The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 26, 2005

UI Announces $2 Million In GEF Budget Reductions for FY06; Cuts Linked To Regents Partnership For Transformation And Excellence Plan

University of Iowa President David Skorton today announced $2 million in general education fund (GEF) budget reductions with the savings to be reallocated within the UI's FY2006 budget. The reductions in GEF support to various UI units are based on recommendations from a May 17, 2004 report of the General Education Fund Task Force, an ad hoc committee of faculty, staff and students appointed by Skorton. These measures for the coming fiscal year are in addition to $2 million in GEF reductions and reallocations undertaken during the current 2004-05 fiscal year. The Task Force report was also the basis for the FY05 budget decisions.

The GEF Task Force was originally asked to identify $12 million in GEF budget reductions to be implemented over a three-year period. More reductions in GEF allocations are likely to be implemented in FY07, but Skorton noted that the process involving the GEF Task Force will be merged with comprehensive reallocation efforts that will be a major aspect of the Partnership for Transformation and Excellence, a plan for strategic reallocations within university budgets that the Board of Regents has developed to match state appropriation requests.

"We are excited about the prospects for the Partnership Plan, which is currently before the Iowa Legislature," Skorton said. "That plan calls for additional investment by the state in the Regent universities, and it requires the universities to achieve a new level of commitment to reallocating our funds to our core academic mission. The result is something all Iowans can support -- high quality public higher education that is both accessible and affordable, with predictable tuition increases that do not go beyond the rate of inflation.

"In addition, we will continue to pursue vigorously the Regents' vision for reviewing how business processes can be redesigned, consolidated and improved across Iowa's three public universities, with the administrative savings reinvested into our core missions," Skorton added.

GEF support reductions for FY06 will be made in the following areas:

* Utilities, $500,000. Facilities Management will continue vigorously its efforts to curtail energy usage across campus by auditing energy use in campus buildings. An active energy conservation committee led by Jerry Schnoor, UI Foundation Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is helping in all aspects of this ambitious agenda to reduce energy consumption and utility costs. This reduction is in addition to a $250,000 budget cut assigned to utilities for FY05. The GEF Task Force recommended a total of $1.5 million in utilities budget cuts.

* Continuing Education, $295,000. The Video Center and Audiovisual Center will be combined; the Institute for Public Affairs will become a part of the Iowa Nonprofit Center; and additional savings will be achieved with cuts to the budget for the Center for Conferences and Institutes. In FY05, $150,000 was cut from Continuing Education. The Task Force recommended cuts totaling about $1.2 million to Continuing Education units, but no further cuts are anticipated as part of this process.

* Information Technology, $275,000. This savings will come from reducing spending on information technology hardware and software and from reducing support for the student computer loan program. Another $150,000 was cut from GEF expenditures for this budget in FY05. The GEF Task Force recommended an overall reduction of $750,000.

* Athletics, $250,000. This is in addition to $300,000 in GEF budget reductions for athletics in FY05. The GEF Task Force recommended an overall cut of $1.8 million for athletics.

* Business services functions, Internal Audit and Risk Management, $140,000. This was not an area identified for cuts by the GEF Task Force, but there will be savings as these business functions are re-examined and some are consolidated across the three Regent universities, the UI, ISU and UNI.

* Student Health, $138,000. This is the first year for a reduction in GEF support for Student Health, and a further reduction is possible in FY07. The Task Force recommended an overall reduction of $373,096 with substitution of a slightly higher student health fee. Student services provided during FY06 will not change, but may change in future years without additional charges for services or a slightly higher student health fee.

* Office for Corporate Partnerships, $85,000. Program support will be shifted to funds other than the GEF. Although the Task Force recommended an overall reduction of nearly $212,000 in this office's GEF support, no further cuts will be made as part of this process.

* Museum of Art, $70,000. This is in addition to $30,000 cut from the Museum's GEF support for FY05. The GEF Task Force recommended a total of $100,000. No further cuts are anticipated as part of this process.

* Custodial service, $50,000. Cleaning schedules will be reduced and exterior window washing will be eliminated. In FY05, another $250,000 was cut from this GEF allocation. The Task Force recommended a total of $300,000, so no further cuts are anticipated.

* Radio stations WSUI and KSUI, $50,000. This reduction in the radio stations' GEF support will be covered by a combination of expense reductions and/or increases in fund-raising and underwriting income. The UI radio stations' GEF allocation was reduced by $45,000 in FY05. The Task Force recommended an overall GEF allocation reduction of $450,000. However, in the meantime, the Board of Regents commissioned a study of how the public radio stations at the UI, ISU and UNI might be consolidated. That report, which was received by the Regents last month, calls for reducing the three universities' radio stations budgets by $300,000 over a four-year period. Future reductions to WSUI and KSUI's GEF support will be accomplished as part of that consolidation process.

* Printing Services, $47,824. Another $50,000 was eliminated from the department's GEF fund in FY05. The Task Force recommended a total reduction of $97,824, so no further cuts will be made as part of this process. However, the printing function is among a number of business functions that will be examined comprehensively with similar services at ISU and UNI over the next several months.

* University Relations Publications, $45,000. The cost of publishing the University's research magazine, "Illumine," will be shifted to a non-GEF source of funding. "FYI," the monthly faculty and staff newspaper, will be either be published exclusively on-line or other GEF savings will be achieved to equal the cost of printing "FYI." University Relations Publications' GEF allocation was cut $55,000 in FY05. The Task Force recommended a total of $100,000 in GEF cuts, so no further reductions will be made as part of this process.

* Hancher Auditorium, $25,000. The Task Force recommended a reduction of $200,000 in Hancher's GEF support.

* University of Iowa Press, $20,000. The Task Force recommended an overall GEF support reduction of $200,000, but the $20,000 reduction proposed for FY06 is the only cut that the UI Press will be required to make as part of this process.

* nTITLE program, $10,000. The New Technology in the Learning Environment (nTITLE) program, which trains faculty in the use of technology for classroom and on-line teaching, saw its GEF support cut by $200,000 in FY05. Although the Task Force recommended an overall reduction of $250,000, no further reductions are anticipated as a result of this process.

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott,, phone 319-335-0552, cell 319-530-6972