Next year's funding requests are on regents docket

Iowa State will ask for nearly $8.5 million in additional operating support from the state next year. The state Board of Regents will approve its state funding requests for the fiscal year that begins July 1 when it meets Sept. 15-16 at the ISU Alumni Center. All of the meeting's open sessions will be livestreamed on the board's website. The meeting agenda also is online.

By law, funding requests for the next budget year are due to the state by Oct. 1. With flat state support in the current year, preceded by a $3.2 million reduction in state support in FY21, Iowa State seeks $7 million in additional funds for priorities such as student support services, student financial aid, retention of talented faculty and staff, expanded programming in innovation and entrepreneurship and a greater capacity for online course delivery to serve more kinds of learners.

The proposed request also includes nearly $1.4 million more in economic development funding:

  • $376,519 in recurring funds to fully fund, based on the FY20 request, the three state biosciences platforms managed by Iowa State (biobased products, vaccines and immunotherapeutics, and digital and precision agriculture). The University of Iowa manages the fourth, medical devices.
  • $1 million in one-time funds to serve as matching funds for two U.S. Economic Development Administration regional "challenge" programs: one that spurs industry growth, and another that builds coalitions of educators and industry representatives to design and implement STEM instruction to address private sector needs.

Multi-year state capital requests

As part of the Oct. 1 submission to the state, the regents will include two Iowa State projects in their five-year (FY2023-27) capital funding proposal:

  • $60.8 million over four years (FY23-26) for an estimated $64.3 million addition to the under-construction Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, scheduled for completion in August 2023. With the addition, the VDL could consolidate all testing, research and support programming under one roof and address issues of space quality and quantity. As proposed, the two phases would total about 142,000 square feet.
  • $18.9 million over four years (FY24-27) to replace LeBaron Hall and renovate a piece (6%) of MacKay Hall. A proposed $21.5 million in private gifts and $14 million in university funds would round out the funding for the two-phased, estimated $54.4 million project.

Facilities requests

Iowa State will seek the board's approval next week for two building projects:

  • A budget ($2.85 million) and description for a proposal to replace the 43-year-old external office windows on the College of Design building. Earlier attempts to repair the windows weren’t successful. The project also will replace the sealant around the concrete panels between the rows of windows. Work would begin in the spring and wrap up by the end of the 2022 calendar year. University funds would cover the project.
  • Begin planning for a two-story north addition and infill to the east side of the one-story perimeter to Town Engineering Building, as well as renovate approximately 25% of existing space. The project (estimated at $25 million) would be funded completely by private gifts. The space would add teaching and research labs, classrooms, collaboration areas and offices for graduate students.

Iowa State also will seek board permission to close four outreach or research programs due to ceased funding, a leader departure or both: Center for International Agricultural Finance, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, Center for Arthropod Management Technologies and Center for Nanotechnology in Cementitious Systems.


Presentations scheduled during the two-day meeting include:

  • Public comment period (priority given to topics on the September meeting agenda), to the full board, last item Wednesday afternoon
  • Freedom of expression at public universities, Todd Pettys, law professor at the University of Iowa, to the board's free speech committee, Wednesday morning
  • Lessons learned as a result of actions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, university representatives, to the board's academic affairs committee, Wednesday afternoon
  • Creating a "C-change" in science, production and conservation, Lisa Schulte Moore, ISU professor of natural resource ecology and management, to the full board, Thursday morning