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University of Iowa News Release

May 5, 2005

Regent Leaders Call For Legislative Support Of Affordable, High-Quality Higher Education In Iowa

Statement by Michael G. Gartner, President, Board of Regents, State of Iowa; Robert N. Downer, President Pro Tempore; and Presidents of Iowa's Regent Universities

"The Board of Regents and the presidents of the three Regent universities remain committed to making the universities leaders in education, partners in economic development and innovators in scientific research that benefits Iowa and the world.

"We are grateful to the legislators for providing $22 million toward the $80 million needed for the first year of this transformation. Iowa's students have provided $20 million through the tuition increase already enacted for this fall. We renew our own commitment to provide $20 million through internal efficiencies and reallocations, even though our own commitment was made on the expectation the Iowa Legislature would provide $40 million.

"That leaves a gap of $18 million.

"Now, that gap must be filled. We will dig into our own resources, but we also now are forced to turn to Iowa's parents and students for further help. Unless additional help comes from the Legislature, we will be forced to consider an added tuition rise of 3 percent for the second semester of the coming academic year. And even that will fill only a part of the gap.

"We regret that this must be done, but providing quality education, spurring economic growth, and conducting important research cannot be delayed.

"We appeal to the Legislature, on behalf of the institutions and Iowa's students and their parents, to reconsider this appropriation. We point out that the problem could be solved -- without a tuition increase -- if the Legislature would add 10 cents to the proposed increase in the Iowa cigarette tax and commit that revenue to the universities. That would come close to funding the future, would eliminate the need for an additional tuition increase, and would ensure we prepare our students so they can compete in a changing world while we also participate as full partners in the economic development of this state."

STORY SOURCE: Board of Regents, State of Iowa, 11260 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale, IA, 50322-7905

MEDIA CONTACT: Barbara Dietrich Boose, Communications Officer, 515-281-5015, bboose@iastate.edu; Gregory S. Nichols, Executive Director, 515-281-3934