June 11, 2003
To the faculty and staff of the College of Agriculture
I'm writing to share with you the actions that will be taken to address two
budget challenges in the College of Agriculture. Both involve reductions in
state funds for the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station.
The first challenge is an FY04 $897,000 budget reduction and an FY04 $1
million increase in costs for salary increases. The $897,000 is the
Experiment Station's share of the nearly $7 million cut in state
appropriations to Iowa State University for FY04. Although state law
mandates compensation increases for FY04, the legislature did not
appropriate money to cover them. The Experiment Station is required to cover
approximately $1 million for salary increases. This is the fourth
consecutive year the legislature has reduced its appropriation to Iowa State
and underfunded compensation increases. The total impact on the university
during this period of time is more than $68.8 million.
To address this FY04 challenge, President Geoffroy has approved one-time
funds for the Experiment Station to help deal with the cutbacks. The funds
will not extend to FY05. We will work with the President's office on
approaches to avoid a situation in which the FY04 reductions would become
permanent, and a serious issue to deal with a year from now. One thing we
will be doing is to evaluate how funds are allocated within the Experiment
The second challenge is an $829,000 budget reversion from FY03. This
represents the last of four state budget reversions to the Experiment
Station last year. The College was able to cover the shortfall during the
past year with one-time funds, but now the cut must be finalized. Combined,
the four FY03 reversions reduced the Experiment Station's base budget by
almost $4.5 million.
To address this budget challenge, we are taking a different approach from
the one taken over the previous three years of budget cuts. For three years
we reduced funds across all departments, centers and programs supported by
the Experiment Station. We felt that cutting our departments - among the
finest in the country - yet again was no longer an option. The departments
can no longer bear substantial cuts without putting them at greater risk for
losing the ability to effectively educate students and address issues
important to Iowans.
Last fall, at my request, a College committee began reviewing Experiment
Station expenditures to identify potential budget savings. After lengthy
consultations with President Geoffroy and Provost Allen on the severity of
our budget situation and our options for addressing it, I am accepting the
Here are the actions I will be taking to address the FY03 $829,000 budget
I pledge to continue working diligently with you, and with our university,
community and state leaders and friends, to move forward on rebuilding the
Experiment Station budget. Although we are reducing support to some farms,
our goal is to strengthen the remaining facilities and to ensure that the
vital work of educating our students and conducting research important to
- Operations will be discontinued at two research farms - the Rhodes
Research and Demonstration Farm near Rhodes and the Lauren Christian Swine
Research and Demonstration Farm near Atlantic. The beef research at Rhodes
will be relocated to the McNay Research Farm near Chariton. Swine research
at the Christian Farm will be relocated to the Bilsland Memorial Farm near
- Funding will be reduced for Ames-area farms that support teaching and
research in animal science, agronomy, agricultural and biosystems
engineering and horticulture. The decision includes a reorganization that
will transfer management of the Agronomy and Agricultural and Biosystems
Engineering Farm and the Horticulture Farm from the departments to the
College. The decision also includes discontinuing operations at the Dairy
Teaching Farm in Ames as part of the College's plan to consolidate dairy
research and teaching programs into a new location.
- Funding will be reduced for campus laboratory and service facilities,
with increased reliance on user fees: the Soil and Plant Analysis
Laboratory; the Electron Microscope Facility; and facilities in the Center
for Designing Food to Improve Nutrition.
- Support for some educational activities will be transferred to the
College's general-fund budget or to other units on campus. Affected programs
are the NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center, Meats Laboratory,
Horticulture Farm, the Interdepartmental Genetics Graduate Program; the
greenhouses for agronomy, horticulture and plant pathology; and the Agronomy
and Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Farm.
- Funding will be eliminated for the Iowa State Water Resources Research
- Several faculty searches will be placed on hold.
- Costs related to the reorganization of the biological sciences
departments will be deferred.
- University administration will review a request to reduce utilities and
maintenance charges assessed to the Experiment Station.
Thank you for your assistance and understanding in what is a difficult time
for the College of Agriculture. Thank you for all you do in advancing the
excellence of the College and Iowa State University, even in these
challenging budget times.
Dean, College of Agriculture
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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