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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Oct. 29, 2008

Tuition and fees top regents agenda

by Anne Krapfl

Tuition at Iowa State for resident Iowans, both undergraduate and graduate, would go up 4.2 percent next year, under rates proposed to the state Board of Regents Oct. 29. Tuition for non-residents would go up 2.8 percent. Mandatory student fees -- which support services such as computers, health services, recreation services and student activities -- would go up a proposed 7 percent for undergraduates and 7.4 percent for graduate students.

So, for example, an undergraduate student from Iowa would pay $6,650 in combined tuition and fees next year, or 4.6 percent ($290) more than this year. An undergraduate student from out of state would pay $17,870, or $520 (3 percent) more than last year. Graduate students would pay a proposed $7,564 (resident) or $18,664 (non-resident) next year, increases of 4.5 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Regent Jack Evans questioned the relatively low percentage increase for out-of-state students. President Gregory Geoffroy said Iowa State doesn't want to hurt its ability to recruit out-of-state students.

"We're dependent on them to keep our enrollment levels where we think they ought to be," he said. "It's important that we not price them out of the possibility of coming to Iowa State."

For the last four years, the board has used the projected Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) as a guideline in reviewing proposed tuition and fee increases. The projected HEPI range for fiscal year 2010 is 4.2-5.6 percent. Regent David Miles sought, and received, assurance that the board is not bound to approve tuition and fee increases that fall within this range.

While lamenting the high level of debt some ISU students face at graduation, ISU Government of the Student Body president Daniel Fischer called the proposed tuition increases "a gracious compromise." He told the board there had been a high level of student input in drafting the proposed ISU tuition and fee rates.

The regents will make a final decision on 2009-10 tuition rates at their next meeting, Dec. 10-11 in Cedar Falls. The board approves campus room and board rates in the spring.

Supplemental tuition

The proposed tuition and fees packages include supplemental tuition for several groups of ISU students:

  • Undergraduate junior and senior Engineering college students (residents and non-residents) would be in the fourth and final year of a supplemental tuition plan next year. In the first three years, their tuition went up by an additional $500 per year over what first- and second-year Engineering students pay; in 2009-10, the proposed supplemental tuition is $250.
  • For the second straight year, Engineering graduate students also would pay a proposed $500 in supplemental tuition over other graduate students.
  • The 2009-10 year would be the first of three proposed years of $500 in supplemental tuition for upper division Business college students (resident and non-resident).
  • Fourth-year Veterinary Medicine students in the DVM program would pay an additional $7,500 in tuition to cover additional clinical fees. The fourth year is a 12-month clinical program, and students were informed of this pending fee when they were admitted, said executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman. The proposed extra funds are needed to meet new accreditation requirements and for clinical training and equipment costs.

Assault policy review

The board adopted a set of guiding principles that the three regent universities and two special schools will use to review their polices on sexual assault and misconduct. Developed by a task force with representatives from all three universities, the guidelines include: components to be included in a policy, state and federal laws to be considered and some general suggestions for developing and enforcing the policy. In September, the board directed Iowa's three regent universities to develop common policies and procedures dealing with sexual assault that are consistent with standards and best practices in higher education. The process is supposed to wrap up by mid-December.

Green light for rec services

The board approved the program summary and proposed financing for ISU recreation services' renovation and construction plans. The proposal renovates space in Beyer Hall and State Gym, adds 92,000 square feet to the west side of State Gym and adds air conditioning to areas of the Lied Recreation Center. (See story)

More stadium improvements

The regents also gave their final approval to a second phase of improvements at Jack Trice Stadium and a project budget of $11.5 million. The work focuses on the east side of the stadium and will replace and expand the four buildings that house concession services and restrooms. Six new buildings, extending out over the berm, will widen the concourse and offer six concession areas, two guest services/first aid stations and six restrooms (four for women, two for men). This essentially mirrors the work done on the west concourse this past year. The work will begin at the end of the 2008 football season and wrap up by next September. The cost will be covered by a combination of private gifts and athletics department revenues.

Bond sale

The regents sold $25 million in academic building revenue bonds to partially finance construction of Hach Hall. This is the second of three scheduled bond sales that will generate funding for Hach Hall.

In other business, the regents approved Iowa State requests to:

  • Award an honorary doctor of science degree to J. Dwayne McAninch, Des Moines, at the spring 2009 commencement May 9 for his leadership in the soils construction industry and his contributions to education in this discipline.
  • Establish the Biobased Industry Center, which will be part of the Bioeconomy Institute. The center will be the mechanism that integrates and coordinates economic, social, policy, business and environmental issues related to biobased-industry research into the broader institute. Acting co-directors of the center are John Miranowski, professor of economics; and Ron Cox, director of CIRAS. A search is under way for a director, who also will hold the new Cargill endowed chair in energy economics. Nearly half of the center's projected $900,000 annual budget will come from industry partners who will help set operational policies and research priorities.
  • Begin planning to reconstruct Morrill Road between Osborn and Union drives, at an estimated cost of $2 million. The state's institutional roads fund would cover this project.

Summary

Board of Regents members got their first look at ISU's proposed tuition and fees increases. Iowa residents would see an overall rise of 4.5 (graduate) to 4.6 percent (undergraduate); non-residents would pay 3 percent more.