Branstad endorses regents budget, performance-based funding


Tiffany Herring/Iowa State Daily

Gov. Terry Branstad speaks at at an early voting rally at Alpha Gamma Rho on Oct. 11. The Branstad-Reynolds team and other Iowa Republican candidates spoke at the event.

Danielle Ferguson

The Iowa Board of Regents released a “thank you Gov. Terry Branstad” for proposing a budget that would allow the board to freeze tuition for resident undergrads for a third year. 

“This is a historic budget proposal that allows us to accomplish something that’s never been done before,” said Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter. “Freezing tuition for three years in [a] row provides real and tangible savings for Iowa families.”

The governor also endorsed the performance based funding model, a model that allocates state money to schools that are educating in-state students. The state’s funding to the three regent universities now is distributed as: 

  • University of Iowa: 46 percent
  • Iowa State: 36 percent
  • University of Northern Iowa: 18 percent

The new funding model would reallocate state funds to follow in-state students, making the distribution: 

  • University of Iowa: 37 percent
  • Iowa State: 40 percent
  • University of Northern Iowa: 22 percent

The board suggested a three-year implementation plan that would limit the reallocation to 2 percent of a school’s operating revenues each year: this would be about $12.9 million moving from Iowa to the other two public universities. 

The board sent a letter to the general assembly in hopes the assembly would adopt the proposed budget, which supports the funding model.

The board’s budget request includes a supplemental $12.9 million to backfill the University of Iowa.

“This board knows and understands the reason we voted for performance funding is that equitable financing and funding of our public universities,” Rastetter said at the Dec. 3 board meeting. “Our legislative request is going to be a little over 4.1 percent of significant new dollars to make sure all three universities are well funded.” 

The board’s release also stated the intention to “ensure the University of Iowa is held harmless in this transition.”