Ten days after announcing the AIB College of Business would give its 20-acre campus to the University of Iowa and become the U-I Des Moines campus, officials from both schools announced changes to the plan.
Speaking at the Board of Regents meeting in Cedar Falls Thursday, U-I president, Sally Mason says they have heard from several people inside and outside the college about the merger. Mason then announced a change in the new AIB campus name.
“We envision that on July first, 2016, the AIB campus will become the Regional Regents Center, operated by the University of Iowa,” Mason says. After saying the merger would allow the University of Iowa to increase its student population during the January 26th announcement, Mason now says they hope to get the other two state-supported schools involved too.
“Our goals will be, to be responsive to and expand to meet the needs of the community. To grow offerings in student populations in Des Moines, as well as growing the student body in Iowa City,” Mason says. “And finally we hope that our sister institutions as well as others who might wish to offer programs especially in partnership with us, would do so in Des Moines. And in fact, I would invite ISU and UNI to work with us on the center to better serve the Des Moines community.”
Mason had said at the merger announcement that new students enrolling at AIB in the fall would become Hawkeyes, but that now will not happen until at least 2016.
The chair of AIB’s board of trustees, Chris Costa, spoke on the Des Moines campus Thursday afternoon. Costa says the business college will not be enrolling a freshman class in fall 2015. He says roughly 300 to 400 students will have to transfer to another school to complete their degrees.
Costa says students wishing to transfer to U-I will be subject to the university’s standard transfer policies.”We’re hoping to have guidance counselors to work with each of our students that want to make that transfer, so we can best assure that they are meeting the guidelines set by the University of Iowa,” Cost says.
AIB’s last graduating class will be in June 2016, and the University of Iowa will begin operations July 1st. AIB’s president said the college did not know what would happen with the athletic programs when the merge was announced, but the plan announced Thursday says all athletic programs will end in May 2015. Softball, baseball and golf teams will complete their 2015 spring competition as scheduled.
Board of Regent’s president, Bruce Rastetter, was in Cedar Falls Thursday for the board’s meeting and emphasized the deal still requires the board’s approval after what he calls, “due diligence” is complete. The plan for the University of Iowa to take over AIB has come under fire from students since it was announced, with students holding protests on campus.