The president of the State Board of Regents took exception to what he says are misleading statements by some lawmakers on the budget status of the three state-supported universities. Regent’s president Owen Newlin of Des Moines, says some legislators are saying the state universities’ recent tuition increases have exceeded the funding cuts from the state.He says when appropriation cuts and underfunded salary mandates are combined, they add up to 159 million dollars, or about 24-hundred dollars per student. Newlin says the additional revenue generated by tuition increases is about 89-million dollars. He says the figures don’t back up what legislators are saying. He says the tuition increases were “significant” but have fallen far short of making up for budget cuts and salary mandates. Newlin says higher education has taken more cuts than other education areas in the state. Regent David Neil of La Porte City says it seems like legislators aren’t listening. He says the legislative news service reports quotes Republican leader Stewart Iverson as saying “the Regents aren’t suffering financially because they’ve raised tuition costs.” Neil says maybe they should go ahead and start cutting programs.He says if that’s the prescription the legislative leader is putting forth, then maybe they need to start looking at what they should cut. Neil says they can’t continue raising tuition after raising it 50-percent in the last three years. Neil says they’re going to have to do something to make up for state budget cuts. He says they’re approaching the crossroads where they’re going to have to cut, or raise tuition significantly more. The discussion came during their meeting in Ames after the Regents discussed a legislative budget proposal that would cut another 29-million dollars from their budget.
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