Board of Regents discusses tuition set-asides, budget at June meeting

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Aimee Burch

The Iowa Board of Regents announced Wednesday they aim to end the tuition set-aside program within the next five years.

The topic of the tuition set-aside program was brought before the board again after being discussed at the March 21 meeting. Tuition set-asides put tuition revenue aside for student financial aid. The program, which dates to the 1980s, lately has become the source of much public discourse, with critics saying students’ tuition dollars should not go toward another student or the money tends to go to those who do not need it.

In recent years, the board required regent universities such as Iowa State to set aside 15 percent of their revenue. The board recognized the need for a state program for Iowa students in need of financial assistance but believe there should be a different way to provide this aid.

“We do not want to take any steps backward for students in our state,” said board member David Miles.

The decision to end the program in the next five years was tempered by an impetus to do it right through refocusing and collecting money, as the board acknowledged the need to keep education accessible to all Iowans. The board also called upon university presidents to work with their respective foundations to accomplish this goal. The creation of a student financial aid committee was also discussed.

Also discussed at Wednesday’s meeting was a detailed look at the fiscal year 2013 budget. The allocations from the state legislature were recognized, and Iowa State brought forth news of increased revenue from the state and through tuition revenue.

Salaries for FY 2013 were a topic of discussion. While a formal approval will not occur until August, each school was asked to provide a budget overview. All non-organized professional and scientific salary policies were approved, as well as all faculty salary policies. An explanation of collective bargaining agreements also was presented to the board.