The Iowa Board of Regents today (Wednesday) unanimously approved an eight-point-three percent tuition hike for in-state students next year. The regents also heard from school leaders about how the universities are dealing with the additional two and-a-half percent cut in state funding the governor announced last month. University of Iowa President David Skorton says that means a nine-point-nine-Million dollar cut in his university’s funding. Skorton says they’ll do everything possible to keep the University an institution the state can be proud of, in academics and research, and he asks the Regents to work with lawmakers and the state’s executive branch to help keep it that way. Iowa State University’s share of the cut is eight-point-three Million, and I-S-U president Gregory Geoffrey says cuts are now affecting the fabric of the institution. Geoffrey says I-S-U has cut muscle and now the cuts go all the way to bone, “approaching almost a crisis” situation. U-N-I’s budget is reduced by just two-Million dollars, but President Robert Koob says the University of Northern Iowa is a victim of its own efficiency, with no fat to trim…and no flexibility to deal with making cuts. Koob says UNI doesn’t have administrative efficiencies it can achieve with cuts, only opportunities that will be reduced, as the school operates under the necessity of making cuts and has lived up to its obligations. All three presidents say raising tuition is not the answer to making up all the lost funding. The University leaders agree tuition increases should be held to the single digits. Nate Green is student-body president at the University of Iowa. Green endorsed the eight-point-three-percent tuition increase, with deep reservations, saying it’s an extra 360-dollars a year for students and their families. Green urged regents not to raise tuition any more, saying with the additional mid-year cuts in state funding, the Universities are talking about early retirements, furloughs and cutting programs — moves that will affect the quality of education. This is the first meeting at which the University presidents have addressed that midyear state funding cut, announced in October after Iowa’s revenue estimating board revised downward its expectations for tax revenues.
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