Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
June 6, 1997

$42 million in new funds is part of ISU budget

by Diana Pounds

In a year of tax cuts, the Iowa Legislature invested $42 million in new funds in Iowa State and "that's absolutely remarkable," according to Carol Bradley, director of governmental relations.

"In many other states, when you cut taxes, you cut higher education," Bradley said. "While Iowa lawmakers believe that cutting taxes will stimulate the economy, they also feel that increasing the investment in Iowa State is important to the state's future."

"The new budget reflects the high priority Iowans place on education," President Martin Jischke said. "We're very appreciative of their confidence and support and will see that they get an excellent return on their investment."

New legislative funding to Iowa State for FY98 includes nearly $21 million to construct the Engineering Teaching and Research Complex (ETRC) and more than $9 million for livestock research facilities.

In addition, lawmakers have approp-riated approximately $10 million in salary increases to Iowa State, which is expected to fund average pay hikes of 4 percent for faculty and staff. Another $2.3 million in program operating increases will fund the "re-engineering" of engineering education, library acquisitions, tuition assistance and scholarships for grad students, building repairs, information technology improvements and other projects.

Following are selected highlights of Iowa State's FY98 budget, which will be submitted to the State Board of Regents for final approval in July.

ETRC and re-engineering education

The Legislature appropriated $20.9 million for phase 2 construction of the ETRC and $1 million for re-engineering engineering education, a project that will involve new learning methods, co-op and internship programs for all students, and business and college partnerships.

"The funds reflect support for creating the most skillful workforce we can have in our state," Bradley said. "Engineers are essential to the small- to medium-sized manufacturing firms that have become such an important part of the Iowa economy."

Intensive livestock research facility

Lawmakers designated $9.27 million for livestock research facilities at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Most of the funds will go for construction of a livestock infectious disease isolation facility, where researchers will study animal diseases important to the livestock industry in Iowa.

Livestock production and the environment

State lawmakers renewed a $400,000 appropriation for Iowa State research and demonstration projects involving odor control in livestock production. Lawmakers already had provided a "one-time" $400,000 appropriation for the current year and opted to fund a second year of research.

In addition, a new one-time appropriation of $200,000 will fund ISU research on sites with earthen waste storage structures.

"While lawmakers couldn't agree on a lot of things in terms of livestock production, they did agree that continued research and demonstration in livestock production's effect on air and water quality was important," Bradley said.

Undergrad education and scholarships

Improving undergraduate education is the top goal of ISU's strategic plan and 45 percent ($6 million) of new or internally reallocated funds will go to initiatives aimed at achieving that goal. Half of those funds (about $3 million) are for student aid.

Library acquisitions

Approximately $475,000 in additional funding was earmarked for library acquisitions. The funds will buy materials and periodicals in critical collections.

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