Iowa State must trim another $1 million

Iowa State leaders learned late last week that they'll need to trim nearly $1 million more from the current year's budget.

Chief financial officer Miles Lackey said the cuts will be allocated across the same four categories used to make $8 million in reductions last month:

  • Postponing nonessential deferred maintenance and repairs
  • Delaying some searches or eliminating vacant positions
  • Reducing expenditures for professional development, equipment, travel, printing and communications
  • Temporarily reducing some campus-wide services

Lackey reiterated President Steven Leath's commitment to minimizing the impact on students, both this spring and in the future.

"There are no plans to reduce financial aid packages to achieve savings," Lackey said, but added "the cuts do present considerable challenges for the university as we try to make progress in scaling services and programs to account for ISU's enrollment growth."

Why more, why now?

University leaders knew a second reduction was possible -- but they also were hoping it wouldn't happen. The deappropriations bill approved by legislators and signed by Gov. Terry Branstad on Feb. 1 included a "miscellaneous" division that contained a section authorizing the state Department of Management to identify $11.5 million in operational savings among state agencies. On Feb. 24, department leaders assigned $2.75 million of that amount to the three regent universities.

Besides Iowa State's $990,000 reduction, the University of Iowa received a reduction of $1,237,500 and Northern Iowa of $522,500.

With the direct deappropriations signed into law last month, the regent universities will make a total of $20.75 million in mid-year cuts.

Where Iowa State cut $8 million

Lackey provided this summary of how Iowa State units met the first reduction:

  • $4.7 million: Postponing nonessential deferred maintenance and capital improvement projects. Key projects are a renovation of the Scheman Building, carpet and furniture replacements in the library's Learning Connections Center and a classroom renovation project in Kildee Hall.
  • $2.2 million: Personnel savings, primarily achieved by leaving vacant positions unfilled
  • $1.1 million: Reductions in operational expenditures and certain services, including scheduled computer replacements, scholarly journal subscriptions, professional development and services specific to the research enterprise