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.

Jan. 27, 2006

Regents partnership plan receives partial funding in governor's budget

by Anne Krapfl

Gov. Tom Vilsack's budget recommendations for FY07, released earlier this month, are a mixed bag for Iowa State. Initiatives in the biosciences and economic development are among the winners -- a total of $25 million in new funds to be shared among the three regent universities. Vilsack also endorsed the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, request that $9 million in one-time funding to regent universities in this year's budget become part of the base funding in subsequent years. Iowa State's share of this would be about $3.6 million.

And, while Vilsack recommended $20 million in new funding for the second year of the Regent Partnership for Transformation and Excellence, it's half of the $40 million requested by the board of regents.

Other new funding in the governor's recommendations is $10 million to be shared by the three schools to address fire safety and deferred maintenance needs. The regents requested $25 million for this need. (Iowa State's deferred maintenance log stands at about $141 million.)

"It's not everything we requested, but this is a vast improvement over repeated budget cuts of several years ago," noted President Gregory Geoffroy. "We must continue to work to convince the legislature to fully fund the regents' appropriation request."

The Iowa Legislature also must make budget recommendations this spring.

Transformation and excellence plan

Earlier this month, administrators at Iowa State submitted plans for reallocating a total of $8 million next year -- the second year in a row. The regents' transformation proposal to the legislature last winter was a request for $40 million in new funding annually for four years. In return, regent universities agreed to hold down tuition increases and reallocate $20 million each year to high priorities. Iowa State's share of the reallocation is $8 million.

Tuition increases at Iowa State for 2006-07 will average 4 percent, as approved last month by the regents.

"We'll continue to seek the full $40 million in funding from our legislators this spring," Geoffroy said. "State funding at a lesser level diminishes our ability to meet the goals in our strategic plan, including achieving competitive salaries for our faculty and staff, enriching the undergraduate experience, recruiting the best graduate students, strengthening our premier academic programs and supporting economic development in the state."

Energy budget shortfall

Geoffroy said another cloud over the budget picture for next year is a forecasted shortfall in this year's utilities budget. The shortfall currently is estimated as high as $1.5 million (see related story).

Non-recurring funding for economic development

Vilsack's recommendations include $20 million to the regent universities in FY07 to implement recommendations in the 2004 Battelle Report, which outlines the state's potential in seven areas of plant, animal and human bioscience. He recommended the same amount in FY08 and $10 million in FY09. Regent staff said no decisions have been made yet on how those dollars could be distributed.

Vilsack's budget plan also included $5 million in the second year of a 10-year appropriation from the Grow Iowa Values Fund for economic development efforts at the three universities. Iowa State's annual share of that is $1.9 million.


"We'll continue to seek the full $40 million in funding from our legislators this spring. State funding at a lesser level diminishes our ability to meet the goals in our strategic plan."

President Gregory Geoffroy