Regents Pondering Predictable Tuition

Sep 8, 2017

The Iowa Board of Regents hopes to persuade Iowa legislators to substantially increase state appropriations to the three state universities, but is developing its own plan for halting what regents contend is underfunding.

Referring to the Legislature, Regent Larry McKibben, a former state senator now heading a regents committee on tuition said, “I’m not going to sit around and worry about what they’re going to do in January. I’m going to lead a project that makes change.”  McKibben says he considers the current regents board a “change agent.”  He said he doesn’t know the outcome.

“That isn’t going to stop us from doing what  we need to do,” he says.

Presidents of Iowa State, the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Iowa have told McKibben’s tuition study committee their campuses need revenue that 5 to 7 percent tuition increases would generate.

On Thursday, McKibben said increases such as that should be “a last resort.”

The Regents will consider a 2018-2019 tuition proposal at the board’s October meeting, and take a final vote in December. That’s before the Iowa Legislature convenes in January, but the regents are vowing not to again raise tuition after the legislative appropriation are determined.

Board president Michael Richards said regents won’t again surprise students with a double-barreled tuition hike for the same academic year. 

“We’re going to come in with the right number,” he said.