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

October 13, 2004

Geoffroy to senate: Regents' plan difficult but presents opportunities

by Linda Charles

A regents proposal seeking additional state money in return for the promise of internal reallocations by the three state universities would be difficult for Iowa State but also would present "good opportunities," President Gregory Geoffroy told the Faculty Senate Oct. 12.

"After four years of severe budget cuts, it's going to be hard for us," Geoffroy said. "If it works, I think it's a great opportunity for the university. It's an opportunity to get new funds."

No commitments yet

In September, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved a four-year plan that asks the Legislature to promise new state funds (up to $40 million annually), which the state universities would match on a 2:1 ratio (up to $20 million) in internal reallocations. If the Legislature funds the full request, Iowa State's share would be approximately $15.4 million in new money, matched by $7.7 million in internal reallocations each year. The additional funds would be added to the universities' base budgets.

"It has received positive review," Geoffroy said of the plan, "but $40 million is a lot of money. No one is committing to funding that level. But they like the concept."

Geoffroy speculated that there is a good chance for the plan to succeed. "Iowa's economy is improving." He added that $40 million is "a stretch, but it's doable."

The regents want the additional funds to go toward new faculty positions, competitive salaries and growth in areas important to Iowa, Geoffroy said.

"A major push in this plan is to make faculty and staff salaries competitive," Geoffroy said. He noted faculty salaries fall near the bottom compared to their peers. The goal would be to bring those salaries into the top third.

'We'll do it'

The internal reallocations would be difficult for the university because after the recent budget cuts, the university has no "soft" places left, Geoffroy said. "What we'll have to do is cut important areas and put that money into more important areas."

However, much of the reallocations will occur within colleges, he said, with the money moving from one area of a college to another.

"We'll have to hit the target of $7.7 million to get the full $15.5 million," Geoffroy noted. "You can bet we'll do it."

Senate supports students

In other business, the senate passed a resolution supporting students in confronting issues and discussion "no matter how controversial." The resolution was passed in response to pressure by some individuals for the university to cancel a talk by filmmaker Michael Moore.

The senate also received an update on ISUComm, a new concept to improve student communication skills. The senate will continue discussion of the proposal at future meetings.

The next senate meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, in the Memorial Union Sun Room.


"After four years of severe budget cuts, it's going to be hard for us. If it works, I think it's a great opportunity for the university. It's an opportunity to get new funds."

President Gregory Geoffroy