Tuition rates, salary policy on regents' June 4 agenda

The state Board of Regents is expected to approve previously announced flat tuition rates for the 2020-21 academic year when it holds a virtual meeting June 4. Salary policies for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and appointments to the board's new efficiency advisory subgroups are other items on the agenda. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. and will be livestreamed on the board's website. The agenda also is online.

The tuition decision covers all tuition rates for all students for the year, but board president Mike Richards said last month the board could revisit spring semester rates later this fall as more information becomes available. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, holding tuition rates in place is the board's effort to provide financial predictability for the students and their families, as well as the universities. Mandatory fees for ISU students would decrease $4, reflecting a net $4 drop in the student activities fee.

ISU proposed tuition* and mandatory fees: 2020-21










Professional (Vet Med)



*standard tuition; doesn't reflect differential tuitions

Salary policy

Included in the consent portion of the agenda are salary policies for the year that begins July 1. If approved, Iowa State's approximately 1,300 merit employees will receive a 2.1% increase on July 1, according to the state's two-year collective bargaining agreement with the Iowa chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Minimums and maximums in the merit system pay plan would increase 2.1% in all 19 pay grades.

As President Wendy Wintersteen shared with the campus community in an April 20 memo, university leaders at that time were preparing FY21 budgets 5% leaner than the current year. As a result, Iowa State won't offer performance-based salary increases for faculty, P&S and contract staff and post-docs on July 1.

Regents advisory group

At the board's April 30 meeting and anticipating the pandemic would significantly impact operating budgets, Richards appointed an advisory group to look for collaboration opportunities among the three regent universities to gain efficiency. Co-chairs David Barker and Nancy Dunkel are joined by colleagues Nancy Boettger and Jim Lindenmayer. At their June 4 meeting, the board will approve appointments to two subgroups that would look at academic and administrative efficiencies, respectively.

The academic subgroup contains the provosts and faculty senate presidents from the three universities, including Iowa State's Jonathan Wickert and associate professor of graphic design Carol Faber, respectively. The administrative subgroup has three members: the senior vice presidents for operations and finance at the three schools, including Iowa State's Pam Cain.

Their work is supposed to wrap up by the board's November meeting.

Other Iowa State items

Iowa State leaders also will ask the board to approve:

  • A new degree program in the Graduate College, a master of arts in teaching history, targeting post-baccalaureate students without teacher preparation who want to teach in a K-12 setting. It provides prerequisites required by the state for licensure to teach history and other social studies subjects at the secondary level -- in a formal structure. The School of Education and history department have been offering this preparation on an ad-hoc basis.
  • A request to begin project planning to replace the university's last two coal-fired boilers in the power plant with natural gas-fired boilers. Three other natural-gas boilers are now four years old. The project includes removing coal-handling systems and the coal storage site east of Haber Road, at an estimated cost of $12 million to $14 million. Annual utility savings from the change will be $3.7 million.
  • A department name change in the Ivy College of Business, from management to management and entrepreneurship, to better represent the department's growing emphasis on entrepreneurship -- in curriculum, degree offerings and faculty specialization, effective immediately.
  • A 15-foot-wide easement to the city of Ames, extending about a thousand feet along the southeast corner of the Veterinary Medicine campus, for a paved bike path (it's currently gravel) to connect the ISU Research Park to South Fourth Street.

The board's campus and student affairs committee will receive a presentation on "campus and student life during COVID-19," from senior vice president for student affairs Martino Harmon and his peers.