June 10, 2010

Regents approve FY11 budget, salary policy

by Anne Krapfl

The state Board of Regents approved Iowa State's budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 during its June 9 meeting. The budget, essentially unchanged from what Iowa State proposed in April, contains nearly $20.4 million less state support than the university received on July 1, 2009, and $58.7 million less than on July 1, 2008.

Iowa State will rely on projected new tuition revenues ($18.3 million), state appropriations that are $4.5 million higher than the end-of-year appropriations for FY10, and a one-time state appropriation ($3.2 million). However, that revenue must fund a long list of increasing costs, including student financial aid ($6.4 million), employee insurance ($2.3 million), opening Hach Hall and the Biorenewables Research Laboratory ($2.3 million), required compensation increases ($1.5 million) and library acquisitions ($770,000), among others.

"We asked that you not cinch the belt tighter across the board. You've done that and I appreciate all your efforts there."

David Miles, Board of Regents president

In brief comments, executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman told the board that all the budget plans Iowa State presented at the April meeting "are on track." She said realignment of the academic and administrative structure in the College of Design and downsizing of central administrative functions in the College of Engineering are "virtually complete."

Board president David Miles commended all three regent universities for making tough, thoughtful decisions.

"We asked that you not cinch the belt tighter across the board," he said. "You've done that and I appreciate all your efforts there."

Iowa State's FY11 total budget, counting all state and federal revenues, tuition and fees, reimbursed direct costs for research, sales, service and other income, is $1.1 billion.

Iowa State will return the university's contribution to employees' TIAA-CREF accounts to 10 percent of salary on July 1. The contribution was lowered to 8 percent this winter to help meet a budget reversion to the state.

Regents Michael Gartner, Robert Downer and Ruth Harkin expressed dissatisfaction with three levels of university contribution to employees' TIAA-CREF retirement accounts in FY11. The contribution at Northern Iowa will be 9 percent, and at Iowa, 8 percent. Miles directed board staff to compile a list of employee benefits at all three universities for comparison purposes prior to the FY12 budget planning process.

Salary increases

There isn't a state appropriation for salary increases for FY11, but the board approved Iowa State's salary policies for the year. The policy means these changes for employee groups:


  • Individual units will fund the standard increments for faculty promotions ($3,400 and $4,000, respectively, for promotion to associate professor and professor)
  • Individual increases may be given to address equity or merit, or for retention. As Geoffroy announced at the April 29 board meeting, Iowa State will use $3.5 million in new, recurring state funds to award some individual salary increases.

Professional and scientific

  • Individual units will fund salary increments for employee reclassifications.
  • Individual increases may be given to address equity or merit, or for retention. Funds will come from the $3.5 million in new, recurring state funds targeted for this purpose.
  • P&S staff, post-docs and graduate assistants whose positions are funded completely by grants or contracts may receive salary increments as permitted in those grants or contracts.
  • Central funds will cover the cost of bringing about 55 P&S employees' salaries up to the minimums in a new compensation structure that goes into effect on July 1.


  • The state's collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME, which covers ISU merit employees, provides for a 2 percent increase on July 1 and a 1 percent increase on Jan. 1, 2011. Additionally, merit employees not yet at the maximum of their pay grades will receive up to a 4.5 percent increase on their individual anniversary dates at ISU. The board approved the same policy for nonorganized merit employees. ISU leaders estimate that the average salary increase for all merit employees at the university will be 4.4 percent.

In other business, the regents:

  • Received a report from Hoffman on Iowa State's progress in meeting the goals of the current strategic plan (2005-2010). See progress report (PDF).
  • Approved Iowa State's request to award an honorary Doctor of Science degree to chemist Harold Scheraga at the spring 2011 commencement ceremony. Scheraga, a member of the Cornell University faculty since 1947 (emeritus since 1992), is a pioneer in the field of protein conformation and helped develop the calculations that determine the structure and dynamics of proteins, essential to current research in drug design.
  • Approved the description and budget ($2.85 million) for improvements to Willow residence hall that: installs a fire suppression system, replaces the windows with an energy-efficient model and repairs exterior concrete panels. The cost will be covered by dormitory system improvement funds.
  • Approved a new master's program in the College of Design: Master of Landscape Architecture program (3-year degree focusing on professional skills needed for the licensing exam for students with a bachelor's degree who want to be practicing landscape architects).
  • Approved program name changes in the College of Design: Master of Landscape Architecture II program becomes Master of Science program in Landscape Architecture (to clarify that it is an unaccredited research degree); Master of Architecture II program and Master of Science program in Architectural Science becomes Master of Science Program in Architecture (consolidates two research degrees into one with multiple tracks).
  • Approved increases (and one decrease) in ISU student fees not related to tuition for 2010-11 as follows:


    • Application fee for veterinary medicine students: $75 (was $60)
    • Drop-add change fee, day six or later: $12 (was $10)
    • Graduate student enrollment fee: $792 (equivalent to 2 credits at new tuition levels; was $748)
    • Late/no show for appointment fee in Student Counseling Center: $15 (was $10)
    • Study abroad program fee: $600 fall or spring (was $500), $350 summer (was $300)


    • Copyright fee for dissertation or thesis: $55 (was $65)