Republican lawmakers are criticizing a trip a group from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics plans to take to The Disney Institute in Orlando, Florida. Representative Pat Grassley, a Republican from New Hartford, says when University of Iowa students are being assessed a tuition surcharge in January — and face a sizable tuition increase next fall — this $130,000 trip makes no sense.
“We could definitely look at cutting something like this out,” Grassley says.
According to Grassley, leaders of the board that governs the University of Iowa submitted information about the trip to legislators. Administrators, physicians, nurses and medical assistants from the University of Iowa Hospitals are scheduled to visit The Disney Institute which, according to its website, creates a “living laboratory” of Disney’s “brand of business excellence.”
One legislator said it was “ludicrous” to try to justify the trip “for improved customer service when they have been reducing staff” at the University Hospitals in Iowa City. Grassley says it seems to him that this trip is unnecessary.
“We need to find places to cut back in budgets and this is a perfect example,” Grassley says.
A spokesperson for the Board of Regents — the board that governs the University of Iowa — was not immediately available for comment.