Change-Up Approved For Iowa Public University Funding - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Change-Up Approved For Iowa Public University Funding

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The Iowa Board of Regents approves a major change in how the three public universities get state funding. While two schools will end up with more money the University of Iowa stands to lose tens of millions of dollars because a lot of the new funding formula will be based on in-state student enrollment.

Jim Foster's family has quite a long history with the University of Iowa. He's an alumni and also spent a couple of years as an adjunct teacher in the business program. It's no surprise he's questioning what is the biggest change to higher education funding in Iowa in decades.

"I don't think it clearly addresses the reality of what the different regent schools are in business to do, what their missions are and what their primary educational agendas are," said Foster.

He agrees the funding formula probably needed updating. With this plan a majority of nearly $500 million from the state would get divided up based on the number of in-state students each university enrolls. If adopted immediately the plan would shift $47 million from University of Iowa to Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa. The plan would be implemented over three years to minimize impact, but for some it's still a tough pill to swallow.

"What's going to go? Something is going to have to be cut down? Are they trying to clip the wings of the University of Iowa's mission?" questioned Foster.

From Board of Regents statistics the University of Iowa has seen decline in resident enrollment over the last few decades but there has been growth in non-resident students. That could be thanks certain programs attracting students from across the country or internationally.

"When you look at the fact the medical school at Iowa is one of the top ranked public medical schools in the country, you're not going to just attract students from the state of iowa to make that work," he added.

While Foster would like to see more students from Iowa stay in Iowa he hopes the funding formula gets another look.

University of Iowa President Sally Mason released a statement saying in part, "The new funding model adopted today by the board of regents presents exciting new opportunities...We will increase our efforts to recruit more Iowa students for our undergraduate programs, while also continuing to attract students from outside the state."

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