President Wendy Wintersteen's state funding request to Gov. Kim Reynolds this week mirrored what the state Board of Regents approved in September. What her presentation included that's difficult to illustrate on a budget sheet is how the university leverages the tax and tuition dollars it receives to provide an excellent return for students -- and the state. Wintersteen and her peers from the universities of Iowa and Northern Iowa made their annual appeals to the governor and her staff Nov. 26 at the Capitol.
For the year that begins July 1, 2019, Iowa State seeks:
- A 4 percent increase ($7 million) to the general university operating budget, designated for student financial aid.
- A 10 percent increase ($410,000) to the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab's operating support.
- $4 million in new economic development funding (shared with the University of Iowa) to accelerate technology transfer and workforce development for four bioscience platforms identified in the November 2017 biosciences report prepared for the state by TEConomy Partners, Columbus, Ohio: biobased chemicals, precision and digital agriculture, vaccines and immunotherapy, and medical devices.
- Facility funding of $10 million for a modern student learning hub in Parks Library and additional space for the library's special collections and university archives. The funding proposal for this project also seeks $16 million in FY21 from the state and $2 million in university or private funds.
- Continued commitment to directed appropriations that support specific land-grant functions such as ISU Extension and Outreach, livestock disease research and the Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station.
"Additional resources, through a combination of increased state funds and additional tuition revenue -- as well as our commitment to savings, and strategic realignments -- are critically important to maintain the high-quality Iowa State experience," Wintersteen said. "An increased investment from the state for fiscal year 2020 will ensure that we can continue to provide an excellent return and value in our academic, research and extension programs that benefit our students and all Iowans."
Iowa State works hard for Iowa
Wintersteen used most of her time to illustrate how Iowa State's successful execution of it land-grant mission strengthens the state. Among her numerous examples:
- Iowa State awarded more than 8,300 degrees -- a record -- during the 2017-18 academic year, providing graduates for the state workforce.
- Iowa State's agriculture-related and engineering colleges are among the nation's largest, including a No. 2 rank for Veterinary Medicine, No. 3 for Agriculture and Life Sciences and No. 7 for Engineering.
- ISU researchers captured $246 million in external funding last year and invested it in research jobs, equipment and education opportunities for undergraduates
- A robust research park currently is home to 87 companies and research centers with more than 2,100 employees and 200 ISU student interns. Those companies include three industry giants: Rockwell Collins and Kent Corp. opened new offices and John Deere broke ground this fall for a design and test lab.
- The Center for Industrial Research and Service assisted more than 1,700 businesses in 95 counties last year. The companies self-reported a combined economic impact of more than $620 million, including almost 5,000 retained or new jobs.
- Building on 70 years of hosting a U.S. Department of Energy lab on campus, Iowa State has submitted a competitive proposal to move two U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies to Ames, the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
- Iowa State has begun to build an "entrepreneurial ecosystem" into its undergraduate experience across the colleges, jump-started with a $17 million gift that begins an endowed fund for innovation and entrepreneurship.