Feb. 4, 2010

Tuition increases, accessibility are on regents' Feb. 4 agenda

by Anne Krapfl

Tuition rates for next year and efficiencies that can lead to budget savings without compromising quality are among the items the state Board of Regents will discuss when it meets Feb. 4 in Ames. The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. in rooms 230-240 Scheman at the Iowa State Center. The audio portion of the meeting will be available live on the board's web site. The meeting is expected to adjourn around 4:30 p.m.

Regents coverage

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

Proposed tuition increases

Undergraduate students from the state of Iowa would pay an additional $346 -- or a new total of $6,102 -- in tuition next year under a proposal first discussed Oct. 29 by the board. That's a 6 percent increase. In anticipation of the December state revenue estimating conference and its potential impact on the state budget, the board removed a tuition decision from its Dec. 10 agenda. The proposed tuition-only increase for out-of-state undergraduates is 4.1 percent (from $16,976 to $17,668).

As proposed, mandatory student fees at Iowa State -- which cover things like health insurance, student activities and computer support -- would remain at $895, unchanged from this year. Tuition and mandatory fees combined would cost $6,997 next year for undergraduate resident students, an increase of 5.2 percent; and $18,563 for undergraduate non-residents, an increase of 3.9 percent.

Proposed tuition increases for all Iowa State students exceed 2.7 percent, which is the median of projected inflation rates in the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI). Board policy is to use the HEPI median as one guideline when it sets tuition rates.

Fall 2010 would be the second of a proposed three years of supplemental tuition (an additional $500 per year) for all undergraduate juniors and seniors in the College of Business. The board approved this schedule in December 2008. The additional revenue would reduce the student-to-faculty ratio in the college and enhance student leadership programs.


Since June, ISU executive assistant to the president Tahira Hira has led a board of regents task force charged with proposing strategies to:

  • Lower the average debt of regent university students at graduation
  • Increase enrollment of low-income students at the regent universities

The group has developed eight proposals, which it will present to the board for implementation. They include strategies for more work-study funding, higher four-year graduation levels, financial education of students and a new need-based state grant program specifically for regent university students.

Other ISU items on the agenda include:

  • A request to rename the College of Business' department of logistics, operations and management systems to: department of supply chain and information systems. The current name doesn't accurately convey what the department does.
  • A request to merge two College of Business bachelor of science programs (logistics and supply chain management, and operations and supply chain management) into one: supply chain management. There are minimal curriculum differences in the two, but faculty time could be used more efficiently if they're merged.
  • (In closed session) A request to purchase undisclosed real estate. State code allows the board to temporarily close a public meeting when the early identification of a property might increase the price an agency of the government might have to pay for it. When the real estate transaction is completed, the regents' discussion of the proposal will be made public. In a closed session Feb. 3, the board conducted evaluations of the leaders of the five regent schools and executive director Bob Donley. These did not occur last summer, which is the normal timeframe for annual reviews.