Members and boosters of the state’s university communities are engaging in a lobbying campaign to encourage state policymakers to send more state taxpayer support to the campuses. Dr. Deborah Turner of Des Moines, a member of the Board of Regents — the board that governs Iowa, Iowa State and U-N-I, says what makes the country great is not athletic or military prowess, but its education prowess, and especially a strong public education system. Turner says Iowa’s education system has always been unique because it’s been the number one priority of Iowa citizens and their government, but she says she’s concerned that education isn’t the number one priority anymore. Turner says there’s not a single county or community in Iowa that doesn’t benefit from the work of the state universities. Critics say the Regent institutions in Ames, Cedar Falls and Iowa City should streamline more services and can rely on private fundraising to provide more money for scholarships and general operations.
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