The president of the Iowa Board of Regents is suggesting there should be a ceiling for tuition rates at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa in the future.
Bruce Rastetter said his idea is “not a board initiative.”
“It’s personal perspective,” Rastetter told reporters today. “I think on the public universities in Iowa we should be very mindful in the future that tuition increases should not be more than average Iowa income goes up in a year.”
Rastetter’s term on the board expires on April 30th. Rastetter said he is “thinking about” whether he’d like the governor to nominate him for another term.
“It’s been one of the real unique, challenging experiences that I’ve had in life,” Rastetter said. “I think we’ve made a significant impact.”
During Rastetter six-year term, the Board of Regents has hired new presidents for each of the universities. Enrollment has grown and Rastetter indicated state funding for the universities has increased by $80 million. There have been controversies, too, including questions of how Iowa State’s president used a university-owned plane.
Rastetter is an agribusiness entrepreneur and his Summit Agricultural Group is building a new ethanol plant in Brazil. Rastetter also been a big donor to Republicans and it’s unclear whether he could win enough support from Democrats in the state senate to be confirmed for another term. Rastetter said he’s talked with the governor and will have discussions with senators in the next couple of weeks.
“There’s a lot of work to be done, but I also have another life at Summit and all the things we’re doing and a great group there,” Rastetter said. “So I’ve just got to balance that going and decide what I want to do going forward and also have those conversations.”
Rastetter made his comments during today’s taping of Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program. It airs tonight at 7:30.