Governor Branstad is urging the administrators who oversee spending for Iowa’s Regents universities to keep a close eye on their budgets, after reports of large salaries at the Regents administrative offices.
Due to the salary for the board’s executive director and other expenses, over $3.5 million will come from the universities themselves to keep the board office running.
Branstad says the cost of running the board should stay as reasonable as possible.
“They're part of the Regents system,” Branstad said. “I would caution that the Regents need to be cognizant of the budget limitations we have in state government.”
Branstad says the Regents system includes some of the highest paid employees in state government, and that includes some in the Board office.
“The universities need to recognize they're part of state government as well even though they’re separately governed,” Branstad said.
The salary for the Regents executive director exceeds the salary cap mandated by the state legislature.
Branstad said for the rest of state government, the legislature sets the salary range.
“Then we set the salary within that range,” Branstad said.
The board also created a new position of chief operating officer.
The increase in central office spending comes as tuition is going up at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and University of Northern Iowa.
Branstad warns that unless spending is kept under control, the Regents could return to the big tuition hikes of the past.
“I don’t want to see us go back to those bad old days,” Branstad said.