Tuition increase, nursing degree are on regents agenda

An additional tuition increase for this fall, 2017-18 step increases for merit employees, a new B.S. degree for registered nurses and an update on the ISU presidential search are on the agenda when the state Board of Regents meets June 7-8 in Cedar Falls. The board will conduct executive performance evaluations June 6 in Ames at the Alumni Center.

Audio of all public portions of the three days will be livestreamed on the board website. The agenda and supporting materials also are online.

Tuition hike

As first presented at a May 8 special meeting, Iowa State has asked to assess an additional $216 in tuition from each of its students this fall. That's another 3 percent hike for resident undergraduates and between 0.4 percent (veterinary medicine nonresidents) and 2.5 percent (graduate residents) for all others over the 2017-18 rates the board approved in December.

The increase is in response to $11.5 million less in state operating support on July 1 from a year ago. If approved, the additional tuition would raise an estimated $7.1 million for Iowa State, depending on actual student enrollment this fall.

If the board approves the tuition increase, Iowa State resident undergraduates would pay 5 percent more -- $358 -- this fall than in fall 2016. For nonresident undergraduates, the difference would be $830, a 4.1 percent increase.

ISU tuition rates for 2017-18

Student group

Approved: December

Proposed: June

Total increase from 2016-17

Resident undergraduate



$358 (5.0%)

Nonresident undergraduate



$830 (4.1%)

Resident graduate



$470 (5.5%)

Nonresident graduate



$870 (4.0%)

Resident vet medicine*



$862 (4.0%)

Nonresident vet medicine*



$1,646 (3.5%)

*Excludes 12-month fourth year

Step increases, pay matrix for merit staff

The two-year collective bargaining agreement between the state of Iowa and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 61, which covers Iowa State's merit employees, calls for 1 percent increases on July 1 in 2017 and 2018. Changes signed into Iowa law in February governing collective bargaining rights transfers the task of setting annual step increases to the regents' annual salary policy discussion. The proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1 is that no step increases be awarded in FY18. The board also will be asked to approve the July 1 pay matrix for the regents' merit system.

Nursing program

Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert will present to the board's academic and student affairs committee a request to establish a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) in the food science and human nutrition department. The degree is intended for students who have completed an associate degree in nursing and are licensed nurses. The program would be offered on campus.

While one national foundation recommends that by 2020, 80 percent of nurses hold bachelor's degrees, state nursing board data from 2016 put that number around 45 percent in Iowa.

Iowa State's program will emphasize the connection between nutrition, activity, health promotion and nursing care management. The proposal calls for an articulation agreement with the Des Moines Area Community College; others may follow.

The committee's recommendation on Iowa State's RN to BSN proposal goes to the full board Aug. 2 for final approval.

Pilot program for public comment

Board president Michael Richards will reintroduce a public comment period at board meetings, as a pilot program, beginning with the June 8 full board meeting. Up to 30 minutes at the start of the meeting is designated for members of the public who want to address the board. Speakers are required to register online; their comments will be limited to three minutes each.

The board will vote on suspending, during the pilot period, the videotaped one-hour public listening sessions that have been held on all the campuses in the week prior to a meeting since 2013. The listening sessions on June 1-2 will be held as scheduled.

Other business

Iowa State also will seek board approval on these items:

  • A schematic design and budget ($2.75 million) for a stereotactic radiation therapy addition to the small animal hospital at the College of Veterinary Medicine to treat pets with cancer. The project would be paid for with $1.8 million in university funds, $620,000 in private gifts and $330,000 in a state appropriation from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund. Construction would begin in October, with occupancy scheduled for February 2018.
  • A schematic design and revised budget ($2.2 million) for a remodeling/addition project in the southwest part of Sukup Hall to create a vehicle dynamometer lab for the purpose of testing engine force, torque and power. This lab was in the agricultural and biosystems engineering department's initial plans for Sukup, pending available funds. The project would be paid for with $1.8 million in private gifts and $400,000 in university funds. The anticipated construction period is January-July 2018.
  • Elimination of two centers: Center for Integrated Animal Genomics and Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research
  • College of Design leases with a downtown Ames landlord for three retail spaces. The college has leased two of the spaces for the last five years; those leases expire on July 31. The new leases are for three years with two 1-year renewal options.


Also on the agenda are these annual reports:

  • Sustainability programs on the three university campuses, June 8, full board
  • Financial literacy programs for students, June 8, full board
  • 2015-16 academic year student financial aid, June 7, academic and student affairs committee