Regents approve CYTown agreements

Iowa State's resident undergraduates will pay $10,787 in tuition and mandatory fees this fall, a 2.8% increase over last fall. Meeting June 13 in Iowa City, the state Board of Regents approved combined tuition and fee increases of 2.8% to 4.8% for Iowa State students for the upcoming academic year. Nonresident undergraduates will pay $28,881 in tuition and fees, a 4.3% increase.

These rates don't reflect supplemental tuition ranging from $1,914 to $3,734 paid by undergraduates and graduate students in specific majors and programs or non-first year students in certain majors and programs.

Second-year students in the Ivy College of Business are in the second of three annual increments to align their supplemental tuition with that for juniors and seniors. This fall's increment is $1,340 for second-year residents and $2,476 for nonresidents.

Students, both resident and nonresident, in the Business college's executive MBA program will pay $37,728 in tuition and fees, a 9.9% increase to catch up with five years of inflationary increases to materials, instruction and participant travel.

Prior to their vote on the tuition and fee increases, board members received comments from student leaders at the three universities.

Quinn Margrett, vice president of Iowa State's Student Government, told regents that, at current on-campus hourly wages, a resident undergraduate would have to work 43 hours/week to cover tuition, campus housing and a meal plan. With classes, coursework and a 20-hour-per-week cap on campus employment, that's impossible, he said.

Considering state funding support for Iowa State in fiscal year 2025, "the board made the best of a less-than-ideal situation, and we thank you for that," Margrett added.

The real task, he said, is to convey to legislators the importance of higher education and its contributions to the state's economy and workforce. Student leaders stand ready to help with that, he pledged.

Wren Bouwman, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, asked the board for a tuition freeze. She said the realities of inflation impact everyone and every industry. But, she said, forcing students to shoulder the weight of inflation can't continue to be the state's solution. Tuition rates this year will impact student enrollment decisions next year, she said.

For graduate students, tuition increases represent dollars they should be spending on rent, utilities, childcare, groceries, social activities; in other words, supporting the state's economy. The long-term solution is to convince legislators to invest more state funds in the regent universities, she said.

Regent Jim Lindenmayer told student leaders that university leaders and board members don't want to raise tuition. The complete flip since about 2000 in state appropriation and tuition contribution levels for operational funding reflects "the priorities that go on at the state level," he said.

"The only thing that affects priorities are voices, so don't stop telling your story," he told them.


Approved base tuition and fees: 2024-25 academic year




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*Years 1-3 in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program, fourth year is a 12-month curriculum


First building for CYTown

The regents approved several contractual documents for constructing the first building in the CYTown development at the Iowa State Center and generating revenues to invest in the development and rehabilitate the center's four existing buildings (Scheman, Fisher, Stephens and Hilton). They are:

  • A 30-year land lease agreement between Iowa State and McFarland Clinic (PDF) (attachment A) for 30,000 square feet in the south end of the under-development CYTown district. McFarland will pay Iowa State $50,000 per year in land rent, increasing $5,000 each year. McFarland also will pay to construct the building to its needs and then transfer ownership to Iowa State, with the construction costs essentially serving as a prepaid lease for the use of the building. All property and facilities in the CYTown area will be owned by the university and remain property tax-exempt.
  • A memorandum of understanding between Iowa State and the city of Ames (PDF) (attachment B) that establishes a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) for 35 years from the opening of the first building. The Ames city council approved the memorandum last month. McFarland (and subsequent tenants) will pay the university PILOT in the amount it would pay in property taxes if its new building was on private property. PILOT revenue will go into two funds: One-third goes into a capital improvement fund to be used only for renovating the existing Iowa State Center buildings. Two-thirds of the PILOT revenue goes into an operations fund to support overall development of CYTown, including the infrastructure and parking phases that are wrapping up by fall semester. The amount of PILOT collected for each building each year will be calculated similarly to the assessment and collection of property taxes in Ames.

FY25 salary policy

Board executive director Mark Braun will approve the salary policy for faculty, professional and scientific staff, contract staff and post docs when the university submits it later this summer or fall. As announced in November 2022 and following a transition this fiscal year, Iowa State will implement FY25 salary increases on Jan. 1, 2025. The timing shift puts some time between external decisions on state appropriations and tuition rates and an internal decision about parameters for employee salary increases.

Iowa State's approximately 1,100 merit employees will receive a 3% increase on July 1, according to the state's two year contract (PDF) with Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. In FY25, merit employees not at the top of their pay grade also are eligible for a performance-based increase of 1% to 2% on their anniversary date, at the university's discretion. Iowa State requested, and the board office approved, a 1% performance-based increase for merit employees.

In other Iowa State business, the regents approved:

  • A 3% adjustment to the P&S pay grade structure (PDF), effective July 1. The increase is based on median increases for higher education and general industry since the last adjustment to the matrix in March 2022. Adjusting the pay matrix raises the earning potential over time of all P&S employees. An estimated 58 P&S employees (as of June 11) whose current salary falls below the new minimum in their grade will be increased to at least the minimum by Oct.1. University human resources will notify the managers of impacted P&S employees the week of June 24 and individual employees the week of July 1.
  • A $60,000 increase to President Wendy Wintersteen's base salary, effective July 1. The new base salary will be $710,000. Her current (three-year) employment agreement with the board runs through June 30, 2026. A two-year deferred compensation plan that concludes this month pays her $80,000 on June 30.

The June meeting was the last one for student regent Abby Crow, who graduated in May 2023 from the University of Iowa and had served on the board since 2021. The nine-member board currently has two vacancies, including the seat formerly held by Michael Richards, who resigned from the board in April.

The meeting also was the last one for Jonathan Wickert as ISU provost. The academic affairs committee thanked him for his 12 years of service, as did Wintersteen in her campus update to the regents.