University of Iowa President Sally Mason says the Iowa City institution would not be impacted much if the state Board of Regents decides to hold tuition at the state’s three universities at the same level for another year. Mason says no matter what the board decides, it will be a good decision.
“I certainly am not at all concerned about a third year of a tuition freeze for our resident students,” Mason says. “I think we can handle that. I always like to tell people, I’m a first-generation college student. I’m acutely sensitive to the cost of a college education and trying to make certain that we keep higher education accessible and affordable to all students.”
Last month, the board which oversees Iowa, Iowa State and UNI discussed a possible tuition increase for the upcoming school year, with the discussion also including an unprecedented third year freeze. Mason says she knows first-hand about the need to keep tuition affordable for all potential students. “My dad immigrated here from Czechoslovakia when he was just a small boy and as a result, never had the option of much education at all, he finished an eighth grade education before he had to leave school, go to work and eventually fight in World War Two,” Mason says. “He wanted nothing more than to have a better life for his kids and he knew education had to be a part of that.”
Mason says her father’s years of toil set the stage for her to be able to rise to the level of university president. “I was the beneficiary of his hard work and a wonderful public education system in the country that we should be proud of and we should be grateful for,” she says. The Board of Regents is scheduled to address the tuition issue at its December 3rd meeting. Mason made her comments Wednesday in Mason City. She will speak to the Clear Lake Rotary Club later today.
(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)