BOR responds to midyear budget cuts


The snow storm that arrived unexpectedly on April 3 brought out some of the beauty around campus, such as the Campanile. 

Danielle Gehr

Iowa State will take on $5.4 million of the $10.9 million cuts made to the Board of Regents. 

At the Thursday Board of Regents meeting, the regents voted on how to disperse the midyear cut which exempts the University of Northern Iowa because of the high percentage of Iowans enrolled in the school.

Iowa State faculty and the Alliance for Iowa State have spoken out against the decision to exempt Northern Iowa from the cuts since Iowa has the most Iowan students enrolled with 20,000 Iowa students. 

The regents also had their first reading of the tuition increases for fall 2018 and spring 2019. The proposed tuition increase for Iowa State undergraduate students is $284 per year (3.8 percent). 

The University of Iowa are proposed to have the same tuition increases as well as take on $5.5 million of the midyear cuts. 

“We heard from a wide variety of constituents, both during our 2017 Tuition Task Force meetings and since, about the need to keep our institutions affordable and accessible,” said Board of Regents President Mike Richards. “However, our public universities need financial resources to continue to provide the top-quality education our students expect and deserve. I believe these rates strike a balance between providing additional resources and retaining affordability, while reflecting the uniqueness of each institution.  

“Only through a strong partnership of university efficiencies, state appropriations and reasonable tuition rates will our universities increase the quality and distinction Iowans expect from their public universities. I look forward to continuing the discussion of tuition and higher education resources at our April meeting.”  

A statement from the Alliance for Iowa State said the state has cut $35 million from Iowa State since 2001 — $17 million of that during the last two years.

“The state’s decision to take back promised funds with just a few weeks left in the academic year is especially difficult,” the statement said. “Most of the cuts will be absorbed through efficiencies and reallocations in order to minimize the impact on students; however, the state’s divestment in higher education has made tuition increases unavoidable.”

The statement also said the midyear cuts will leave Iowa State with a $200,000 shortfall. 

The Board of Regents released this statement from Executive Director Mark Braun on March 20: 

“All cuts are hard, but the Board of Regents understands the fiscal constraints the state is facing. We will work with our institutions to make reductions in ways that have as little of an effect on students as possible.

The board maintains its support for its appropriations request for FY2019, which includes $12 million in resident undergraduate financial aid. The state of Iowa ranks last in the nation in need-based financial aid to public university students.

We will work with the governor and general assembly to ensure Iowa public universities receive the level of funding that is needed to provide the quality education that our students deserve.”

Final decisions on tuition will be made at the next Board of Regents meeting June 6-7.