The Board of Regents holds the first of three public forums in Iowa City today on its planned efficiency review of the three state universities. The board calls the study the “Transparent Inclusive Efficiency Review” or TIER. The prospect of the review has raised some concern on the campuses, but Regents president Bruce Rastetter, says there’s nothing to be worried about. “One of the things that we talked about is that the review process is going to be open, transparent and inclusive. So there shouldn’t one, be an fear that people aren’t going to be able to know and see and be included in this process. So, we want them to be engage and involved.”
The first forum on the University of Iowa campus is at 10 a.m. in 100 Phillips Hall. Rastetter says everything will be reviewed at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa. “No decisions have been made and no decisions will be made until we go through that process. And I think the great part about what we’re doing now, is any savings that we found be reinvested in the universities where those savings are found,” Rastetter says. “So, it isn’t that the regents will take money from the university and give it to another — (it) will be reinvested within that university.”
The board has approved spending $2.5 million on the study and chose Deloitte Consulting of New York to conduct it. Rastetter says the bottom line is finding a way to offer the most affordable education possible for students. “I think what we’re saying is, that as prudent stewards of public money, we have a responsibility to maximize university resources, reduce costs, generate new revenue and operate as efficiently and effectively as possible,” Rastetter says. “And with a high student debt, we think it’s important. It’ been 30 years since this has been done.”
Rastetter says it’s evident each school has a core academic mission and the study will help them with those missions. “For the future, we’ve got to provide affordable high-quality education. So, I think it’s important that each university stay true to its mission. So, part of this might just be policies going forward making sure that we don’t add to duplication, or more on-line learning. So, there are a variety of things that will come out of this — and have nationally — that just make sense,” according to Rastetter.
He says the forums are the first step in getting input in the process. “We want to make sure that everyone knows that we welcome that. That there’ll be websites established, there’ll be additional meetings, that Deloitte will be meeting with the faculty, administrative areas, the purchasing areas. And that we are actively seeking input from all areas of the campus community,” Rastetter says.
The next forum is April 1st at 10:00 a.m. in Howe Hall Auditorium at Iowa State University in Ames. The third forum is Monday April 7th at 1:30 p.m. at the Mauker Union Ballroom on the University of Northern Iowa campus in Cedar Falls.
The universities have set up online links for the public to provide suggestions for program, policy and process improvements. Here are the links:
University of Iowa