University Leaders to Discuss Budget with Lawmakers

University of Iowa professor Ben Hunnicutt gives a lecture to his Historical and Philosophical Perspectives of Leisure class Thursday, Oct. 9, 2008 on the lawn in front of the Old Capitol building on the UI campus in Iowa City. Hunnicutt said he moved the class outside after his students suggested it because it was such a beautiful day. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Leaders of Iowa's public universities are expected to discuss budget and tuition plans with lawmakers.

Iowa Board of Regents President Craig Lang and President Pro Tem Bruce Rastetter will testify Tuesday to the Legislature's education appropriations subcommittee. They'll be followed by University of Iowa President Sally Mason, Iowa State University President Steven Leath and outgoing University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen.

Higher education leaders are generally pleased with Gov. Terry Branstad's budget proposal, which would give them enough funding to freeze tuition next year for undergraduate students.

But Lang and Rastetter are expected to lobby for additional money for a new state-funded financial aid program. They hope the program will allow universities to stop using tuition revenue to fund grants and scholarships, which would allow regents to reduce rates.
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