Editorial: UI has had a rough year. Cut it some slack.

Editorial Board

The University of Iowa has had a rough year. 

We’re not sure, but it might have started when Cole Netten kicked a game-winning field goal against the Hawkeyes last year, winning the Cy-Hawk football game. 

Their confidence was shaken even more when Georges Niang then blew a stick-it-to-’em kiss at the Iowa fans as the Cyclones rolled into a basketball victory. 

Not long after, the Hawkeyes lost their president. 

Then they weren’t happy with the new one. 

And finally, the Iowa Legislature lowered their allowance for the year. 

We get it; it’s been rough for the Hawkeyes. 

So maybe the Board of Regents is cutting them some slack by not raising their tuition rates next semester and asking the Legislature for an extra $4.5 million to funnel to Iowa. Because maybe the Board thought they couldn’t handle the year without it. 

Of course they knew we could, cause we told them we could.

We, referring to students of Iowa State, as well as student at the University of Northern Iowa, told campus leaders we would be OK with a slight tuition increase this spring semester provided that the money somehow went toward alleviating the pressures that our 36,000 students — the seventh year in a row Iowa State has had record enrollment — have wrought.

So when the Board of Regents announced tuition numbers Wednesday, we weren’t surprised to see the spring 2016 undergraduate resident rate increase by $100 for Iowa State and Northern Iowa.

They knew we could handle it. But it’s been a rough year for the U of I.

Iowa students won’t see a tuition increase because at Wednesday’s board meeting, the Iowa Student Government president, on behalf of the student body, called for a tuition freeze for Iowa students, saying:

“When the spring semester tuition increase was announced, I received feedback from my peers that they were concerned about tuition increasing midyear. That extra $100 could mean a month’s worth of groceries, a quarter of a month’s rent or money for textbook rentals, a cost that’s consistently increasing.”

Poor, poor Iowa students.

We’re not sure when Iowa students became poorer than ISU or UNI students. 

We have groceries to buy. We have rent to pay. Textbooks are just as expensive for us.

But maybe we should cut Iowa students some slack. They’ve had a bit of a bumpy road this year. 

For one, their president left them, and they aren’t too big of a fan of the new head Hawkeye, a businessman the Board of Regents selected last week to be the university’s 21st president.

The Iowa Faculty Senate then issued a vote of no confidence in the Board of Regents, which basically is a statement or vote that says a person or group in a superior position is no longer deemed fit to keep that position. The Iowa undergraduate and graduate student governments followed suit later that night.

The student body then turned around the next day to ask for a tuition freeze, which they were granted.

What’s more is that prior to the presidential search the board this summer hoped the Iowa Legislature would approve a performance-based funding model that would essentially reward state schools with more in-state students — such as Northern Iowa and Iowa State — and would therefore funnel funds away from Iowa.

The Legislature shot that down. But the regents pushed a similar funding model that would still shortcut Iowa.

You could imagine the Hawkeyes weren’t too keen on that idea.

Then, after an uproar from different university communities regarding the new presidential selection, the Board of Regents unanimously approved giving Iowa an extra $4.5 million in increased appropriations in its new legislative request, which sends a mixed message.

The students are saying the university can afford not to raise tuition, which would have given the university an additional $1.2 to $1.4 million.

But the university says it needs four times  — the $4.5 million from the legislature — more than an increase in tuition would have granted it.

It’s in such a rut it had to hire a businessman to claw its way out, or so says the Board of Regents.

Such a rut that it could almost make us feel bad when we run over its football team Saturday.