Members of the Board of Regents and the presidents the state-supported universities made their pitch for state funding at the capitol Wednesday. Iowa State University President, Steven Leath, says they need money to deal with a combination of a growing student body and rising infrastructure costs.
“If we are going to continue to provide a quality education, we need funds just to keep up and give all the students, including these new students, the same quality education there predecessors had,” Leath said. Representative Ron Jorgenson, a Republican from Sioux City, said there’s a public relations issue about how the schools operate, and asked the presidents if they should bring in someone to do an outside evaluation.
“Do you think that would be a good idea to counter this perception that’s out there that you are too costly and too inefficient?, Jorgenson asked. University of Iowa President, Sally Mason, responded that she didn’t want to waste money to learn what she already knows. She says they have already had and outside review.
“It showed that we were a $6-billion asset to the state of Iowa, and yet people then turned to me and said ‘well I don’t believe that.’ So, tell me what would convince people of what we know we’re doing and were doing well,” Mason said. Mason says what they are doing well at is cutting costs– she says all three colleges have slashed administrative costs, while at the same time trying to maintain higher educational standards.