DES MOINES, Iowa -- While state funding cuts are causing the University of Iowa to make some difficult budget decisions, a University leader says closing the former AIB College of Business campus in Des Moines is a win-win. The University of Iowa will continue to offer classes in Des Moines, over at the John and Mary Pappajohn Educational Center downtown, but will close the former AIB campus; which is currently known as the Iowa Center for Higher Education.
In January 2015, the AIB College of Business Board of Trustees gifted AIB`s land and buildings to the University of Iowa.
"The AIB gift was a very generous gift," said Tom Rice, the Academic Director of both the University of Iowa John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center and the Iowa Center for Higher Education. "But, when we got onto that property and started to operate it, it became increasingly clear that it was just more space, a bigger campus than we needed to meet our education needs. It`s a large campus. There`s seven buildings. Some of those buildings are quite large. There`s a dormitory, a gymnasium, and they simply didn`t match our needs."
Rice says the decision to close and sell the campus is a win-win for the University and its students.
"By selling that property, we can cut back on our operating costs and that's money that can be used for our students," said Rice. "But more importantly, the terms of the gift held that when we, or if we, sell the campus, the proceeds go for scholarships for central Iowa students who are attending the University of Iowa, so students win there as well."
Rice says the former AIB campus was never really a good fit for UI.
"The property itself just, we just couldn't find a way to make that big a footprint meet our educational needs," said Rice. "That was a residential campus. It had a dorm. It was a campus with sports teams that had a gym and gym facilities and that was never what we were going to be or what we`re going to be in Des Moines."