The board that governs the three state universities has approved $65.4 million in budget cuts. Board of Regents president Michael Richards warned this may not be the end of the cuts.
“We certainly anticipate that the detailed plans that our universities have made public for the fall 2020 semester will continue to be refined, added to and adjusted,” Richards said, “if need be.”
University of Northern Iowa president Mark Nook said the budget reflects the “brutal facts” of the current situation.
“We have been living and working in very uncertain times over the past several months and that uncertainty remains with us and will continue for several more months,” Nook said. “…As a university, we have become comfortable being uncomfortable.”
University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld already ordered a salary freeze for 4200 campus employees.
“Shutting down was one thing. Reopening is another,” Harreld said. “Every pocket of our university has been impacted by this virus.”
The board approved early retirement incentives at Iowa State and ISU president Wendy Wintersteen estimated 100 faculty positions will be reduced through attrition.
“We are addressing unprecedented revenue losses due to COVID-19: projected enrollment declined, reduced state appropriations,” Winterstein said. “…and the increased cost of preparing for the fall semester with a prioritization for health and safety.”
The board approved salary cuts for the three university presidents. Iowa’s president is taking the largest — a 50 percent pay cut. The salary for Iowa State’s president will be reduced by 10 percent. UNI’s president is taking a nearly 12 percent pay cut, plus his deferred compensation will be cut in half.
“I have been personally very impressed by our institutional leadership being willing to take pay reductions to help with the economic challenges our schools are facing,” Richards, the Board of Regents president, said. “…Everything we can do makes a difference in this pandemic.”
In a news release, the board announced that due to the volatility surrounding college sports, the athletic budgets for the Hawkeye, Cyclone and Panther programs will be reviewed in September. A decision on the next phase of improvements to Iowa State’s Hilton Coliseum was delayed as well.