Second tuition freeze proposal goes to regents

Tuition for in-state undergraduates next year again would remain at 2012-13 levels under the proposal the state Board of Regents will review next week in Iowa City. With the aim of keeping a college education affordable, resident undergraduate tuition didn't change this fall from a year ago.

The board will meet Oct. 23-24 at the University of Iowa; proposed 2014-15 tuition rates will be introduced on Oct. 24. The board's vote on 2014-15 tuition rates is expected at its Dec. 4 meeting.

A live audio stream of the meeting's public portions will be online at the board website.

Nonresident undergraduates would pay $334 (1.74 percent) more in tuition next year, as proposed. Resident graduate students would pay $142 (1.81 percent) more, and nonresident graduate students would pay an additional $646 (3.2 percent). College of Veterinary Medicine students, resident or nonresident, would pay 4.5 percent more next year – $862 and $1,928, respectively.

Mandatory student fees would go up $5.80 for all Iowa State students in 2014-15, as proposed. That includes a $3 increase for student services and a $2.80 increase for student activities. Student fees haven't changed for Iowa State students in three years.

This year, Iowa State resident undergraduates are enjoying the lowest tuition and fees ($7,726) among Iowa State's Peer 11 schools. At one end of the range is the University of Illinois ($15,258); at the other, just ahead of Iowa State, is North Carolina State ($8,206). Nonresident undergraduates are paying the second lowest tuition and fees ($20,278) in the peer group, just ahead of the University of Minnesota ($19,805), and well behind the University of California, Davis ($36,774), at the top of the list.

Grounds improvements at the Knoll

Iowa State also will seek permission to move ahead with sidewalk and landscaping projects at the Knoll, the president's residence. The first would repair sidewalks and patios and improve outdoor lighting (estimated $110,000 budget). The second is a multiyear project to remove or replace plantings and trees in the five acres surrounding the Knoll (estimated $95,000 budget). Private gifts would pay for both projects.

Utilities bond sale

The board is expected to approve a bond sale for about $27.5 million in utility system revenue bonds to help pay for replacing three of Iowa State's five coal-fired boilers with natural gas boilers. Campus utilities income would repay the bonds over 20 years. The board approved the three-year boiler replacement plan last December.

Other business

In other business, Iowa State will ask to:

  • Award an honorary Doctor of Science degree to NASA astronaut and Mount Ayr native Peggy Whitson for her contributions to the U.S. and international space programs, and service involving young people, particularly as a role model for young women who pursue careers in the STEM fields. The degree would be awarded in December at the fall commencement ceremony.
  • Revise its 2013-14 general catalog (an online publication), including 126 course additions (primarily due to new programs) and 103 course eliminations (courses that haven't been taught in some time)