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

April 3, 2009

Leaders wait for funding directive

by Anne Krapfl

University leaders are waiting on firm funding numbers from Gov. Chet Culver and the Iowa Legislature this week as they try to develop an operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The most recent budget reduction target for FY10 is 14.5 percent, or approximately $41 million. The figure includes reductions totaling 2.5 percent in the current budget and reflects lower tax revenue estimates from the state's Revenue Estimating Conference on March 20.

Due to the lower revenue estimate, Gov. Culver is required to submit a revised budget to the Legislature. That revision is due April 3. It's possible that his revised FY10 budget might include federal stimulus funds directed to the state of Iowa.

In a related process, a state education funding proposal is pending before the Senate Appropriations Committee. Iowa legislators must approve a state budget and adjourn by May 1.

Stimulus dollars

President Gregory Geoffroy called federal stimulus dollars a "very, very important piece of the puzzle" for budgets at the three regent universities, though few details have been released yet on amounts or the directives for their use.

A couple of key decisions have been made regarding Iowa State's next budget. At its March meeting, the state Board of Regents approved a policy of no salary increases for FY10, with some exceptions for circumstances such as faculty promotions, P&S reclassifications, or anniversary step increases for eligible merit employees. Iowa State also created a retirement incentive option that must be exercised by next January (see related story on page 1).

Finishing up FY09

Geoffroy said further mid-year reversions this year seem "very unlikely."

Iowa State leaders will need to present FY10 budget plans, including details on meeting the reduction in state appropriations, to the board of regents on April 30. Final approval is expected at the board's June 11 meeting.

FY09 update

Employees save more than $500,000 with leave options, donations

In mid-January, president Gregory Geoffroy approved voluntary furloughs and leave without pay as a strategy for meeting a 1.5 percent ($4.25 million) reversion in state funding for this year.

As of the March 31 payroll, 283 employees were participating in the program for a university savings of $486,863 (salaries and TIAA-CREF and Social Security contributions). And 101 employees had made cash gifts totaling $93,208 to help reduce the deficit.

The total value of furlough/leave-without-pay days and gifts is $580,071.