ISU will seek differential tuition for five more programs

Iowa State will ask the state Board of Regents next week to consider differential tuition for juniors, seniors and graduate students in five programs: animal science, biology, computer science, industrial design and natural resource ecology and management. The proposed differentials -- $1,600 in the undergraduate programs and $1,124 in the graduate programs -- would be implemented over three years. The differential tuition in 2017-18 is a proposed $534 for undergraduates and $374 for graduate students. The increases reflect higher instruction costs of special laboratory, studio and other hands-on styles of learning. In the case of animal science education, the additional tuition will help pay for livestock purchase and care expenses.

The board meets Oct. 19-20 in Cedar Falls. The agenda and supporting documents are online. Audio of all open portions of the meeting will be streamed live on the board's website.

Tuition for most resident undergraduates would go up $142 (2 percent) next year, as proposed. Three percent increases are proposed for nonresident undergraduates ($614), graduate students ($254 for residents, $654 for nonresidents) and veterinary medicine students ($646 for residents, $1,430 for nonresidents).

Iowa State also proposes to adjust several previously approved tuition differentials to create some consistencies. These changes include:

  • Raise the differential tuition rate for bachelor of architecture students to the same level as the five undergraduate programs. Architecture students have paid differential tuition since the 2012-13 academic year, currently about $1,250. To reach a $1,600 differential in three years, an additional $98 for residents and $106 for nonresidents would be assessed in 2017-18.
  • Raise the tuition differential for upper division Business students over three years to match that for upper division students in Engineering, ag systems technology and industrial technology (currently a difference of about $560 for resident students). As proposed, next year, junior and senior Business students would pay an additional $190 (resident) or $180 (nonresident). Differential tuitions were first assessed in 2006-07 for Engineering students, in 2009-10 for Business students and in 2012-13 for ag systems technology and industrial technology students.

The 2017-18 year also is the second of three years that tuition for all international students will increase an additional $500 per year above nonresident tuition increases.

The board's vote on 2017-18 tuition rates is scheduled for its Dec. 5-6 meeting.

Residence needs

Iowa State is proposing to name the nearly complete "Buchanan II" residence hall for former president Gregory Geoffroy (2001-12). The naming would recognize Geoffroy's role in the expansion of the university, including a dozen major building projects, a capital campaign that raised more than $800 million and doubled endowed faculty positions (to 150), and record enrollment and sponsored funding levels. Geoffroy also launched a grassroots fundraising effort to save and renovate Morrill Hall. The proposed Gregory L. Geoffroy Hall will add 784 beds to the residence system when it opens spring semester.

Iowa State also proposes to sign new five-year leases (Aug. 1, 2017-July 31, 2022) with Jensen Properties (for 828 beds in southwest Ames) and American Campus Communities (299 beds in Legacy Tower on Stanton Avenue), for a total of 1,127 beds in off-campus apartments. This is down from the 1,462 beds the residence department currently leases from the two firms; those leases expire next summer. The residence department would continue to furnish and staff these apartment locations as it does its on-campus apartments.

The proposed leases contain a 15-month opt-out clause for either party, giving Iowa State the option to terminate a lease if demand for university student housing decreases.

Bond sales

The board staff will report on two bond sales, for which bids will be opened the morning of Oct. 20. The first is an estimated $16.5 million of dormitory revenue refunding bonds. They'll replace refunding bonds sold in 2006 to refinance bonds sold in 1999 and 2000 that financed phase two of the Frederiksen Court student apartments. Lower interest rates on the 2016 bonds could save the university more than $2 million.

The second is an estimated $23.4 million of utility system revenue and refunding bonds for two purposes: to partially fund a $22 million project to increase chilled water capacity on the west side of campus and to refund 2006 bonds issued for a chilled water project at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Lower interest rates could save the university an estimated $0.5 million.

Presentations, warehouse lease

In other board business:

  • Iowa State will seek permission to terminate a five-year lease with Harrisvaccines for the south half of the university warehouse on Southern Hills Drive off of Airport Road, replacing it with a 10-year lease (Jan. 1, 2017-Dec. 31, 2026) for the entire warehouse to the ISU Research Park, for use by Merck and Co., which purchased Harrisvaccines last winter. The docket item notes that "the university's long range goal is to build a relationship with Merck, encouraging future growth and expansion." The north half of the warehouse facility currently is home to ISU Surplus, which is preparing for a temporary relocation to the university's central receiving facility next door.
  • Scheduled presentations to the board include: "Supporting the Information Needs of Iowa's Public Universities," library dean Beth McNeil, co-presenter (Wednesday afternoon); "Annual Economic Development and Technology Transfer Report," vice president of economic development and business engagement Mike Crum, co-presenter (Thursday afternoon); and an update on a joint financial literacy project among the three regent universities, presenter Tahira Hira, professor emeritus in human development and family studies (Thursday morning).
  • Iowa Public Radio will ask that Vickee Jordan Adams of Des Moines, a Wells Fargo vice president for external communications, be named to the 10-member board of directors. Board member JoAnn Johnson's three-year term expired Sept. 30.
  • The University of Iowa will seek permission to demolish six apartment buildings on Des Moines' Fleur Drive and on the southeast corner of the former AIB campus, which now is known as the Iowa Center for Higher Education. No cost estimate is included in the proposal. The 47-year-old buildings, used as student dormitories for the last 30 years but currently unoccupied, don't fit the university's programming plans for the campus. They are not accessible for persons with disabilities and don't contain fire sprinkler systems. The area would be graded and seeded as green space until another need is identified.