Board of Regents schedule task force meetings spurred by tuition hikes

University presidents to present five-year tuition plans

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The Board of Regents — addressing concerns over last-minute tuition hikes in the wake of lagging state support — has scheduled meetings this summer that will require Iowa’s three public universities to present five-year tuition plans.

The first of four meetings planned for the board’s new tuition task force will bring together legislative stakeholders on July 27 at the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center in Des Moines, a schedule released Friday shows.

Those invited include Gov. Kim Reynolds or someone from her office; legislative leadership or their designees; and representatives from the Legislative Services Agency and the Department of Management.

That meeting also will involve economic development and business stakeholders.

On separate dates in August, the presidents of the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa are set to make five-year tuition plan presentations.

UI President Bruce Harreld for months has been pushing for more campus control over tuition, expressing a desire to raise rates over the next five years to the average of his school’s peer institutions — which would mean thousands more for some students.

The board, through the task force’s work, aims to give families and students more line of sight to such increases.

For years, the board has urged lawmakers annually to support tuition freezes by appropriating enough money, only to be disappointed later by tight budgets and other funding priorities and forced into making tuition increases.

Regents for two consecutive years have upped tuition after already approving rates months earlier. In June, the board agreed to increase residential undergraduate rates by $358 over last fall — a 5 percent bump.

The task force’s work could lead not only to larger rate hikes but more differentiation between the universities, which traditionally have kept their residential undergraduate rates close.

Regents President Mike Richards has said he’s interested in giving the universities the control they desire.

All task force meetings are open to the public. The meetings also will be streamed live online, and comments can be emailed to the task force by visiting this website.

Meeting schedule

July 27 at the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center, 1200 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa

9 a.m. to 12 p.m. — Legislative stakeholders presentation, with invites made to the governor or a designee, legislative leadership or designees, and the Legislative Services Agency and Department of Management

1 to 4 p.m. — Economic development and business stakeholders presentation, with invites made to the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, Department of Workforce Development, and Department of Economic Development

Aug. 7 on the UNI campus in the Slife Ballroom

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. — University of Northern Iowa 5-year tuition presentation

Noon to 1 p.m. — Listening session

Aug. 9 on the ISU campus in room 240 in the Scheman Building

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Iowa State University 5-year tuition presentation

Noon to 1:p.m. — Listening session

Aug. 14 on the UI campus in the Kollros Auditorium in Biology Building East

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. — University of Iowa 5-year tuition presentation

Noon to 1 p.m. — Listening session

l Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

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