ISU proposes nursing degree to Regents, two centers to close

Maggie Curry

The Iowa Board of Regents convened in Cedar Falls on June 7 for a regular monthly meeting. Several committees met throughout the day before a full regent meeting Thursday. Here’s what you need to know:

 Financial aid reports from 2015-16, p. 1
ISU to add Bachelor of Science in Nursing, p. 2
Two Iowa State centers slated to close, p. 3
Tuition increase to be approved Thursday, p. 4
Presidential search update to come Thursday, p. 5

Financial aid reports from 2015-16

A presentation to the Academic and Student Affairs Committee on Student Financial Aid from 2015-2016 revealed that Iowa State gives the most financial aid for undergraduate students of the three regent universities at $81.4 million, compared to Iowa’s $75.4 million and UNI’s $13.2 million.

  • $184 billion went to undergraduates in general from multiple sources, including state, federal and private loans and grants. The U.S. average award was $14,460, with the average award from Regents at $13,321. The average cost for students was $19,700.
  • Federal money to students has been trending downward over time, while aid from the institutions has been increasing.
  • The conversation also addressed concerns from the federal budget on the loss of the work-study and delayed-interest programs on federal loans. Iowa State University covers 40% of wages with 60% coming from the federal government.
  • $412 million in federal loans was distributed to students in 2015-2016. Most of the $60 million in state aid is not available to students at regent universities, according to the presentation.
  • 3.1% of students at regent universities defaulted on their loans.

Iowa State may add a new bachelor’s degree for continued education in nursing. Find more on the next page.

ISU to add Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Iowa State may have a new program to accredit a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. If approved in August, the program hopes to eventually accommodate 50 nursing students in fall 2018 and 200 students once established.

Virginia Wangerin, an assistant clinical professor of nursing, was chosen to lead the program. Wangerin has a master’s degree in nursing from Drake University, a doctorate in higher education from Iowa State and multiple years of nurse-education experience.

Wangerin discussed Iowa State’s lack of health career academic paths, like nursing, medical and physical therapy programs, in a previous interview.

The program is intended for those who are looking to advance their degree past the associate level and has received support from central Iowan community colleges.

“We’re not looking to replace those programs,” Wangerin told the Regents.

Wangerin shared statistics that every nurse with a bachelors degree decreases negative events in health care, and that rural areas have limited opportunities and the lowest numbers of nurses with bachelors degrees.

The Iowa State University surrounding research and programs adds to what nursing students at Iowa State could receive, including a child care center, health centers and research in Alzheimers. 

“Iowa State hasn’t focused on direct health careers … [which are] a large part of the economy,” Wangerin said in a previous interview with the Daily.

The Des Moines Area Community College offers an associate nursing program, so Iowa State would offer extended nursing education to that program. The proposal notes that the DMACC program graduates 150-200 registered nurses each year, many of whom find work in the Des Moines metro area or central Iowa.

“Nursing students are expected to continue their education and get a baccalaureate degree,” Wangerin said previously. “Right now, there isn’t anywhere nearby that can satisfy that demand.”

Instead, nursing students typically go to the University of Iowa, removing their skills from the central Iowa community. Iowa State’s program would not be as extensive as Iowa’s, but the University of Iowa program is online, not in person.

Iowa State already has renowned research programs in dietetics and nutrition sciences. The nursing program will take advantages of these resources to better prepare nurses to improve the quality of life of patients and care for the chronically ill. The proposed costs are $100,000 in the first year, with $250,000 a year once the program is established.

Two Iowa State centers are up for closure in August. Find more on the next page.

Two Iowa State centers slated to close

The Academic and Student Affairs Committee, led by Regent Nancy Boettger, will recommend to the full board in August to close the Integrated Animal Genomics Center, which operated from 2002 to 2012. Iowa State University Provost Jonathan Wickert said the center was a collaborative effort between faculty of multiple colleges. The goal of the center was to fund ideas related to animal genetic research on campus. Grant funding was not maintained, so the center was recently supported by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine.

“From time to time we start new research centers to respond to new statewide and national needs,” Wickert said. “Likewise, we eliminate centers.”

Since the center does not have facilities, there are no closing costs.

The Regents will also recommend to close the Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center. MATRIC was developed to improve the importance of trade within the Midwest, but operations ceased with loss of funding.

Wickert said it was established by the board in 1987, with the primary source of funding for MATRIC a grant through the Federal Department of Agriculture. Congress put a ban on the funding in 2011.


Tuition increases for 2017-18 are expected to be approved Thursday. Find more on the next page.


Tuition increase to be approved Thursday 

Tuition rates up for approval by the Regents would increase an additional $216 dollars for each student at Iowa State University. The increase is to improve the original “two and two” tuition system, which suggested a two percent increase every two years accompanied by a two percent increase in state appropriations. With funding cuts from the state, the Regents looked to raise tuition to cover the loss. A Tuition Task Force will also be formed to look at long-term tuition options.

Student Government President Cody West had previously spoken to the Regents, addressing the fact that Iowa State being the lowest tuition in its peer group was not an excuse to raise tuition continuously.

“If anything it should be a point of pride that we strive to protect,” West said.

West was in support of the flat dollar increase to all students.

“We believe this sends a powerful message to the State legislature that we are no longer going to give the break to resident students if our state government continues to show that higher education is not a priority,” West said. “It is, however, overlooked how much this will truly impact Iowa State students in the fall.”

West was talking specifically about this increase coming on top of the 2 percent increase in tuition that was approved last December.

“That, coupled with new differential tuition for a number of programs and the second phase of the international tuition increase, makes this increase unbearable for some,” West said. “Some classifications could face up to a 15% increase from last semester.”

Read more on how we got here in our previous article.

Updates on the search for Iowa State’s next president are expected Thursday. Find more on the next page.

Presidential search update to come Thursday

The Iowa State University Presidential Search Committee met June 5 to establish a timeline for choosing the next President of Iowa State University. AGB Search was chosen in May to assist in finding candidates. Over the next week, the committee will hold listening sessions in the community.

Right now, semifinalists are set to be selected mid-September, with on-campus visits and a final decision made in October.

The committee is co-chaired by Luis Rico-Gutierrez, Dean of the College of Design, and includes eight faculty members, two students, one staff member and representatives from the alumni association, ISU Foundation and Ames community. Regents Patty Cownie, Sherry Bates, Milt Dakovich and Nancy Boettger also will serve on the committee, with board staff members Bob Donley (chief executive) and Mark Braun (chief operating officer) serving in ex-officio roles, according to the official search website. 

There are four open forums to hear from the general public on preferred qualifications for the next president of Iowa State University.

The open forums, which anyone can attend to make comments, are scheduled for:

Monday, June 12 at 1:30 p.m.

Pioneer Room, Memorial Union, Iowa State University campus

Monday, June 12 at 5:30 p.m.

Campanile Room, Memorial Union, Iowa State University campus

Tuesday, June 13 at 8:30 a.m.

Pioneer Room, Memorial Union, Iowa State University campus

Tuesday, June 13 at noon

Design on Main, 203 Main Street, Ames, Iowa

For those who cannot attend a forum but would like to provide input on desired candidate characteristics and qualifications, comments may be emailed to [email protected] no later than June 19.