FY22 budget contains additional revenue, reallocations

Iowa State's fiscal year 2022 operating budget, approved this week by the state Board of Regents, includes $21.9 million in additional revenue over last year's budget. Impacted general fund units are expected to reallocate an estimated $10.3 million in savings from the retirement incentive option (RIO) program, to increased expenses and their priorities. FY22 began July 1 and concludes June 30, 2022.

The incremental revenue includes an estimated $16.7 million more in tuition due to rate increases the board approved July 28, $1.9 million more in cost recovery on research, $1 million in interest income on university investments and just over $2 million in state appropriations for specific purposes.

Pie chart: General fund revenues

This year's operating budget for general fund units, $722.7 million, is about 3% larger than the budget a year ago.

Top priorities for the new revenue and reallocations this year are:

  • 2.1% salary increases for all eligible faculty, professional and scientific and merit staff, post docs and contract employees, $13.3 million
  • New contract for university police officers, $1.2 million
  • Additional aid to students, $4 million

New funds also will be used to cover other needs:

  • Differential tuition investments to their higher-cost academic programs, $3.8 million
  • Unavoidable cost increases (for example, software licenses and insurance), $3 million
  • Opening new buildings: Additions to Gerdin, Seed Science and Veterinary Medicine Field Services, fifth floor of the Advanced Teaching and Research Building for the Nanovaccine Institute, $900,000
  • Higher directed appropriations to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL), Cooperative Extension and biosciences platforms, $2 million

As announced in June, units have the discretion to award an additional salary increase to faculty, professional and scientific staff, postdocs and contract employees for exceptional work performance. These increases would be covered by department or unit dollars.

The successful RIO program, additional revenue, availability of federal relief funds to cover some pandemic costs and stronger-than anticipated trends in both student enrollment and research activity led senior leaders to cancel the second part of a planned 5% annual across-the-board budget reduction for FY22 announced in April 2020.

State operating and buildings support

The biosciences innovation appropriation more than tripled (to $2.6 million) this year to provide additional research support for the three platforms at Iowa State, including a chief technology officer for each platform (biobased products, precision and digital agriculture and vaccines and immunotherapies). The University of Iowa administers the fourth platform, medical devices. Cooperative Extension will receive an additional $150,000 (less than 1% of last year's appropriation) to host a national conference in 2023 for county agricultural agents, and the VDL's appropriation will increase $62,472 for operational support to keep up with the demand for its services. Its caseload doubled in the last seven years. The increase restores the cut the VDL absorbed last year in the Legislature's $8 million appropriation reduction to the regent universities.

The largest state appropriation, for general operation of the university, remains unchanged from a year ago, $172.1 million, but has steadily declined since FY10, when it was $184 million.

President Wendy Wintersteen outlined some key needs made more challenging by the decline in state support:

  • Competitive salaries so Iowa State can keep talented employees
  • Cost to implement needed technology
  • Backlog of deferred maintenance
  • Competition for nonresident students, driven by nearby states investing more in student scholarships
  • Residual costs of COVID-19

RIO savings

Wintersteen told the board the RIO would save an estimated $42 million over its three-year span, including $14.6 million across the university this fiscal year. A total of 318 employees participated.

Overall budget

Iowa State's overall budget is nearly $1.57 billion, an increase of $166.5 million over last year, when auxiliary unit activities were greatly reduced by the pandemic. A large piece of the increase comes from allocating the remaining $76 million in federal and state COVID stimulus funds Iowa State has received since spring 2020.

Totaling $844.8 million this year, the restricted side of the budget includes sponsored research, endowment income, building projects and self-funded auxiliary units such as athletics, residence, dining, printing, parking, utilities, recreation services, bookstore, Thielen Student Health Center, Reiman Gardens, Iowa State Center and the Memorial Union.

The restricted budget also includes state appropriations for building projects. Iowa State will receive previously approved state funds for two key facilities. The 2021 Legislature confirmed:

  • $11.375 million for the Student Innovation Center, year six of an adjusted seven years of support
  • $12.5 million for the VDL, year four of six years of support