The leaders of Iowa’s three public universities made their budget pitches to Governor Kim Reynolds today.

“I’m aware, very aware, that I must sound like a broken record as I’m consistently commenting on the need to increase resources to the university,” University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld said. “…We cannot cut our way to quality.”

University of Northern Iowa president Mark Nook said enrollment at the Cedar Falls school is down, while tuition and fees average about $2500 above universities around the country that are like UNI.

“We don’t have the resources and scholarships and things to compete on the same level with Iowa and Iowa State, so it is impacting our enrollment in a pretty significant way,” Nook said.

Nook is asking lawmakers for a $4 million budget boost for UNI in each of the next five years. Iowa State University president Wendy Winterstein said her staff has combed through this year’s budget and reallocated $12 million in spending.

“Iowa State is proud to be recognized for our lean organizational structure, but we can’t continue to deliver excellence on efficiencies alone,” Winterstein said. “New resources are needed to be able to assure that we can continue to fulfill our land grant mission and serve the state.”

The president of the board that governs the three universities said ensuring tuition is affordable makes a college degree accessible for more Iowans. The Regents are asking the governor and state legislature to commit an additional $18 million to provide tuition assistance to students at Iowa, Iowa State and UNI.