Rastetter: Not Giving Up on University Redistribution Plan

Apr 24, 2015

Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter says he’s still lobbying hard for a controversial plan to redistribute state funds to Iowa’s Regents Universities.   

The plan would appropriate money on the basis of how many Iowa students each university attracts, with more money going to University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University, and less to the University of Iowa.  

Neither the House nor the Senate education budget includes money for the proposal, but Rastetter says that’s not the final word.

“We’re confident that by the end of the session we'll get performance funding,” Rastetter says.  “We'll continue to work with both the House and Senate toward successful completion of that.” 

The governor requested  four-million dollars to implement the plan, but the  Regents say it will require 12-million dollars to prevent a cut in funding for the University of Iowa.     

The House budget would distribute money to the universities according to the plan, but without any additional appropriation to soften the blow to U of I.

Rastetter says they’re also lobbying for an increase in state funds so they can handle another tuition freeze. 

“Our lobbyists are there,” Rastetter says.  “I’m there, and we'll continue to do that work."  

Governor Branstad is asking for a 1.75% increase to cover the freeze, but the Republican budget unveiled last week contains no increase for the universities. 

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says he believes the universities can handle the freeze no matter what the state appropriation turns out to be.