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October 10, 2003

Three task forces to study issues related to budget efficiency

by Anne Krapfl
Three campus task forces this month will begin to study issues related to the efficiency and effectiveness of the university and will be useful in developing the next budget.

But the assignments also could have longer-term effects at Iowa State, as the university begins to prepare for the next strategic plan (2005-10) and a self-study for the North Central Association accreditation process that must be completed during the fall of 2005.

On fairly tight timelines this fall and winter, the groups will study:
  • Alternative tuition structures, including differential tuition (i.e. surcharges) and alternatives such as the per-credit option. Report due: Dec. 15.

  • Small programs, interdisciplinary programs and low-enrollment courses, including possible policies on required minimums and criteria for keeping or eliminating small programs and low enrollment courses, and the nature and funding of interdisciplinary programs. Report due: Feb. 1, 2004.

  • Institutes and centers, including consistent use of the terms, how many exist and how many have been closed, and a comparison (numbers and organization/structure) with peer institutions. Report due: March 1, 2004.
The impetus for study groups on these topics was a recommendation from the 2002-03 President's Advisory Committee on Budget and Planning. President Gregory Geoffroy concurred with the recommendation.

The task force studying tuition structures has an early deadline because, in addition to ISU interest in the topic, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, last month directed all three regents universities to look at the issue and forward recommendations to the board prior to its February meeting.

Vice president for academic affairs and provost Benjamin Allen appointed the task force members, based on recommendations from deans, vice provosts and Faculty Senate leaders. He also consulted with the president of the Professional and Scientific Council. The groups will provide their reports to Allen.

"I am appreciative of the time and careful consideration all the members of the task forces will give us in the next few months," Allen said. "I am particularly grateful to the three facilitators for agreeing to lead these efforts. Their work and, ultimately, their recommendations, are important to Iowa State University not just this year, but in the critical long-range planning years ahead of us."

Charles Glatz, professor and chair of chemical engineering, will serve as facilitator for the tuition structures task force; Howard Shapiro, vice provost for undergraduate programs and professor of mechanical engineering, will facilitate the interdisciplinary programs/low enrollment courses task force; and Diane Birt, professor and chair of food science and human nutrition, will lead the institutes and centers task force.

Alternative tuition structures
Joining Glatz on the alternative tuition structures task force are Mark Chidister, assistant to the president for budget planning and analysis; Larry Ebbers, professor of educational leadership and policy studies; Kathy Jones, registrar; GianCarlo Moschini, professor of economics; Greg Palermo, professor of architecture; Ellen Rasmussen, assistant provost; Roger Stover, professor of finance; Pat Strah, budget officer; and two student representatives.

Interdisciplinary programs/low enrollment courses
Joining Shapiro on the interdisciplinary programs/low enrollment courses task force are Virginia Blackburn, associate professor of management; Monica Bruning, coordinator of Engineering outreach and recruitment; Phil Dixon, professor of statistics; Margaret Graham, professor of English; Madeleine Henry, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures; Ken Kruempel, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; John Mayfield, associate dean of the Graduate College; Basil Nikolau, professor of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology; Tom Richard, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering; and two student representatives.

Institutes and centers
Joining Birt on the institutes and centers task force are Bruce Babcock, professor of agricultural economics; Ed Braun, professor of plant pathology; Robert Brown, director of the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies; Susan Carlson, associate provost; Ron Cox, director of the Center for Industrial Research and Service; Sarah Nusser, professor of statistics; Eli Rosenberg, professor and chair of physics and astronomy; Pat Schnable, professor of agronomy; and Judy Vance, professor and chair of mechanical engineering.

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