Dec. 10, 2009

Regents approve spring surcharge for students

by Anne Krapfl

With a $100 surcharge during spring semester, ISU students will cover about 10 percent of the university's $24.5 million mid-year reversion of state funds. By a 6-3 vote Dec. 10, the state Board of Regents approved the surcharge. Regents Michael Gartner, Ruth Harkin and Greta Johnson voted against it.

Noting that no regent favors the surcharge, board president David Miles called it "a regrettable but reasonable sacrifice to ask of our students."

Regents coverage

Inside Iowa State's regular coverage of state Board of Regents meetings is available in an online story archive.

At Iowa State, the surcharge will generate approximately $2.4 million based on a projected 24,000 student FTE. It will be pro-rated for part-time students based on semester credit hours -- $18-$99 for undergraduates, $24-$96 for graduate students. The additional revenue will be distributed to the academic colleges using the same formula in the budget model for distributing tuition revenue, except that no set-aside funds will be taken out. Existing financial aid funds will be used to cover any additional need identified among students.

The 2010 tuition and fees tables, which include the $100 surcharge and prorated versions of it, are online.

In other Iowa State business, the regents:

  • Approved a change to the board's policy manual that raises the competitive bid threshold for purchases from $10,000 to $25,000. This change allows purchasing staffs to focus their efforts on larger bid work, and brings the regent institutions closer to the state's competitive bid threshold of $50,000. The new threshold also applies to negotiated purchases, whether through competitive or non-competitive processes.
  • Gave regent Miles the authority to approve a final list of faculty recommended for faculty development leave in FY11 once university leaders have reviewed it for possible reductions. The universities of Iowa and Northern Iowa were asked to go through the same process. Iowa State initially recommended to the board 40 faculty members for professional leave next year; president Gregory Geoffroy indicated the list has been pared to 37. Several board members expressed concern not so much with the monetary cost of the leaves, but with perceptions around the state about this practice during lean economic times. The 40 faculty members originally on the list for leave represent 2.4 percent of Iowa State faculty eligible to apply for a professional development leave.

Following a first look at proposed tuition and fee rates for the 2010-11 academic year at their October meeting, the regents normally would have taken final action at the December meeting. That decision has been postponed to the board's Feb. 4, 2010, meeting, pending new information on the state's economic forecast.