Dear UNI Family,
As you know, the 2015 legislative session adjourned on June 5, 2015. Governor Branstad has 30 days from that date to take action on budget bills.
Although the legislature did not appropriate dollars in accordance to the Board of Regents Performance-Based Funding model, the spirit of the model was recognized by appropriating differing amounts to each institution. The university is very grateful for the resources the legislature did appropriate and interpret the increased base funding as recognition that a fundamental funding inequity exists. By increasing our base operations budget by $5.1 million, the legislature recognized that 90 percent of our enrollment is resident students, which makes us much more dependent on state appropriations.
The legislature approved one-time funding increases for the three Regent universities equal to 1.25 percent of each school's base funding for the current fiscal year, providing UNI an additional $1.1 million. It is also recommended that the Regent universities freeze tuition for the fall 2015 semester.
A breakdown of UNI appropriations:
$5.1 million in recurring dollars for operations
$1.1 million in one-time funding for nonrecurring expenses
$30.9 million for the renovation of Schindler Education Center in FY 2016 and FY 2017
Nearly $2 million for our economic development efforts
$5.2 million for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) collaborative initiative
We cannot finalize our budget until the governor has approved all budget bills, but we are planning ahead for all scenarios. We recently met with leaders from the different areas on campus, the Professional and Scientific Council, the Merit, the Faculty Senate and United Faculty, in order to brief them on our current situation and get their feedback on how we might move forward. We appreciate their leadership and input. I am interested in hearing other ideas about what we should be looking at and discussing in terms of the budget moving forward.
As always, thank you for your hard work and support. I will update everyone on the budget as soon as there is news to tell.
Purple for Life!