Author: Jeff Charis-Carlson
Source: The Des Moines Register
Iowa’s public universities are presenting to the state’s Board of Regents Tuition Task Force this week on their five-year proposals for tuition pricing. The Tuition Task Force “was established to facilitate public discussion regarding the issue of tuition at Iowa’s public universities” and looks to foster collaborative solutions between the state’s legislators and public universities for minimizing tuition increases. The August 7 presentation by Mark Nook, president of the University of Northern Iowa, shared projections with numbers based on different amounts of support from state appropriations. Nook’s presentation suggests that keeping tuition increases low depends on support from their state legislature, and that continued cuts in support would result in a nearly 12 percent increase in tuition in the next fiscal year.
This review process highlights tensions that play out broadly for college and university presidents. The 2017 American College President Study, released in June, showed that the external party viewed as most supportive by the largest percentage of presidents (52 percent) was the board of regents, while the external party felt to understand their concerns the least by the largest percentage of presidents (40 percent) were state legislators.