The leaders of Iowa’s three public universities made their pitch for more public funding to the governor today during a statehouse budget hearing.
Officials at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa are asking for a general two percent boost in state taxpayer support.
Iowa State University president Steven Leath said it’s a “reasonable” request in light of dramatic enrollment growth at the Ames school.
“We have to face a stark reality together that as our enrollment increases, our state appropriation per resident student has dropped,” Leath said. “…This year we’re receiving $3300 less in state funds for each Iowa kid than we did eight years ago and that is a huge challenge for us, quite frankly.”
University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld said his focus is on keeping and attracting faculty.
“At our core, we’re a knowledge factory, you might say,” Harreld said. “Seventy percent of our cost structure relates to faculty and staff and as we continue to look forward, it’s the investment that we make in these people, our faculty and our staff, that will pay the long-term dividends for our students, our state and our nation.”
Harreld and ISU’s president also are asking for a portion of state gambling taxes for construction projects on the campuses.