CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0552; fax (319) 335-0558
Release: Sept. 9, 1999
UI plan would fund student activities/services from
fees rather than tuition
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- If a new University of Iowa plan
is approved, student activities and services -- such as student government-sponsored
activities, recreational services, Cambus and the student union -- will be
funded from specific fees instead of tuition.
Meanwhile, tuition money formerly budgeted for those
student activities and services will be redirected to support academic programs,
including student financial aid, a program to improve students' writing skills
and improvements to UI Libraries and instructional equipment.
The plan calls for increasing mandatory fees by $154
over the next two years -- $76 for 2000-01 and an additional $78 in 2001-02.
When fully implemented, the new fees would generate about $3.8 million a year
to cover the costs of student activities and services and would allow that
same amount in tuition revenue to be applied to support for academic programs
and student financial aid. The proposal must first be approved by the Board
of Regents, State of Iowa. The board will consider the proposal at its monthly
meeting Sept. 15 and 16 in Cedar Falls and again in October.
"I'm very excited about the prospects for this plan
because it allows us to use tuition to invest in important improvements in
our academic programs while at the same time maintaining support for important
student services," said UI President Mary Sue Coleman. "This is in accord
with the way other Big Ten universities provide funds to support non-academic
student services. And even with the proposed increases, the University of
Iowa's tuition and fees will remain the lowest in the Big Ten by a substantial
In 1998-99, the most recent academic year for which
there are comparison figures, student fees charged by public Big Ten universities
ranged from $1,146 at Illinois to $202 charged at Iowa. For that same year,
Minnesota students paid $616 and Wisconsin students paid $406.
This is how the UI wants to use the $3.8 million to
improve academic programs over the next two years:
$600,000 for student financial aid and financial
$1.1 million to revitalize UI Libraries. That
money will be used to expand library hours; to update library facilities,
including furnishings; to hire full-time librarians in all collegiate branch
libraries; and to hire specialists in electronic resources.
$1 million for an initiative in comprehensive
writing excellence that aims to maintain and enhance the UI's reputation as
"The Writing University." It will include efforts to infuse writing throughout
the curriculum and to offer a certificate in writing for advanced undergraduate
$1.1 million for instructional equipment. This
initiative will improve student access to specialized equipment and instruments
in teaching labs. It will also be used to improve computing access.
Coleman has met with UI Student Government leaders
to discuss the outlines of the fee proposal. Now that the issue is being taken
up by the Board of Regents, she plans to have more detailed discussions with
the UISG and other interested student groups.