State funding, tuition increases are on regents' agenda

Fall tuition, equal shares of additional state operating support, FY20 salary policy and changes to the new poultry farm plan are on the agenda when the state Board of Regents meets June 4-6 at the Alumni Center. The first day and a half is reserved for annual performance evaluations of the three regent university presidents, special schools superintendent and the board's executive director. The agenda is online, and audio of all public portions of the meeting will be livestreamed on the board's website.

New state funding

The 2019 Legislature appropriated and Gov. Kim Reynolds on May 13 approved $12 million to be shared by the three regent universities for new initiatives or to meet demands on each campus for the fiscal year that begins July 1. This appropriation is separate from the general university appropriation to each school, and the board proposal is to share it equally, $4 million to each regent university. The board sought $18 million in additional funding, $7 million of which it would have directed to Iowa State.

Salary policies

Salary policies for the new fiscal year are on the consent agenda, a list of items approved without discussion unless a board member requests removal of a specific item from the list. The board is expected to give executive director Mark Braun authority to approve salary policies when each institution submits its to him. At Inside's deadline, ISU leaders had not shared the salary parameters for faculty and professional and scientific staff. As announced this spring, the state's two-year contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Council 61, which represents the university's approximately 1,300 merit employees, provides a 2.1% pay increase on July 1. Minimums and maximums in the merit pay matrix would be adjusted upward as well.

Final approval of tuition and fee rates

As it proposed at a special meeting May 1, the board is expected to give final approval to 2019-20 tuition increases of 3.9% for Iowa State's resident undergraduates, 4% for resident and nonresident veterinary medicine students and 4.9% for all others. The table below provides the specifics.

Proposed 2019-20 base tuition increases for ISU students


Tuition-only increase

Tuition/fees price (increase)

Iowa residents




$302 (3.9%)

$9,320 (3.7%)


$456 (4.9%)

$10,990 (4.6%)

   Vet Med*

$932 (4%)

$25,498 (3.9%)





$1,086 (4.9%)

$24,508 (4.8%)


$1,156 (4.9%)

$25,952 (4.8%)

   Vet Med*

$2,050 (4%)

$54,582  (4%)

*Years 1-3 of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program

This fall, Iowa State also will begin year two of a three-year plan to align numerous differential tuitions at both the undergraduate and graduate levels into two categories: $1,600 and $2,612 ($3,026 for nonresident and international students) annually when fully implemented. Most undergraduate differential tuitions begin in the junior year, but beginning this fall Iowa State proposes assessing the differential to sophomores in engineering disciplines and the agricultural systems technology and industrial technology programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Farm proposals

The university is seeking final board approval for a $21.2 million, six-building feed mill and grain science complex on the Curtiss Farm south of U.S. Highway 30 at State Avenue. The facility would include a feed mill tower, education building, grain handling and storage complex, warehouse, scale and sampling building, and biosecurity/vehicle wash building. If approved, construction could begin this fall and wrap up in spring 2021.

Iowa State also is proposing a $1 million addition (to $6.8 million) to the new poultry research and teaching facility the board approved last November. It replaces a 1960s-era complex south of Ames on State Avenue. The changes to the project would add two buildings for teaching and research on turkeys, both of which also could be used for chicken research, as needed. Construction began in March and will continue through 2019 with the turkey buildings.

Both farm projects will be funded with private gifts.

Program name changes

Iowa State will seek board permission to change the name of two master's programs for consistency. The master of engineering and master of science programs in information assurance would become the master of engineering and master of science in cyber security. This reflects degree program names at other universities and also aligns with Iowa State's new bachelor's degree in cyber security.

Des Moines property sale

In non-ISU business, the University of Iowa will seek board permission to sell its Iowa Center for Higher Education campus, formerly the American Institute of Business, about 14 acres containing eight buildings on Fleur Drive in Des Moines, to The Village at Grays Lake LLC for $7.5 million.

In October 2015, the board approved AIB's gift of the property to the university, which repurposed it as the Iowa Center for Higher Education. Last year, the university decided, for programming and financial reasons, to close the center and sell the property. University leaders expect to complete the sale this summer.