After recent state budget cuts, the UI on July 10 announced in a press release that it would shutter several centers.
The list of closures includes:
• UI Center on Aging
• Confucius Institute
• Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (I-CATER)
• Iowa Center for Higher Education
• Labor Center
• Office of Iowa Practice Opportunities
• UI Mobile Museum
A reduction in funding will also be implemented for the DeLTA Center, Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, and Iowa Supports Education and Resources for Veterans and Enlisted (I-SERVE), as well as the Institute for Public Affairs, UI Research Foundation, and the State Hygienic Laboratory.
Because of the closings and reductions, the UI will furlough 30 full-time positions.
“We’re disappointed to be in this position because these centers and employees provide valuable outreach and service to Iowans,” said UI President Bruce Harreld in a statement to Iowa Now. “But we can no longer ask our students to support activities previously supported by the state just a generation ago.”
Documents shared from the Office of Strategic Communication showed that over the past 20 years, the state budget has increased more than $3 billion, while funding for the UI has decreased by $9 million in a disinvestment in public higher education.
The documents also show that in fiscal 2000, 62 percent of UI’s general-education fund came from state appropriations, with tuition accounting for around 30 percent. Since then, documents state that the numbers have almost completely reversed, shifting costs from the state to UI students.
Though state support for public higher education is declining, the UI has among the lowest resident and undergraduate tuition fees in the Big Ten.
— Gage Miskimen