A group of chanting protesters surprised the Iowa Board of Regents meeting in Iowa City Wednesday. Around one dozen coat-clad students chanted “Ditch Deloitte, stop the audit” before being ushered from the room. They were making reference to the auditing firm hired to study the operations on the three state-supported universities to find ways to be more efficient and save money.
Regents president, Bruce Rastetter, told reporters the board is inviting public involvement in the efficiency studies. “Iowa State begins in two to three weeks, the University of Iowa the week after that and (then) the University of Northern Iowa,” Rastetter says. “There will be a public forum at the beginning. The three presidents, and I know Regent McKibben and myself will be there. The public will be invited and all the stakeholders in the community. This will be a bottom up approach.”
University of Iowa President Sally Mason says after the meeting that opposition to the efficiency study is news to her. “This was the first that I had heard from students about a concern about DeLoitte. I think Regent Rastetter is correct — we want them to be part of the conversation.” The Regents are initially paying $2.5 million for the efficiency study. They’ve been told DeLoitte’s studies usually return 6-to-10 times that investment in savings.