CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Aug. 31, 2000
UISG leaders respond to Gov. Vilsack's UI visit
IOWA CITY, Iowa --
After meeting with Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack on campus earlier this week, University
of Iowa Student Government (UISG) leaders say they are looking forward to
working with the governor to promote the UI as a resource for all Iowans and
to balance the needs of education in the state.
"The governor was right when he said the UI should
do a better job of communicating to Iowans that Regents' schools are a resource
for every citizen, and we hope he can help Iowans discover this, just as he
did during his visit," says Andy Stoll, president, UISG.
Stoll says he is glad that the governor had a chance
to see the variety of offerings at the UI, which affect the entire state.
"Supporters of higher education around the state have
a lot of work ahead of them to convince the governor and the legislature that
the Regents' universities are an important part of this state. We must all
work hard to let the greater public know that strong state support is essential
in not just improving, but maintaining the quality of UI services," Stoll
While Vilsack did not make any promises to increase
UI funding, student leaders who attended the meeting said they were happy
that the governor said he would do what he could to support the Regents' schools
during the upcoming legislative session.
"The governor's comments reflect his recognition of
the importance of funding higher education, but we have to balance competing
needs," says Chris Linn, vice president, UISG.
"It is important that we don't fund one area of education
at the expense of another, however. Each area of education relies on another
for its success," Linn says.
While the governor spoke of the large amount of dollars
allocated to Regents schools per student, UI student leaders said they hope
that Iowans put the numbers in context.
"Numbers are numbers. They can be spun in different
ways to fit an agenda. The bottom line is that the University of Iowa is struggling
through a $10 million shortfall year, which has delayed improvements in quality,"
Before this week's Town Meeting with the governor,
student leaders had a chance to talk with Vilsack. During the meeting, they
offered their help in putting together a panel of students from the three
Regents' schools to address the problem of keeping college graduates in the
"As a native Iowan and someone who really loves the
state, this is an issue that is close to me," says Linn.
"I hope we can do a thorough job of finding creative
solutions that the state can implement to keep graduates in the state," Linn
says. He added that UISG will be coordinating this effort in the coming weeks.