The Board of regents has a new liaison with state lawmakers. Gary Steinke left a position as assistant to the president at ISU and director of governmental relations, and he says that like his old post, this is a lobbying job. The board decided to consolidate its governmental-relations office for all three state universities, so he’ll work for them all. Steinke says he’ll lobby state lawmakers and “hone the message” of the regents’ priorities. Steinke will also be deputy director of the board, which’ll carry many administrative responsibilities. Steinke took up his new duties just this month, and says while his responsibility’s expanded to include all 3 institutions, his approach won’t change. Steinke says he’s always approached it by highlighting the economic importance of the schools and economic-development focus of the board, and he’ll just expand that to represent all three universities. Steinke will have liaisons at each University who’ll continue to report to the board and he thinks money and budgeting will continue to be one of the things the regents’ institutions discuss with lawmakers. He doesn’t expect any more budget cuts with the state’s economy coming around at last, but he says they’ll also continue to talk about budget, and how the universities support economic development and spin off jobs in the state.
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