The student body presidents at the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University have issued a joint statement on the potential budget impact on university students — but the student body president at the University of Iowa has declined to sign on.
The state says “enough is enough” and Adam Haselhuhn of U.N.I. says they believe the state has already cut the funding to the three state universities too much.
Haselhuhn says if you look at the numbers, the support from the state has continuosly dropped off. He says specific to U.N.I. the support from the state has dropped by 23.1% since fiscal year 2009, what he calls “a substantial amount of money in a short period of time.”
Haslehuhn says he is not against any tuition increase, but he doesn’t want the students to shoulder more than they should. “I understand that the entire state will be affected by this, and I unstand that tuition, we probably do need to see an increase, but a reasonable increase,” Haslehuhn.
He says he wants to see the Board of Regents stick with the past plan of keeping tuition tied to the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI), and says he would support a three-point-five percent increase in tuition. “But unfortunately that doesn’t look like the number we’re going to see, we’re probably going to see a number above that,” Haselhuhn says.
The regents will also discuss a one-time surcharge on students. Haselhuhn isn’t in favor of that idea either. Haselhuhn says he doesn’t feel it’s fair to charge a surcharge and then raise tution above the higher education price index.
Haselhuhn says that cuts to faculty and staff will not only impact those employees of the universities, but they also have an impact on students, as they will decrease the services available to student.
The president of Iowa State’s student body, Jonathan Turk, signed the statement along with Haselhuhn. University of Iowa student body president, Mike Currie, did not join his counterparts in the statement.
Currie says he does not agree with the recommendation against raising tutition above the HEPI index, and he says he believes there’s going to have to be an increase of five or six percent. “I think it’s better for us to be realistic and to work with the administration and the regents in determining how that five or six percent is spent instead of trying to fight it off, because like I said before, I think it is inevitable,” Currie says.
Currie says he did not like how the statement sounded. He says he thought the language was too strong and condemned the governor and state legislature. “And I don’t think it’s a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you,” Currie says. Currie says he does not favor the idea of a surcharge, but says it’s not yet know how much it would be and if it is feasible.
Currie says he’s heard that the surcharge could be $100, but he doesn’t know for sure. He says $200 is too much, while $25 “may not be too bad”. Currie says if you charge every U-I student $100, that would only raise three million dollars — which would only be a little over 12% of what they need to cut from the budget and might not be worth the implementation of the policy.
Currie agrees with Huselhuhn that the cuts need to be spread out across the schools. Currie says: “Everybody within the university community is going to have to make a sacrifice. Faculty are going to see a decrease in their salary, some staff are going to get laid off and students are gonna have to pay a little bit more for their education….I think so long as that sacrifice is being made across the board, then we need to be open and be reasonable with those suggestions.”
The president of the Board of Regents has asked the three state schools to bring their proposals for cutting their budgets to the board’s next meeting October 26th in Cedar Falls.