Gerontology degree proposals go to regents next week

Final approval of the FY15 university budget and new ISU degree programs in gerontology are on the agenda when the state Board of Regents meets via telephone Wednesday, Aug. 6. Based at the board office in Urbandale, the meeting is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A live audio stream will be available on the board's website.

The total Iowa State budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 is a proposed $1.3 billion. This includes a $655 million operating budget and a $670 million restricted budget, which includes sponsored research, private gifts, endowment income, sales and services, and auxiliary units such as athletics, residence, printing, parking, bookstore, Reiman Gardens and the Memorial Union.

Operating budget revenues come from state appropriations (36 percent), federal support (2 percent), tuition and fees (58 percent), and other sources (4 percent). About two-thirds of the operating budget (a proposed $433.9 million) will be used for employee salaries and benefits.

Gerontology graduate programs

The College of Human Sciences would like to offer interdepartmental master's and doctoral degrees in gerontology to meet the growing societal demand and student interest in careers focused on older adults. The master's program, with both thesis and project options, would be offered in addition to the college's current Master of Family and Consumer Sciences with a specialization in gerontology. No Iowa college or university offers a Ph.D. in gerontology.

In other business, Iowa State will seek permission to:

  • Increase the boiler replacement budget by $4 million, to $42 million, due to higher-than-anticipated costs to: purchase the three new boilers, redesign ISU's electrical distribution system and remodel the power plant. Reducing the project scope to stay within the current budget would negatively impact the function and operational reliability of the power plant.
  • Sell an anticipated $17.6 million in academic building revenue refunding bonds to save an estimated $1.35 million in interest on the 2016-27 payments on 2005 bonds that financed improvements to the veterinary teaching hospital, veterinary diagnostics lab and Coover Hall. The savings are due to lower interest rates today.
  • Change Michael Crum's title, from senior policy adviser on economic development to the president, to vice president for economic development and business engagement, effective retroactively to July 1.