Three Republicans in the Iowa House say the state Board of Regents should not give bonuses to the presidents of the three state-supported universities.
Earlier this month, members of the Board of Regents decided the presidents of the Universityo f Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa would not get pay increases, but the board left open the possibility the campus leaders could get bonuses.
Representative Chris Hagenow, a Republican from Windsor Heights, says now is not the time for the presidents to get extra pay. “Bonuses are given out…in good times and these aren’t good times for the state budget,” Hagenow says.
Later this fall the Board of Regents will consider a hike in next year’s tuition for students at the three universities as a means of covering budget shortfalls. Hagenow says it would be unwise to give the presidents of Iowa, Iowa State and U.N.I. bonuses when students are asked to pay more.
“There’s simply no reason to give out the bonuses when we’re looking at tuition increases,” Hagenow says.
According to Hagenow, the Board of Regents would show is it “out of touch” with taxpayers if the presidents get bonuses.
“Iowa families are making sacrifices and tightening their belts,” Hagenow says. “And we want to see the Board of Regents do the same.”
Hagenow is a graduate of both U.N.I. and Iowa. He got his undergraduate degree from U.N.I. and his law degree from the University of Iowa.
Representative Jeff Kaufmann, a Republican from Wilton, and Representative Annette Sweeney, a Republican from Alden, plan to join with Hagenow to sponsor legislation that would forbid pay hikes and bonuses for the university presidents in years that tuition for students is raised. That means the university presidents would likely never get a pay hike, as tuition is raised nearly every year. Kaufmann hopes the proposal could be a “starting point” in discussions with Democrats who control the legislature’s debate agenda and might lead to some sort of limits on executive pay at the universities.