UNI Cuts Prompt Grassroots Campaign

By Diane Heldt, Reporter

A driver drives through the gateway of the University of Northern Iowa on Thursday, June 23, 2011, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. (SourceMedia Group News/Jim Slosiarek)

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By Eric Stidman

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - A group of parents, students and community members have formed a statewide grassroots campaign in response to academic and program cuts at the University of Northern Iowa.

The group has a website at www.UNIfyForEducation.org , click here. Their purpose is to unify students, faculty and citizens around the issue of improving education in Iowa, because the UNI cuts are dividing the campus and the community, Cedar Falls parent Kristin Teig Torres said in a statement.

University officials in recent weeks announced plan to target 77 programs for cuts or restructuring and the planned closure of the Malcolm Price Lab School.

The group argues for “investing in the right priorities for education.” They say that at a time when Iowa is one of the few states with a budget surplus, the state continues to make cuts to education, with UNI’s appropriation below 1996-97 funding levels.

“We don’t want to see these short term solutions have long term impacts on UNI, the Cedar Valley economy and the state of education in Iowa,” Christian Andrews, a Cedar Falls parent and business owner, said in the statement.

Organizers of the UNIfy for Education campaign are asking people to visit www.UNIfyForEducation.org and sign a pledge of support. The pledge numbers will be shared with Iowa leaders and legislators.

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