University of Iowa president, Sally Mason, told the Board of Regents this week her goal is to grow the size of the Iowa City school. Mason says they can focus more on growth as the recovery efforts from the 2008 flooding near an end. “We’re finally after six very long years in the process of actively recovering the academic and student spaces that we lost in the flood,” Mason says.
She says the loss of buildings to the flooding kept them from focusing on growth. “We really had to very closely monitor enrollment and not make unrealistic promises to students,” Mason explains. “During that time, during the last six years, we placed renewed emphasis on student success and making certain that we put resources in place, so that our students would be well served — not just while they were our students — but also making sure that they would finish in a timely fashion when they did finish,” Mason says.
She says the school has significantly improved its four-year graduation rate, and now wants to take another step to help students. “We’re developing and we will implement a three-year graduation guarantee program before the end of this academic year. Couple with our Summerhawk tuition grants — the free summer school — will guarantee that undergraduate students in select majors can graduate in three years,” Mason says.
She says the plan isn’t yet complete. Mason says they are still working on the details and they know it won’t be easy and it won’t be for everyone. “Students who sign on for this program will be required to meet academic milestones. It will be a flexible, affordable option designed to meet the needs of well-prepared and motivated students,” according the Mason.
The University of Iowa remained behind Iowa State University in total enrollment with numbers announced Wednesday. ISU has 34,372 students, while the U-I reported 31,387 students.