The president of the board the governs the three state-supported universities is urging the governor to increase funding next year or risk jeopardizing the quality of education offered at the schools. Regents president, Craig Lang, spoke about funding during a budget hearing at the statehouse.
“Iowa public universities have borne the brunt of educational cuts. The department of education and community colleges saw increases in funding the last two years as universities continued to receive additional cuts,” Lang said. Lang says the regents can only hold the line on tuition increases at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa for so long without more state dollars.
Lang says, “The universities will continue fundraising efforts that are largely focused on increasing the endowment of student scholarships, however despite our efforts, the options available to us are not enough, and we seek the state support to keep our tuition increases as low as possible.”
Lang told the governor and his aides that the universities have maintained high standards while state support has dwindled to 1977 levels. The governor’s top budget advisor says it’s too early to predict what the governor will recommend for the regents institutions.
The Board of Regents is scheduled to meet this Thursday to consider a proposed 3.75% tuition increase. The student leadership at all three universities supported the increase during its first reading in October, as it is one of the lowest in several years.
But the regents said at the time they might have to reconsider the increase with any further cuts in state funds.