INSIDE IOWA STATE
November 9, 2001
Geoffroy: ISU funding ratio lags behind peers
by Anne Krapfl
Calling a diminishing operating budget "the fly in the ointment," President
Gregory Geoffroy told a mostly P&S audience Nov. 1 that much of what's
happening at Iowa State is very positive. Geoffroy was asked to comment on
the state of the university during a forum preceding the Professional and
Scientific Council's November meeting.
Geoffroy said Iowa State is recognized nationally as a model of what a
land-grant university should be because it achieves a strong balance in
discovery, learning and engagement. He also said he believes the quality of
education students receive at Iowa State is "truly superior" to that which
students receive at many other public universities.
The best indicator of that quality is the intense interest employers show
for ISU students, Geoffroy said, citing the colleges of Agriculture and
Engineering's recent large career fairs.
Geoffroy cited two statistics that he hopes to improve. The first is the
ratio of students to tenured or tenure-track faculty, which has increased
nearly 15 percent in the last five years at Iowa State. The result, he
noted, is larger classes and not enough class sections to serve all students
who want classes in a particular semester.
The second statistic is the funding level for Iowa State, which impacts
quality of education. When tuition and fees and state appropriations are
combined, Iowa State ranks at the bottom of peer 11 land-grant universities
in funding available per student. In fact, Iowa State is more than $3,000
below the mean among its peers.
Geoffroy said planning has begun on Iowa State's operating budget for the
year that begins July 1, 2002.
"We'll have a painful five or six months as we work through this planning
process," he said.
In addition to this year's 4.3 percent mid-year de-appropriation that must
be folded into the university's base operating budget, Geoffroy said he
anticipates another cut to Iowa State's budget next fiscal year. Some
tuition increases will be used to offset the severity of those cuts, but
Geoffroy said Iowa State's FY03 operating budget probably will be several
percentage points smaller than this year's. He has asked the vice presidents
and provost to prepare 4 percent reduction proposals for the Task Force on
Strategic Effectiveness and Budget Priorities' review.
In response to a question, Geoffroy said he doesn't expect a regents-wide
effort to meet funding cuts by eliminating duplicate programs. He noted that
the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, system discourages "unnecessary"
"I think you'd be hard-pressed to find unnecessary duplication in the
system," he said.
A streaming media file of Geoffroy's presentation to the P&S Council is
available on the Web at
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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