Regents, Leath discuss new tuition increase

Jake Dalbey

Monday marked the first official meeting of the Board of Regents to discuss the proposed additional tuition increase of 3 percent. This was a first reading for the Regents. Voting will begin in June. 

Mentioned during former Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter’s final address in April, the increase would work to improve the original “two and two” tuition system.

Created in September of 2016, the system called for a 2 percent increase in tuition each year along with a 2 percent increase in state appropriations.

During the April meeting of the Board of Regents, Rastetter vocalized his fears that the proposed system would no longer function under severe state budget cuts.

“I think the $30 million cut is something, after the cut in February, that will be hard for the universities to absorb,” Rastetter said. “Clearly the ‘2+2’ isn’t going to work, so we’ve asked the board office to come back and create a task force to engage stakeholder in Des Moines and Iowa.”

Under the new increase, added to the original 2 percent, Iowa State would increase tuition by $216 for undergraduate students. Across all the Regent universities the increase would look to generate $25.67 million in incremental revenue.

During previous Regent meetings, former Iowa State President Steven Leath also acknowledged the difficulties of finding the right tuition model.

“Investment in public higher education is an investment in a prosperous Iowa long term,” Leath said. “We are facing a very difficult budget challenge. The cut we are seeing now is very unfortunate.”

Funding for higher education in Iowa was cut by an $9.58 million in April of 2017, making the Regent’s appropriations $30.33 million less than originally estimated.

The increased tuition proposal was not voted on during the meeting, as it was still in it’s initial reading. Voting for the increase will begin during June meeting of the Board of Regents.