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Regents to OK Last Budget Without New Metrics

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IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Board of Regents next week is expected to approve the 2015 budgets for its three public universities, marking the final time it plans to allocate state dollars without weighing enrollment and performance metrics.

The University of Iowa is expected to receive $230.9 million in general university operating appropriations in the next budget year, or 46 percent of the total allocations for the three institutions.

Iowa State University is expected to get $180.9 million, or 36 percent, and the University of Northern Iowa is anticipated to receive $93.2 million, or 18 percent.

Those allocations are up from the current budget year after the legislature approved a 4 percent increase for each university, plus an additional $2.6 million for UNI.

For the 2016 budget year, using a new funding model set to roll out over a three-year period, the Board of Regents plans to tie:

l 60 percent of the state allocations to enrollment

l 15 percent to progress and attainment

l 10 percent to access

l 5 percent to sponsored research

l 5 percent to graduate and professional student enrollment.

The remaining 5 percent will be left up to the board.

If those metrics were used to allocate state funds in the current year, Iowa State would become the top-funded university in the state, earning 42 percent of the money.

The UNI portion also would increase, to 22 percent, and UI share would drop to 36 percent — representing a loss of about $47.8 million.

During the three-year rollout, the board has agreed to cap the amount of money that can move annually from one university to another at 2 percent of the 2013 general education. That means the UI allocation could drop by up to $13 million a year, if enrollment figures remain unchanged.

UI officials are ramping up in-state recruiting efforts in hopes of avoiding the hit, and they’re seeking to hire an outside consultant to help them do that.

But even as the universities battle for the pool of state funds, the Board of Regents on Tuesday reported that UI and ISU get a larger portion of their funding for general operations from tuition.

UNI is slightly more reliant on state appropriations than tuition, but both UI and ISU get about one-third of their operating funding from the state.

According to regent documents made public Tuesday, the state portion of UI funding will increase from 32.6 percent to 33 percent in the next budget year, while its reliance on tuition revenue will remain static at just over 60 percent.

The state portion of ISU’s funding will decrease slightly from 31.5 percent to 31 percent, while tuition revenue will make up a larger portion of its funding sources — increasing from 64.2 percent to 65.3 percent, according to regent documents.

Tuition revenue didn’t increase as much as it could have after the Board of Regents in December approved the second consecutive freeze on resident undergraduate tuition for the upcoming school year.

Non-resident undergraduate tuition increased by 1.8 percent at UI, 1.7 percent at ISU, and 2.5 percent at UNI.

l Comments: (319) 339-3158;

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