Iowa State University nameplate

Inside Iowa State
Gold bar
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 year.

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 contract.

"Competitive salaries are extremely important for the university, but the Legislature is telling us to take care of it ourselves," Geoffroy said.

Operating budget
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 Research ($23,000).

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.

Salary increases
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.

... Becoming the Best
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
Copyright © 1995-2003, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.