Inside Iowa State

Inside Archives

Submit news

Send news for Inside to, or call (515) 294-7065. See publication dates, deadlines.

About Inside

Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

September 15, 2004

Regents proposal intended to spur re-investment in universities

by Anne Krapfl

Iowa's three regent universities would pledge annual reallocations in return for a promise of new state funds annually for four years, under a plan approved Sept. 15 by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. As recommended, the state dollars (a maximum of $40 million annually) would be matched by a maximum $20 million in internal reallocations. Iowa State's portion of those numbers is approximately $15.4 million and $7.7 million, respectively.

The "transformation" proposal, which the Legislature has yet to react to, comes from the board's public policy task force and is intended to spur public re-investment in the three schools' operating budgets, while also providing an incentive to the universities to reallocate money to strategic academic priorities.

"We're trying to set up a four-year vision for the future through a partnership with the Legislature and our governor," said regents president John Forsyth in introducing the proposal.

"It's going to take a lot of work to come up with $20 million, but we need to say the institutions have significant 'skin' in the game," he added.

Forsyth, regents Robert Downer and David Neil, and executive director Greg Nichols are the members of the public policy task force, appointed in May.

A second part of the matching proposal would address critical deferred maintenance and fire safety needs over five years. If accepted by the state, $15 million annually in state funds would be bolstered by $7.5 million from the schools' operating funds for building repairs. Iowa State's share of these figures is approximately 40 percent. Forsyth said $15 million would be the only capital (building) request the board asks of the Legislature for FY06 and FY07.

The regents also approved changes to the universities tuition policy. In addition to eliminating the November deadline to set tuition for the following fall, the policy provides principles for setting tuition for the next four years (FY06-09). As approved, base tuition would increase annually by the median of the projected Higher Education Price Index range. Optional, supplemental tuition could be requested by the three regent presidents for one or multiple years, and to address differentials such as college, program, residency status or class level (for example, freshman, senior or graduate).

Forsyth said supplemental tuition requests would be an option only in those years the state didn't provide the full $40 million as proposed in the transformation plan.

The board also completed a first reading of a new, more restrictive definition of reallocation, in the regents policy manual, that would be in effect through FY09. In anticipation of state buy-in to the transformation proposal, the definition includes specific examples of what is and is not a reallocation. For example, moving funds from savings in the fuel budget to fund a new faculty position in a strategic discipline is a reallocation; moving funds from a lecturer position to a tenure-track position within a department is not.

In other action, the regents:

  • Approved a name for the second residence suite building in the Union Drive neighborhood: Archie and Nancy Martin Hall. The Martins opened their Lincoln Way home to black students at Iowa State from 1915 until after World War I, when their numbers increased and Archie Martin compelled then-president R.A. Pearson to allow black students to live in residence halls.
  • Approved an increase, in effect since July 1, of $0.25 in the parking rate for the first hour in the Memorial Union parking ramp (from $0.75 to $1).
  • Authorized the sale of up to $25.5 million in Memorial Union Revenue Bonds to finance phase 1 ($17 million) of the Memorial Union renovation and $3.4 million in structural repairs to the MU parking ramp. ISU assumed about $4.4 million in debt when the Memorial Union was transferred to the university in spring 2003. A fall sale date has not been set.
  • Approved architecture firm selections for the Coover Hall addition and renovation ($16.5 million) and the teaching hospital and diagnostics lab renovation ($47.3 million) at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Approved the schematic design and program statement for phase 2 (14,965 net square feet) of the Pearson Hall remodel.


Iowa's three regent universities would pledge annual reallocations in return for a promise of new state funds annually for four years, under a plan approved Sept. 15 by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.