The Daily Iowan

UI community says regents, UI officials, legislators need to ramp up advocacy efforts

Landon+Elkind%2C+the+former+president+of+Campaign+to+Organize+Graduate+Students%2C+the+UI%27s+graduate+student+union%2C+speaks+during+a+state+Board+of+Regents+tuition+task+force+meeting+in+101+Biology+Building+East+in+Iowa+City+on+Monday%2C+Aug.+14%2C+2017.+%28Joseph+Cress%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Landon Elkind, the former president of Campaign to Organize Graduate Students, the UI's graduate student union, speaks during a state Board of Regents tuition task force meeting in 101 Biology Building East in Iowa City on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Landon Elkind, the former president of Campaign to Organize Graduate Students, the UI's graduate student union, speaks during a state Board of Regents tuition task force meeting in 101 Biology Building East in Iowa City on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Landon Elkind, the former president of Campaign to Organize Graduate Students, the UI's graduate student union, speaks during a state Board of Regents tuition task force meeting in 101 Biology Building East in Iowa City on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The University of Iowa’s five-year tuition plan, while practical, seems to some people to signal that the UI administration is “throwing in the towel” on efforts to find an affordable deal for students.

On Aug. 14, the UI administration proposed an annual increase of 7.08 percent in resident undergraduate tuition through fiscal 2022 at a state Board of Regents Tuition Task Force meeting in Biology Building East.

If approved, resident undergraduate tuition would climb from $7,486 this fall to $10,537 in the fall of 2022. For nonresident undergraduate tuition, the proposed annual increase is 2.08 percent each year, which will take tuition from $29,130 this fall 2017 to $32,288 in the fall of 2022.

UI President Bruce Harreld said the difference in tuition rates between residents and nonresidents largely came out of discussions with student leaders.

“As we listened to students, it was pretty clear — and that data actually say the same thing, that we’ve actually taken our tuition over the last, say, five years, up much more aggressively out-of-state,” he said. “The student leaders … said, ‘We’ve gone pretty far there.’ ”

Several people who spoke at the meeting expressed concern that, although Iowans view education as one of the state’s values, the trend of disinvesting in higher education and the rising costs of postsecondary education suggest otherwise.

Regent universities saw more than $20 million in reductions in state appropriations midyear during fiscal 2017 as the result of a state budget shortfall upwards of $100 million.

“The actions of our state government make me question whether our state elected leaders continue to support this core value of Iowans,” UI Staff Council President John Laverty said.

There is untapped potential for lobbying the state Legislature, UI Student Government President Jacob Simpson said at the task force meeting.

“Compared to other universities, our political engagement has room to grow,” he said. “I would add that we have not effectively made the case to general Iowans about why they should fund our institutions.”

RELATED: Harreld proposed to raise tuition consistently for five years

Landon Elkind, the former president of Campaign to Organize Graduate Students, said the UI’s plan is an acknowledgement of the likely reality that the Legislature would not fund the regent universities, but he ultimately views the proposal as a surrender and a failure lacking in leadership.

It also up to the regents to advocate for funding the universities, Elkind argued. He said the regents are not truly feeling the pain of the students whose tuition they vote to increase each year — and in recent years, that vote has occurred more than once.

“I haven’t seen any op-eds, I haven’t heard you on the radio, and I haven’t heard much,” he said. “I haven’t heard you addressing large gatherings of Iowans. I haven’t heard any lobbying, really. I’ve heard some sort of tepid statements from the [regents under former Regent President Bruce Rastetter] as if it was a minor inconvenience — ‘Oh, we have to raise tuition again.’ ”

UI Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Rod Lehnertz listens during a state Board of Regents tuition task force meeting in 101 Biology Building East in Iowa City on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

 

Simpson said he does support moderate tuition increases to prevent the UI from suffering from a lack of resources, provided financial-aid increases more than proportionately. Harreld said any additional state resources above the fiscal 2018 base of $217 million would be dedicated to increasing those resources.

Rather than focusing solely on providing financial aid to Iowans, Harreld said, if there is a rise in revenue provided by the state, the UI needs “to focus on those that need it and those that merit it.”

As a first-generation student who was largely unaware of opportunities that could make a university education more affordable, UISG Vice President Lilián Sánchez said the UI met her needs, but she fears that for many, that dream is becoming unattainable.

“Many first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students dream of attending a school like the University of Iowa,” she said. “The truth is this American dream of pursuing a higher education is becoming less and less feasible. If we continue in the direction we’re heading, I fear that the University of Iowa will no longer be an affordable institution.”

 

Click below for more photos

Comments

comments

About the Writer
Marissa Payne, Managing Editor
Twitter: @marissa42_
Marissa Payne is the Managing Editor of The Daily Iowan. She started working at the DI her freshman year as a news reporter covering the UI administration and Iowa Board of Regents, and also as a page designer. Additionally, she has served as News Editor and Digital Editor. During her sophomore year, she primarily continued to report on higher education while also contributing to the DI Ethics and Politics Initiative’s coverage of Iowa politics.
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • UI community says regents, UI officials, legislators need to ramp up advocacy efforts

    Campus

    UI president discusses fraternity suspensions, safety on campus

  • UI community says regents, UI officials, legislators need to ramp up advocacy efforts

    Campus

    Kopp holds forum as first of four College of Liberal Arts & Sciences dean candidates

  • UI community says regents, UI officials, legislators need to ramp up advocacy efforts

    Campus

    UI graduate students campaign to get their union, COGS, recertified

  • UI community says regents, UI officials, legislators need to ramp up advocacy efforts

    Campus

    College of Liberal Arts & Sciences changes hiring guidelines for some nontenured faculty

  • UI community says regents, UI officials, legislators need to ramp up advocacy efforts

    Higher Education

    Faculty Senate forms task force in response to recent center closures

  • UI community says regents, UI officials, legislators need to ramp up advocacy efforts

    Crime/Courts

    Lawsuit against University of Iowa presidential search committee settled

  • UI community says regents, UI officials, legislators need to ramp up advocacy efforts

    Campus

    University of Iowa enrollment down after intentional growth management

  • UI community says regents, UI officials, legislators need to ramp up advocacy efforts

    Higher Education

    Jim Lindenmayer assumes position on state Board of Regents

  • UI community says regents, UI officials, legislators need to ramp up advocacy efforts

    Higher Education

    Iowa Board of Regents to unveil new multi-year tuition model in November

  • UI community says regents, UI officials, legislators need to ramp up advocacy efforts

    Campus

    Iowa regents OK proposal for UI’s new innovation center