Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter denies that there’s a political agenda behind a new proposed funding formula for Iowa's three state universities.
The legislature is being asked to approve the change so that more state dollars are used to educate in-state students. It would allocate less money to the University of Iowa and more to Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.
Coralville Democrat Dave Jacoby believes it’s a political move against the University of Iowa because Johnson County is such a Democratic stronghold.
“I think they’re looking at making changes at the university that makes it a more conservative university as opposed to a liberal think tank.”
All three state universities have received millions of dollars in recent years to upgrade facilities. Rastetter points to a new pharmacy building for the University of Iowa campus.
“Those three public universities received over $250 million for critical buildings that are much needed. So this idea of politics… I view the University of Iowa as the University of Iowa, not the University of Johnson County.”
Rastetter made his comments today during the River to River program. During the show, host Ben Kieffer and Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell talk with Rastetter about the new model. State Representative Cecil Dolecheck (R) and State Senator Brian Schoenjahn (D) also join the conversation.