, and delaying capital projects.”
Leath said that would also mean a planned makeover for the Iowa State Center would be delayed.
“In order to close this deficit we have decided to end some be very clear non-merit, non-need, non-financial need based scholarships,” said University of Iowa President, Bruce Harreld. “We started sharing that news and will continue over the next few days with 2440 resident undergraduate students.”
Harreld did commit that when dollars are restored to the U of I, they would commit “each and every additional dollar above and beyond our new base of $224 million dollars toward scholarships for these resident students.”
“Anytime reductions have to happen mid-stream, especially this late in the stream, you have relatively limited possibilities for making those reductions,” said Northern Iowa President, Mark Nook. “We will be holding a few select positions open, we’re also holding some, we will fill them eventually, but we hold them for a little while.”
The Regents also on a regular basis recognize employees who are retiring or leaving the state. At this meeting the Regents recognized Governor Terry Branstad, who is leaving to accept an appointment as United States Ambassador to China. Regent President Bruce Rastetter read a proclamation, though the Governor was not present.
“And whereas his tireless effort and leadership with the Legislature and the Board of Regents on securing state funding which recently allowed for a 21/2 yer tuition freeze for in state undergraduate students,” read Rastetter. “The directly led enhanced access affordability, and reduced student debt.”