Tuition, salary proposals go to regents next week

On the heels of an increase in state operational support next year that's less than one-third of what university leaders requested, Iowa State will make up the difference in additional tuition revenue. When it meets next week in Ames, the state Board of Regents will be asked to approve a $7.3 million addition to the 2016-17 tuition rates it approved, conditionally, in December. The proposed increases include $300 for resident undergraduates, who previously were looking at a tuition freeze; $100 for nonresident undergraduates and all graduate students; and $50 for all veterinary medicine students.

The board of regents will meet Wednesday and Thursday, June 8-9, at the alumni center. The full agenda is on the board's website, as is an audio live stream of open portions of the meeting. Wednesday morning and early afternoon are reserved for performance evaluations of the university presidents and board executive director Bob Donley.

Tuition adjustments

Student group

Approved increase (December)

Proposed increase (May)

Proposed 2016-17 tuition









   Nonresident (U.S.)
















   Nonresident (U.S.)








Vet Med (years 1-3)








   Nonresident (U.S.)








*Includes $500 incremental tuition (first of three years) for all international students

These proposed tuition increases and the increases the board approved in December would generate an estimated $33.7 million in new revenue in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Iowa State leaders sought an $8.2 million increase to the university's general university operating appropriation for next year; in April, the Legislature approved a $2.2 million increase, which the governor also signed last week. Back in December, board members pledged to revisit tuition rates if state support fell short of the regent universities' requests.

Salary increases

The university's annual salary parameters for the fiscal year that begins July 1 are in the board's consent agenda, for which there typically is little or no discussion prior to approval. President Steven Leath shared the parameters with university leaders in a May 24 memo.

Faculty, P&S staff, contract staff and post docs

As proposed, a 1 percent increase is the minimum salary increase for employees whose most recent performance evaluation indicated satisfactory work. Higher increases -- up to 5 percent -- are allowed for faculty and staff "who go above and beyond," as Leath wrote in his memo. Any proposed salary increase in excess of 5.0 percent requires approval from the appropriate senior vice president, and a form exists for that purpose.

Units will receive central funds for 3.5 percent performance-based salary increases, and that is the overall targeted average for faculty, P&S and contract staff (K base) and post docs across the university. However, individual units may finish with average increases above or below that.

Salary increases also may be necessary for internal or market equity or retention purposes, though these adjustments can be made at other times of the year. Market and equity considerations that push a salary increase above 5 percent require supporting data that illustrate the disparity. Questions about market, equity or retention-related salary increases should be directed to the classification/compensation unit in university human resources.

Also on July 1, the salary points in the P&S salary matrix (for minimum, maximum, midpoint and first-third salaries in each pay grade) also will be raised 1.75 percent. The adjustment is intended to help align ISU salaries with changes to external market salaries.

Merit staff

Year two of the state's two-year collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) calls for a salary increases of 2.25 percent on July 1 and 1.25 percent on Jan. 1, 2017. Merit employees who haven't reached the maximum salary in their pay grades also will receive a 4.5 percent increase on their anniversary dates at the university.

Other Iowa State agenda items

In other ISU-related business, the board will be asked to:

  • Approve a five-year lease between the university and Clearwater Crossing Lodge Inc. (a subsidiary of the ISU Foundation) for a 29-acre rural property west of Missoula, Montana, for use by the colleges of Human Sciences and Agriculture and Life Sciences. The property contains cabins, a small restaurant and various outbuildings suitable for student learning experiences. The proposed lease rate is $1,000 per year. The Clearwater corporation, which is in the process of dissolving, previously gifted all of its shares to the ISU Foundation. The foundation subsequently would become the landlord on the lease.
  • Allow Iowa State to receive benefits from the gift of 389 acres of farmland in Worth County from Lavonne Gregory upon her death. As stipulated in a revocable trust agreement, the state would receive the gift and the university would manage the farm, with net income to be split between the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Veterinary Medicine and used in teaching and research related to companion animals.
  • Approve a revised budget ($6.1 million, an increase of $570,000) for the kinesiology department's renovation project in the older part of the Forker Building. The increase is due to a redesign of the work area for graduate students. The project is being paid for with university funds.
  • Approve the termination of the (inactive) Institute for Combinatorial Discovery (currently in the office of the vice president for research), established in 2003 as one of six presidential initiatives. Budget cuts in 2010 resulted in reduced support for the institute and in 2015 its director left the university. Remaining limited funds would be transferred to the office of biotechnology. The proposed effective date is June 30.
  • Modify Iowa State's peer group, substituting Pennsylvania State University for the University of Arizona. Arizona is considered an "outlier," in part because its student body includes relatively low numbers of students in the engineering and ag-related majors. Like Arizona, Penn State is both a land-grant university and an AAU member university. Penn State is considered an "aspirational peer" in the area of research expenditures.
  • Receive a summary of the honorary Doctor of Science degree presented to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz May 7, the day he spoke at the undergraduate commencement ceremony.

These Iowa State faculty and staff are scheduled to give presentations to board members:

  • Registrar Laura Doering, residence director Pete Englin and student activities center director George Micalone: "The Co-Curricular Transcript: Helping Students Track Their Personal and Professional Development," Student and Academic Affairs Committee, Wednesday afternoon, Horton Room
  • Biomedical sciences professor Richard Martin, "Even a Worm Will Turn: Discovery of Drugs that Paralyze Important Worm Parasites of Humans and Animals," full board, Thursday afternoon, Reiman Ballroom
  • Music and theatre faculty members Jane Cox, Brad Dell, Michael Golemo, Donald Simonson and Jonathan Sturm, "The State of Performing Arts at Iowa State University," full board, Thursday afternoon, Reiman Ballroom