The Board of Regents gave final approval to the proposed 3.75% tuition increase during their meeting. The student leadership at all three universities supported the increase during its first reading in October as it is one of the lowest proposed increases in several years.
Regent Ruth Harkin of Cumming was the only regent to vote against the increase. “I do want to say that I appreciate very much the efforts to keep tuition down, I am going to have to vote no on this however, because I do feel that most Iowans incomes have not kept up with inflation. I think this is a tough time for them to have to incur further expense if they have students at the university,” Harkin says, “So I’m just hoping that next year we’ll be able to work harder to find better solutions.”
Regent Bruce Rastetter of Alden said the increase was fair based on the economic situation.”One of the areas that we’ve worked hard on in the proposal is to try and keep the tuition increase as low as we could and then to keep it at the rate of inflations, so in light of the budget cuts that we’ve had over the last four or five years that the institutions have weathered those,” Rastetter said.
Rastetter also reminded everyone that the increase they approved is based on the schools not seeing any more cuts in state spending.
“Clearly it is extremely important that our appropriations request to the legislature be approved for us to be able to accomplish this mission, and clearly to continue to find ways that the longer term the universities can save money and continue to effectively deliver a high-quality, accessible, low-cost education,” Rastetter said.
Regents president, Craig Lang was not at the meeting, but said earlier in the week that the regent schools have taken their fair share of budget cuts, while the Department of Education and community colleges saw their budgets increase.