Governor Chet Culver signed the executive order Monday to institute the 1.5% across the board budget cuts he’s called for in reaction to lower revenue estimates. The board that governs the three state universities says it will be looking for cuts that amount to 2.5%.
Board of Regents president, David Miles, says the cuts the board is seeking will add up to $17.5 million. Miles says the governor had originally asked them to revert $7.5 million, and then asked for the most recent cut, which is another $10.5 million. Administrators at Iowa State, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa are trying to determine where they’ll make the cuts.
"Our hope is that our students won’t feel any impact at least immediately," Miles says, "and I’m confident that they won’t when they arrive back on campus." He says the universities are to have the proposed cuts in by January 9th and Miles says the effort will be to protect all student aid and classes, but he can’t say for sure what will be cut until he gets the final plans. Miles says finding the areas to cut could be tough.
Miles says the universities and special schools went through cuts in the early part of the decade and have tried to increase productivity in many ways. He says the real cost of education has barely moved, as there’s just been a shift in how it is paid for. "so there’s going to be some challenges," Miles says. Miles says they will look at everything when it comes to making the cuts.
Miles says they’ll have to defer some projects, delay the purchasing of classroom equipment and supplies, and will also have to look at furloughs and not filling some positions. He says they haven’t made any decisions on furloughs or positions, but says they will be on the table this time around. He says they hope to avoid cutting any positions, but can’t rule it out.
Miles says they are going to try as many ways as they can to absorb the cuts without furloughs or salary freezes, and layoffs will be a "final resort." He says the latest revenue estimates for the new fiscal year don’t look promising either.
new fiscal years. The Regents have asked the University of Iowa to make nearly $7.5 million in cuts, Iowa State just over 7 million, and over 2.5 million for UNI. The School for the deaf is asked to make nearly $152,000 in cuts, the Braille and Sight Saving School nearly $86,000. The Regents office plans to make just over $35,000 in cuts.