The board that governs the three state universities will receive a proposal from a task force at its meeting next week that would dramatically change the way the schools are funded. The recommendation to the Board of Regents suggests using a formula that gives each school 60-percent of its state money based on the number of in-state students enrolled. The University of Iowa has the fewest in-state students and could take a budget hit of around 60-million dollars.
Regents spokesperson Sheila Doyle Koppin says the U-I may not lose all of that money, and it would not go away in one year. “As the task force reviewed that proposal and refined their recommendations, they revised it to be one to two percent of the University of Iowa’s total general education revenues. And that it would be phased in over two to four years,” Koppin says.
Koppin says the one to two percent of the U-I’s revenues would range from 6.5 to 13 million dollars. She says the board would have to determine the phase-in time for the new plan. “What this task force has recommended is that the board look at it from year-to-year for adjustments. Now what this board has determined to do, that has not yet been finalized,” Koppin says. The other parts of the task force proposal would reward the three schools 40-percent of their funding based on performance goals.
Task force member, Leonard Hadley, a retired business executive, was the only one to vote against the proposal. Hadley has submitted his own proposal which would add in a weighted scale for funding based on the type of degrees being sought. He also proposes the schools receive a fixed 20-percent of their funding for maintenance and drops the funding given for in-state students to 40-percent.
Koppin says the Board of Regents will vote on the plan at their meeting Wednesday June 4th. She says they will not ask the governor and legislature to take a formal vote on the plan, and will leave it up to them to fund whatever plan the board approves. “We will submit our budget request, and then we will see what the governor and the legislature have in their recommendations for us — and see if that equates to whatever new funding model is adopted by the board,” Koppin says.
University of Iowa president, Sally Mason, said recently as the Board of Regents rethinks how they schools are funded, it is important to stress how man out-of-state students find jobs and stay in the state after graduating from her school.
The Board of Regents will take up the issue during their meeting in Ames.