Board of Regents to Start Public Comment Period at Meetings

May 24, 2017

Iowa's Board of Regents will allow public comments at its regular meetings starting next month. 

The first opportunity for public comment will be at the regents' June 8 meeting in Cedar Falls. That is when the board is scheduled to take a final vote on tuition increases for the upcoming school year.

Regent Michael Richards directed staff to develop a "pilot program" for taking public comment when he was elected board president earlier this month.

Those who want to comment will have to submit a request on the board's website in advance. The public comment period will be limited to 10 presenters, each with three minutes to speak.

Regents spokesman Josh Lehman says it's the first time board meetings will include in-person public comments.

"We've heard from many people that a pilot program like this is something they wanted the board to try, so we're moving forward with it," Lehman says.  

For the past four years, people wishing to comment could attend video hearings. Those recordings were played for the regents before meetings. 

The pilot program will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.