CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0552; fax (319) 335-0558
Release: Oct. 18, 2001
Coleman: budget proposal will cause problems, but UI will do its share
CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman said the new budget-cutting
proposal outlined last week by Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack improves the situation
for the university, but the fiscal problem remains serious. When combined
with earlier budget cuts, the reduction to the UI's state appropriations for
fiscal year 2002 would total more than $30 million.
"We recognize the gravity of the state's revenue shortfall and will
do our share to help," Coleman said. "A 4.3-percent reduction is
obviously less destructive than a 7-percent reduction, but this is still the
most serious budget situation we have faced."
On Oct. 11, Vilsack announced an across-the-board state budget cut of 4.3
percent, designed to remove about $200 million from state spending during
the current fiscal year, which began July 1. This proposal supersedes a plan
put forth by the governor in late September to trim $108 million from the
budget by targeted cuts. About two-thirds of the state budget was exempted
from cuts under that earlier proposal. The University of Iowa would have needed
to reduce spending in the current fiscal year by $21.9 million. The new plan
calls for the UI to cut its current budget by $13.5 million.
"There is a very big difference in the consequences of reducing our
budget by $21.9 million versus $13.5 million," said Douglas K. True,
UI vice president for finance and university services. "While cutting
$13.5 million will cause less pain, we are still talking about a very large
number to reduce at a time when only two-thirds of the fiscal year remains."
True said the planning process already underway will remain the same as
the UI prepares to deal with the cuts.
"We are well along in the process of consulting with deans and other
administrators as well as with faculty, staff and student constituent groups,"
True said. "We've identified some options to cope with reductions but
it's still too early to tell the exact impacts or strategies at this time."
The UI has already taken some actions to reduce the FY02 budget:
* As part of budget cutting actions taken earlier, the UI eliminated 107
positions, mostly by leaving vacant positions open. That included 70 faculty
* A number of high-level administrative positions have been left vacant or
are being filled with interim appointments, including the vice president for
University Relations (David Skorton, vice president for research, is handling
the duties of that position), the vice provost, the associate vice president
for facilities services, the registrar, director of Affirmative Action, the
dean of the Graduate College, the dean of Continuing Education, the associate
vice president for Human Resources, and the director of the Museum of Natural
* Last week, UI officials announced the deferment of building renewal projects
totaling $1.7 million and equipment purchases totaling $1.1 million. Building
projects to be deferred include those at Spence Laboratories and at Trowbridge
Hall. Equipment purchases that will be put off include both computers and
instructional equipment replacement.
* This week, Coleman announced a one-year deferment of Phase II of the West
Campus Hawkeye Athletic and Recreation Complex. Phase II includes the construction
of an aquatics center, indoor and outdoor tennis facilities, recreation space,
lockers, showers, and offices. Phase I of that project is well under way and
will be completed within a year. That includes the Roy G. Karro Hall of Fame
and Visitors Center Building, and a new women's intercollegiate soccer field.
* Two weeks ago, the UI announced the suspension of six internal grant competitions.
That suspension will save the university about $1.1 million from the current
fiscal year. Among the programs to be cut is CIFRE, the Central Investment
Fund for Research Enhancement, which provides individual awards of up to $10,000
to support faculty and research scientists for work that will assist in developing
new initiatives or enhance competitiveness for external funding.
Additional reductions would be achieved by actions such as the following:
* Further reductions of temporary and permanent staff positions.
* Suspension of some faculty developmental and support programs.
* Reductions in faculty, staff and student travel.
* Collegiate deans have developed preliminary budget cutting suggestions,
such as leaving faculty positions vacant, reducing jobs through attrition,
postponing job searches, increasing minimum class sizes and/or reducing the
number of courses offered.
* The athletic department, in addition to postponing Phase II of the West
Campus project, will leave four positions vacant, eliminate two more positions
following upcoming retirements, and will make changes in the mode and frequency
* In addition to the 107 positions expected to be lost as a result of the
earlier state appropriations reductions, the 4.3 percent across the board
budget reduction is expected to reduce 158 additional positions, based upon
the proportion of salary expense in the General Education Fund budget and
the preliminary plans of unit heads.