The president of the board the governs the three state-supported universities said today they will seek a tuition freeze for residents of the state who attend the schools. Board of Regents president, Craig Lang, said the board will ask the legislature for a small increase in overall funding for the next year.
“We are going to ask…for an inflationary rate in general fund of two-and-a-half percent,” Lang said. He said they will also ask for another year of $4-million in extra funding for the University of Northern Iowa. Lang says that increase in state funding will allow them to freeze tuition.
“If this is achievable, I would like the university presidents to model tuition rates for the undergraduate resident students that are unchanged for the coming year,” Lang explained. The regents raised tuition by three-point-seven-five percent for this school year. Lang told the board that University of Iowa President Sally Mason proposed the tuition freeze and the presidents at Iowa State University and Northern Iowa agreed to go along.
“We are at a unique position today. We are coming out of a period of heavy loses in state funding and have proven to Iowans that we are good stewards of the assets entrusted to us,” Lang said. “Our universities have made very difficult decisions and have proven to be strategic and innovative in the use of their resources. Today we will ask the governor and the legislature to continue put their faith in the future of higher education in Iowa by supporting the regent 2014 appropriation request.”
Lang says there is a concern about U.N.I. as they were the only school to have a drop in enrollment. But he says outgoing U.N.I. president Ben Allen has agreed to move forward with the freeze and that is what they will do. “We will continue to discuss the concept of a tuition freeze for undergraduate resident students with further review of the numbers at the October Board of Regents meeting. We will do our utmost to make this work with the support of the governor and the legislature,” Lang said.
State lawmakers increased funding to the by 551-million dollars in the new fiscal year that began in July of this year after several cutbacks in funding. The Board of Regents will also hire a consultant to examine each school and look for more ways for the three to share costs.