Vote scheduled next week on spring tuition increase

The state Board of Regents will make a decision on a proposed 3 percent spring tuition increase for resident undergraduates when it meets Sept. 9 in Cedar Falls. The increase would raise spring tuition $100 for most Iowa State resident undergraduates; up to $133 for programs with previously approved differential tuitions. If approved, it would raise an estimated $1.65 million in additional revenue for Iowa State.

The board will meet in the student union at the University of Northern Iowa. Audio of the meeting's open sessions will be streamed live on the board's website. The full agenda also is online.

FY17 state appropriation requests

The board faces an Oct. 1 deadline to submit funding requests to the state (governor and Legislature) for the year that begins July 1, 2016.

For the second consecutive year, the board will request differential changes to the three universities' general university operations appropriations. The board will propose a 4.5 percent ($8.2 million) increase for Iowa State to meet student enrollment growth and an 8.1 percent ($7.6 million) increase for the University of Northern Iowa "for financial stability." The University of Iowa's general university appropriation would remain flat.

As proposed, the board will request a 2.7 percent increase for directed appropriations to all schools, whether covered by education, agricultural or economic development funds. Examples at Iowa State include the veterinary diagnostic lab, ag experiment station and cooperative extension.

The upper end of the inflation range in the Higher Education Price Index for FY17 is 2.7 percent.

Global corporation

Iowa State will ask the board to allow the university, in cooperation with the ISU Foundation, to establish the ISU Global Corp. The nonprofit entity would lease, develop or own facilities and real estate in foreign countries in support of the university's international programs. The proposed structure would work like this: ISU Global would create limited liability entities for specific countries that would operate safely and in compliance with local laws. Immediate needs are in Kamuli, Uganda (Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences); and Rome, Italy (College of Design). Additional locations in other countries are anticipated.

The corporation's first proposed project is in the Kamuli district, and includes a long-term land lease (about 25 acres) and construction project to consolidate ISU's operations currently at a half dozen locations. The facility would include staff offices, a student dormitory, guest rooms for visiting faculty and staff, housing for resident managers and their families, recreation areas and a security wall and gate. The estimated cost is $2.5-3 million, funded by private donors via the ISU Foundation.

In August, the board approved another nonprofit for Iowa State, a facilities corporation. That entity's focus, also in cooperation with the ISU Foundation, is on large building projects on campus.

Other items

In other Iowa State-related business, the board will:

  • Be asked to approve a $30 million sale of dormitory revenue bonds to partially pay for the Buchanan Hall building 2. The first bond sale for this project (and the Friley dining center renovation project), also in the amount of $30 million, was approved in April. Repayment on the second sale is scheduled to continue through FY 2035 from net income of the residence department.
  • Initiate the formal process to amend Iowa Administrative Code 681 (chapter 1) to grant resident status to student veterans and align with the federal 2014 Choice Act.