Oct. 6, 2011

Hoffman memo lays out funding priorities for next year

by Anne Krapfl

Growth in the university's research enterprise, stronger links between university-level and college-level student recruitment and retention efforts, and compensation packages that attract, retain and reward high-performing employees are among six funding priorities identified by executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman in her first memo to senior leaders on developing the FY13 budget. Fiscal year 2013 begins on July 1, 2012.

In addition to summarizing Iowa State's appropriation requests to the state Board of Regents, Hoffman outlined priorities for funding, selected because they support the goals of the university strategic plan. Other priorities in the FY13 budget development process are:

  • Academic programs and student support services that enhance the student experience
  • Extension and outreach areas seen as most beneficial to Iowans and which broaden the university's involvement with Iowa communities
  • Administrative process improvements that provide high-quality, efficient support of education, research and outreach efforts

"Academic excellence, interdisciplinary collaboration, partnerships with internal and external constituents, the overall student experience and a strong sense of community are the qualities that define Iowa State," Hoffman wrote. "It is essential that we continue to focus resources in areas that support these qualities."

State funding requests

By law, the state Board of Regents submits funding requests for the coming year to the state by Oct. 1. The governor and Legislature use the requests in building their proposed state budgets. As approved by the board Sept. 20, the regents' appropriation requests for Iowa State for the year that begins July 1, 2012, include:

  • A general education incremental funding increase of 4 percent ($6.6 million) to return to FY11 funding levels
  • Incremental funding of 4 percent in several direct appropriations to address ISU strategic plan initiatives: Agriculture Experiment Station ($1.2 million), Cooperative Extension ($767,296), Leopold Center ($17,001) and livestock disease research ($7,394)
  • Incremental funding of 4 percent ($96,972) for existing economic development units (ISU Research Park, Institute for Physical Research and Technology, Small Business Development Centers) and an additional $1 million to expand economic development efforts
  • Strategic funding for the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab ($762,364) to reach the $4 million annual goal established previously by the Legislature
  • Strategic funding of $2.3 million (for the three regent universities) to restore STEM initiative funding to the FY09 level of $4 million
  • New funding ($7.5 million for the three universities) for a renewable energy and value-added agriculture initiative for which Iowa State would take the lead

Hoffman's second FY13 budget memo is due out around Dec. 16, following October and December meetings of the state Revenue Estimating Conference and an anticipated decision by the regents in early December on tuition rates for 2012-13.