Iowa State president holds open forum for LAS


Photo: David Derong/Iowa State Daily

President Gregory Geoffroy addresses faculty members of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on Monday in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union. Geoffroy discussed increases in enrollment and the state of next year’s budget.

Thane Himes

ISU President Gregory Geoffroy and Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Hoffman spoke to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on Monday to discuss the college’s upcoming projects and budget.

“With the new addition of Hach Hall, we’re also very pleased to announce Troxel Hall, a new building that’s in the works, dedicated to sciences,” Geoffroy said. “We’re hoping to have it ready as soon as next year.”

Hoffman said the university will continue to renovate older buildings, including parts of Coover Hall.

“Students have been requesting outlets for their laptops. We can’t guarantee if and where that’s going to happen, but it’s something we’re looking into,” Hoffman said.

But Geoffroy said the most exciting upcoming project is Campustown’s renovation.

“We’re working very closely with the city of Ames, and we hope to work together to give Campustown a newer atmosphere,” Geoffroy said.

Geoffroy went on to discuss last year’s 10 percent cut in the college’s budget.

“I’m happy to say that this year, it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll need to talk about midterm budget cuts,” Geoffroy said. “As for next year, I’m optimistic we’ll be OK.”

Geoffroy said record student enrollment has helped to keep the budget from dropping.

“Currently, we are at a record high of 28,682 students attending the university, with a dramatic growth in non-residential students. On top of that, more freshman students attend ISU than the University of Iowa and UNI,” Geoffroy said.

Geoffroy also attributed the current financial stability to the large amount of active alumni who frequently donate to the university, as well as extremely successful efforts and programs to raise sponsored funding for LAS.

There have been some economic obstacles, however.

“In the last couple of years, financial support from the state has gone down 22 percent,” Geoffroy said. “In other states, the state sets aside a pool of taxpayer money to help students attend public universities. In Iowa, however, the taxpayer pool only supports students attending private colleges.”

Unlike the rest of the university, the College of Business has seen a 6 percent drop in enrollment this year.

“We’re not 100 percent sure why that is yet, but it’s possible that some students are considering business a risky avenue because of the economy or that they have seen the rise in tuition to that particular college,” Geoffroy said.

Many faculty present at the forum were also concerned about their future salaries. They have gone without raises for the past two years.

“At this point, all I can say is that it’s a very high priority,” Geoffroy said. “We’re not sure where the money will come from yet, but we are doing everything in our power to make it happen.”