May 2, 2003
Budget picture clears
as session winds down
Operating budget appropriation will be reduced $6.44 million
by Anne Krapfl
If Gov. Tom Vilsack approves the budget under development in the
Legislature, the state appropriation to Iowa State's operating budget for
the fiscal year that begins July 1 will be reduced $6.4 million -- nearly
2.7 percent -- from the current year's funding level. The operating budget
cut comes on top of earlier announcements that there will be no additional
state dollars for either building projects or employee salary increases next
However, President Gregory Geoffroy reiterated his commitment to awarding
salary increases and funding them internally. While a final goal will be
announced later this month, Geoffroy said he believes the average salary
increase for faculty and P&S staff will be around 2 percent. The
university must pay merit staff salary increases as set in the state
"Competitive salaries are extremely important for the university, but the
Legislature is telling us to take care of it ourselves," Geoffroy said.
The operating budget reduction will be applied proportionately to all major
budgetary units, including general university (a $4.9 million cut),
Experiment Station ($879,000), Cooperative Extension ($559,000), IPRT
($48,000) and a special group of units that include the Small Business
Development Center, ISU Research Park, Leopold Center and Livestock Disease
The non-general university units will be required to cover their operating
cuts and self-fund salary increases without access to new tuition revenues.
Within the general university budget, Geoffroy said he will not implement
across-the-board cuts, and would like to avoid cuts within colleges.
He said the general university portion of the reduction will be offset by
additional revenues from the tuition increases next year and by cost-saving
measures recommended by the president's advisory committee on budget and
planning (see accompanying story). However, Geoffroy said new tuition
revenues also must be used to cover mandatory and inflationary operating
costs. And he remains committed to creating faculty positions, even if just
a few, and directed the advisory committee this year to develop guidelines
and a selection process for new tenure and tenure-track positions.
The dollars university leaders need to find internally to fund salary
increases could approach $10 million. The cost to cover salary increases and
the employer's share of health care benefits as guaranteed in the merit
contract is $3.3 million. The employer's share of new health care costs for
faculty and P&S staff is an estimated $1.9 million. And, an average 2
percent salary increase for faculty and P&S staff adds up to
approximately $4.6 million.
Iowa State will present its preliminary budget to the Board of Regents,
State of Iowa, at the board's June 19 meeting. A final budget will be
approved by the board at its July 17 meeting.
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
Copyright © 1995-2003, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.