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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 2, 2006

Skorton, Regents And Presidents To Meet Congressional Delegation

University of Iowa President David Skorton will discuss the importance of continued federal funding for student aid and research programs, as well as providing additional Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement to the state of Iowa when he meets with Iowa's Congressional delegation Feb. 8 in Washington, D.C.

Skorton will meet with the delegation, along with other key Congressional staffers, as part of the Board of Regents Day in Washington. Sponsored by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the breakfast meeting will provide an opportunity for the state's higher education leaders to share what they consider to be the most pressing federal issues facing the Regents institutions individually and as a group.

All five members of the state's delegation in the House of Representatives have been invited to attend the breakfast, as have both United States senators. This will be the first time the entire Board of Regents and all three university presidents have traveled to Washington together to meet the state's Congressional representatives. The meeting will come just one week after President George W. Bush's State of the Union address, in which he outlined additional federal spending for the physical sciences, engineering and mathematics. Skorton said he was encouraged that the president had mentioned these as priorities in his address.

"University-based research has revolutionized science and technology and transformed the U.S. economy during our lifetimes," Skorton said. "Sustained progress will require sustained real growth of the federal investment in the basic and life sciences over the next ten years."

Derek Willard, special assistant to the president for governmental relations and associate vice president for research, said Skorton's topics address the most pressing federal issues facing the university.

"Last year the university made more than 30,000 awards totaling $160 million through a balanced portfolio of federally financed grants and loans to University of Iowa students and their families. This aid is vital to provide both access to higher education and choice among institutions."

"Likewise, funding through the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, NASA and other agencies made breakthrough discoveries possible," Willard said, "and also provided a staging area for the state's economic development through biotech business incubation, patents and licenses of discoveries and new enterprise centers.

"Reimbursement for health services provided through Medicare and the federal portion of Medicaid is particularly important to UI patients and their families from throughout Iowa," Willard said.  Last year the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Carver College of Medicine received several hundred million dollars to provide needed care to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy and University of Northern Iowa President Robert Koob will also attend the meeting, along with all members of the Board of Regents.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,