CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Aug. 25, 2000
UISG and Gov. Vilsack to discuss higher education issues
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Student Government leaders say their
Monday, Aug. 28 Town Meeting with Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack will cover several
issues, among them tuition and state funding for the UI, keeping UI grads
in the state and making the state more attractive to new businesses.
The meeting of UISG representatives, the governor and all interested students
will take place at 11:15 a.m. in the Terrace Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.
Christopher Linn, UISG vice president, says the student body will stress
to the governor that the UI is an invaluable resource for all Iowans and,
as a result, it is vital that the state appropriate enough money for the UI
to operate, and to increase the quality of the institution.
"When the governor makes his recommendations for funding to the state
legislature, he sets a ceiling for funding. If his recommendations are low,
the legislature isn't likely to increase them, especially in a tight budget
year," Linn says.
"State appropriations directly impact tuition and possible increases.
That is why it is important that students attend this event and that they
tell Gov. Vilsack their feelings," Linn says.
The Iowa Legislature reduced the UI's fiscal 2001 budget by $2.8 million
and underfunded the UI's requested salaries and fringe benefits by $4.2 million.
The combination of the shortfall, salary funding, base reductions and other
mandatory cost increases that were not funded resulted in a $10 million shortfall,
which the UI had to address in other ways, says Doug Young, UI controller.
Linn and other UISG representatives say tuition at the UI may "unreasonably"
increase next year as a result. This would come on the heels of a recently
approved 6.9 percent tuition and fee increase for 2000-01 year, most of which
is being used to cover the unexpected shortfall in state appropriations.
The UISG, in a letter to Vilsack, wrote that if the quality of the UI is
to improve, "it must receive consistent financial support from the state.
The Regents system serves more than 67,000 students and it is a resource for
the 2.9 million residents of Iowa as well."
On keeping students in Iowa after graduation and attracting more higher-paying
and quality jobs to Iowa, the UISG says the state could do more in attracting
highly competitive and quality companies, as well as those that pay higher
"An obstacle to keeping younger people here is the perceived lack of
recreational activities," the UISG further wrote. The state could play
a role in promoting recreational opportunities and the state's more relaxed
atmosphere, which may be attractive to people in large metropolitan cities.
Monday's Town Meeting will be the first time Vilsack has visited campus
this year to hear opinions directly from students on these and other, broader