UI outlines further budget cuts, president’s salary proposed to be cut in half

Budget cuts include a proposed cut President Bruce Harreld’s salary, reduced funding for Hancher auditorium, and hiring and salary freezes.


The Old Capitol is seen on Nov. 19, 2019.

Caleb McCullough, Summer Editor

The University of Iowa identified additional budget cuts on Friday afternoon, including a 50-percent reduction in President Bruce Harreld’s base salary, pending approval by the state Board of Regents at its July 29 meeting.

The cuts were outlined in a campus-wide email on Friday, coming on the heels of cuts in several departments, including the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and UI Athletics.

The UI has projected a loss of more than $70 million as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Iowa Legislature cut funding to regent universities by $8 million near the end of the session in June. The UI’s share of that $8 million loss will be determined by the Board of Regents at its upcoming meeting.

“We are disappointed to be in this position, facing challenges from the pandemic and a cut in state support that we could not have imagined just six months ago,” Harreld said in the email. “Each of us must make budget decisions that protect the core mission of the university and set us up for success moving forward. These decisions directly impact the lives of members of our community, and it is a sad moment.”

Harreld’s salary in 2019 was $598,400. If approved by the regents, the cut will be funneled in a one-time allocation of $270,416 to the Student Emergency Fund, which serves to support students who are financially affected by unexpected circumstances, including COVID-19. The planned cuts do not include salary reductions for other faculty or administrators.

The university will also reduce funding for Hancher auditorium for the current fiscal year, kicking off a three-year process to cut all university funding for the venue and transition it to a self-sustaining model.

Harreld said in the email he is confident Hancher will be able to maintain its status as a national leader among university performing arts centers despite the reduced funding.

“Hancher leadership and the entire team is first-rate, and I look forward to their continued prominence within our community, the state, and region,” he said.

The university will also implement a hiring freeze for at least 32 positions across campus and a salary freeze for about 4,200 employees.