Iowa Board of Regents President David Miles is floating the idea that the group hold fewer meetings during the year to save money. The nine-member board meets six times a year — but Miles says some costs could be lowered by holding fewer face-to-face meetings and inviting fewer school administrators to attend those meetings.
"If there are ways we can reduce the amount of travel a person has to do or certainly overnight, those are the kinds of things we want to do," Miles says. Miles admits the savings would be small if the board eliminated some meetings, but says the Regents want to lead by example as the universities study their own cost-savings plans in light of state funding cuts. The presidents of the three state universities talked about their plans for cutting back.
University of Iowa President Sally Mason told the board that she has put on hold the searches for four top-level administrators to save money.She says she will stop looking for vice presidents of legal affairs, student services and research, and an associate provost for equal opportunity and diversity.
Mason says,"Three of these searches will be delayed for up to two years, effective immediately, and I am grateful that in each case the individual serving as the interim has agreed to stay on for the two-year period." Mason estimates the school will save 200-thousand dollars by halting the searches. But she says the university will move ahead and spend 165-thousand dollars in private funds to hire consultants to develop plans for communication and to combat binge drinking.
Motorists driving on Interstate-80 in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area will face an overnight detour later this week. Workers plan to install new girders on the Riverview Bridge, located about a-half mile west of the Iowa/Nebraska border.
Marvin Lech. with the Nebraska Department of Roads, says the bridge runs over I-80. Lech says the Interstate will be closed from 11 p.m. Wednesday until 6 A.M. Thursday. If the work is not completed, I-80 will be closed again late Thursday night into Friday morning. The marked detour will re-route traffic on Interstates 480 and 29. Lech says the Riverview Bridge, originally built in the early 1970s, does not carry much traffic.
"The only reason (the bridge) is being rebuilt is to accommodate the widening of Interstate 80 through that area," Lech said. The cost of the bridge project is estimated at more than $1.5 million.