Administrators at the University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State and the University of Iowa say fall freshmen enrollment projections are holding near last year’s levels — but budget cuts will mean those students will be in larger classes with fewer faculty and course offerings.
The university leaders says federal stimulus funds are mitigating the budget cuts for the next school year, but those funds will be ending at this time next year. U-I president Sally Mason says like the other two schools, they are trying to avoid layoffs, but job cuts are still possible…
Mason says they are working hard through early retirements and return on investments from stimulus funds to avoid layoffs. She says however, the worst case scenario would be cutting 120 to 130 positions. Iowa State University announced a reorganization of their extension service earlier this year in a cost-saving move.
Regent Craig Lang of West Des Moines, who is also the president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, said his support of the Extension reorganization is drawing fire from rural Iowa. Lang says he thinks "it’s a wise plan that takes in consideration a time when the money is just not available." He says it’s become clear the last few years that something dramatic had to happen in order for extension to continue providing services.
"With that I think many people in the state thought that I personally had let them down, and I want them to know I represent the state of Iowa and not just the rural sectors," Lang said. U-I president Mason also announced today that Oakdale Hall, which now houses the state hygienic lab, will probably be torn down when the new Hygienic Laboratory building is occupied