Officials with the public universities in Ames, Iowa City and Cedar Falls are starting to press for more state support in the coming year. Iowa, Iowa State and U-N-I laid off faculty over the past two years to deal with state budget cuts, and Greg Nichols, executive secretary of the Board that governs the three universities, says it’s time to begin asking legislators to provide more money next year for faculty salaries. Iowa State University president Gregory Geoffrey says his highest priority is to rebuild the faculty ranks.Geoffrey says his university has a growing student body and a dwindling number of faculty. He says each faculty member is now serving 23-percent more students than six years ago. He says the ration is 19 and a half students per professor.University of Northern Iowa president Robert Koob says there were a number of retirements, and many full-time positions were replaced by part-time professors to save money. He’s asking for two million dollars to hire 34 full-time faculty members out of 126 he says they need for their strategic target. Acting University of Iowa president Sandy Boyd says filling vacant faculty positions is the university’s most critical issue.Legislators also cut the economic development programs at the state universities by 60 percent, and Boyd says that money should be restored, too.Boyd says it makes no sense for politicians to say they want to grow the state’s economy while at the same time they cut economic development initiatives.
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