State Board of Regents advisory group proposes construction moratorium

After the establishment of an advisory group to look at academic and administrative collaboration and efficiencies, the state Board of Regents will hear a recommendation from the group regarding the implimentation of a construction moratorium.


Wyatt Dlouhy

Iowa Board of Regents President Michael Richards sits alongside President Pro Tem Patty Cownie during a meeting at the Iowa State Alumni Center in Ames, Iowa, on Thursday, June 6, 2019. The Regents voted in favor of a four percent tuition increase starting in the fall semester of 2019.

Kelsey Harrell, Managing Digital Editor

An advisory group created by the state Board of Regents is recommending a construction moratorium on new capital projects at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and University of Northern Iowa effective until June 30, 2022.

The moratorium will be effective immediately if it is approved during the regents’ virtual meeting Sept. 23.

The group is recommending the moratorium so there is not an increase in the net square footage on the campuses of the regent institutions at the conclusion of construction projects, according to regent documents.

All current projects and their future phases that are approved or underway are exempt from the moratorium, according to the documents. Health care facilities and projects that are 100 percent by private gifts are also exempt.

For construction projects that require state funding, the university will need to demonstrate how the projects comply with the moratorium. The moratorium can be extended by the regents if necessary, according to the documents. The UI’s $90 million Pentacrest modernization project — which will restore MacLean, MacBride and Jessup Halls  over the next 8 to 10 years and eliminate an estimated $27 million in deferred maintenance — was approved in April, and is exempt.

The advisory group met over the summer and recommended the moratorium in conjunction with the regents fiscal 2022 state appropriations request.

Regent President Mike Richards established the advisory group in April 2020 to look for academic and administrative collaborations and efficiencies within the regent enterprise.

The regents will vote on the moratorium during a Sept. 23 meeting.