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UNI Budget Update

Thursday, February 26th, 2004

At the February Board of Regents meeting, the three state university presidents made presentations about how their respective institutions are responding to the mid-fiscal-year budget cuts that were announced in October 2003. Some local media reported this discussion as the announcement of another round of budget cuts - that was incorrect. There is no new information about the budget situation, and no further action has been taken. (See the Feb. 5 Proposed Fiscal Year 2005 Budget update below).

Also during the February meeting, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, adopted a resolution regarding funding for the three state universities. It follows below.

This Web site will be updated as additional information is available.

Board of Regents Resolution
Adopted Feb. 19, 2004

Whereas, the five institutions governed by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, benefit Iowans statewide with educational opportunities, research and scholarship, and service in all 99 counties, including activities that strengthen Iowa’s economy; and

Whereas, the positive impact these institutions have on the quality of life in Iowa makes them worthy of public support, the Board of Regents reaffirms its request for adequate state appropriations to ensure educational quality; and

Whereas, critical to that quality is adequate state funding that enables the Regent universities to attract and retain exceptional faculty; and

Whereas, state elected officials are considering proposals to reinvest in education in Iowa, including the Regent institutions;

Therefore, the Board of Regents requests elected officials to reinvest in public higher education by increasing funding to protect Iowa students and their families from the harmful effects of inadequate funding, to avoid further deterioration in the quality of these important institutions, and to benefit all Iowans by supporting the Board’s four priorities: high-quality education, research and scholarship, service and economic growth activities, and public accountability.

Proposed Fiscal Year 2005 Budget
Feb. 5, 2003

The governor’s fiscal year 2005 budget proposal includes a slight increase but no salary bill. Because the legislative session has just begun, there is a lot of uncertainty about support for the governor’s fiscal year 2005 budget, particularly because his recommendations are premised on some additional tax revenues. The budget proposal does not include recommendations for capital projects, although there is a possibility that the General Assembly will consider a bonding bill.

UNI 's budget was cut in fiscal years 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Last October, the budget was cut 2.50 percent, which means we had to absorb $2,009,683 this fiscal year.

With no salary bill before the legislature to cover negotiated salary increases, and with no guarantee of any increase in state appropriations, the expected increase in tuition revenue will be needed to pay for fiscal year 2005 salary increases. Beyond tuition, additional reallocations from operations will be needed to fully cover the salary increases. In addition, the October budget cut will become a permanent base reduction as we enter fiscal year 2005.

We do not anticipate additional budget reductions this fiscal year -- however, that is always a possibility. If we receive any additional income, it will be strategically used to offset any reductions.

Our long-term strategy continues to be to maintain the highest academic quality. Further reductions in UNI's size may be required if state support continues to diminish.

The State Revenue Estimating Conference will meet again in March. The results of that meeting, as well as decisions made by the General Assembly about our fiscal year 2005 appropriations, will provide some indication of the likelihood of future cuts. It likely will be late April before any final decisions are made. This Web site will be updated as additional information is available.