Northern Iowan

UNI held harmless from midyear cuts

President+Mark+Nook+commented+that+the+lack+of+cuts+to+UNI%27s+midyear+budget+will+be+beneficial+to+students+and+the+university+as+a+whole.
President Mark Nook commented that the lack of cuts to UNI's midyear budget will be beneficial to students and the university as a whole.

President Mark Nook commented that the lack of cuts to UNI's midyear budget will be beneficial to students and the university as a whole.

NI ARCHIVES

NI ARCHIVES

President Mark Nook commented that the lack of cuts to UNI's midyear budget will be beneficial to students and the university as a whole.

KELSEY CHIDLEY, Staff Writer

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Two months after the Iowa Senate proposed $3.7 million in budget cuts to UNI, the legislature approved an amendment that prevents any cuts to UNI’s 2017-2018 budget.

“Fortunately for our students, UNI was held harmless from a rescission of current year funds to the state,” said President Nook in a statement. “We are thankful to the many UNI students who made visits to Des Moines nearly every week to talk with Iowa legislators about the importance of maintaining a high-quality education at a reasonable cost to students and their families.”

According to the Des Moines Register, Senate File 2117 was introduced in January after state revenues fell below the predicted amount. The bill targeted funds already allocated for the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2018. The cuts to UNI were initially introduced by the Iowa Senate but opposed by the House and Governor Reynolds.

“Our goal was to strengthen the House while convincing the Senate — essentially, through repeated conversations and highlighting how UNI’s needs are unique as compared to the other two state institutions,” said Maggie Miller, then-NISG Director of Governmental Relations.

Over 90 percent of UNI students are Iowa residents. As a result, UNI relies more heavily on state funds than Iowa’s other public universities. Previous budget cuts at UNI have resulted in student tuition increases. Miller and the UNI Legislative Liaison Team (LLT) frequently traveled to Des Moines to communicate UNI’s needs to legislators.

“The thing that we’ve trademarked this year is that UNI educates Iowans for Iowa,” Miller said, noting the fact that most UNI students, even those from out of state, live and work in Iowa after graduation.

“UNI does not have the reserve funds or the full tuition dollars from as many out-of-state students as the other two regents institutions do,” said a statement issued by Representative Walt Rogers (R-60). “With that understanding, I was able to make sure the amendment to the de-appropriations bill included a provision that UNI does not get cut.”

The bill includes total budget cuts of $35.5 million dollars, according to the Des Moines Register. The Iowa Board of Regents will still suffer $11 million in budget cuts to Iowa State and the University of Iowa. Community colleges across the state will also lose $500,000 of state funding.

“UNI was not included in the cuts, and I’m thankful for UNI not facing additional cuts,” said Representative Bob Kressig (D-59). “The cuts are problematic for students who are trying to get an affordable education and will cause tuition increases. Hopefully, we can return to the time when education is a priority again in Iowa.”

Changes in funding for Iowa’s public universities has been a continual issue. During the 2017 fall semester, the cost of tuition at UNI was increased as a response to a decrease in funding.

“We talk a lot about the culture of UNI and how it’s so different,” Miller said. “We get a private education at a public price. That’s special, I think, on this campus.”

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UNI held harmless from midyear cuts