Iowa Press; 1311; Higher Education And The Board Of Regents
Why. Because I went for a show 13 11 recorded a one five maybe six one. One. Major funding for this program was provided by friends of Iowa Public Television. From elementary school through high school and on through college. The public concern has always been with quality education but with across the board state budget cuts proposed government reorganization and the proposed sale of some of the state universities educational
facilities like w a y t be any use. What is the future of higher education in Iowa tonight. We'll take a look with our Wayne Ritchie executive secretary of the Board of Regions and State Senator Joe Brown. This is the Sunday January 5th edition of Iowa promise. Good evening. I'm said Sprecher sitting in for Dean Borg this week. Tonight's lesson is higher education. Iowa's three state run universities employ some 26000 workers educate 68000 students and spend about 600 million dollars a year to operate. It's a large portion of the state's budget. Consequently in these trying economic times state policymakers and lawmakers are eyeing I was higher education system as a source of budget dollars and of course what has this report. It may be a long cold winter and I was three public universities with the
state's deteriorating economy. Higher education has suffered along with other state operations so the momentum is equal. If. This is the way. To compensate for the poor Iowa economy there have been tuition hikes and budget cuts to wish and it's been increased every year since 1981 and the State Board of Regents this past fall approved another six point five percent tuition increase for the 1986 87 school year. That will bring tuition cost per year for resident undergraduate to almost fourteen hundred dollars for I was State University and the University of Iowa and a just over thirteen hundred dollars for the University of Northern Iowa. And Governor Branstad recently called for another three point five percent cut that would cost higher education some 14 million dollars. We have two basic choices. We can either raise taxes or
reduce the level of spending along with the budget cut. The governor under his government reorganization plan has proposed selling off some of the university's properties. For example he wants the state to sell television on the I was State University campus in Ames. The top lawmakers say they'll be in a real squeeze during the next legislative session trying to figure out how to improve the quality of education I want without raising taxes. The commercial station boasts a professional news staff and uses more than 100 students who work on the program throughout the semester as part of their coursework for degrees in broadcast journalism television media ology and engineering. Dave lint has been at I was state for 18 years and says he has seen the issue of selling television come up six or seven times. We have no problem with governmental reorganization but we don't like your ITV has anything to do with governmental reorganization. We think it has to do with
liquidating a state asset that shouldn't be liquidated. It will be a one shot deal. Your short term benefits now will be gone. The outcome remains to be seen as does the outcome of other suggestions for the three state universities. Suggestions that include eliminating some of the programs that are duplicated at two or more of the universities and directing universities like Iowa State to develop a center of excellence that would allow the state to use biotechnology as an aid to economic development. Just what will be cut or changed at the state's three universities. How will the current budget cuts under consideration seriously affect the quality of college education in Iowa. Well we'll discuss those questions and some more this week and I will press with our Wayne Ritchie executive secretary of the Board of Regents and State Senator Joe Brown the former chair of the Senate Education Committee. They'll be questioned this week by David yaps an a political reporter with The Des Moines Register. And Mike Glover a correspondent for The Associated Press.
Just to refute the regions have asked Iowa State University to come up with a study the benefits of selling that will likely be given the university opposes selling the unit the TV station. How can be assured it'll be an object of study. Well I think first of all we have a professional integrity at the university itself and of the people of the university. The board has made it clear that it would wish is to have an objective and comprehensive study. And I have no question but what it will be sufficiently objective and comprehensive for the board to make a decision on the subject. But they've said they want to keep the station and then they're being asked to study the question of whether it should be sold and then a fox in the chicken coop. Well one could assume that but I again I think we have to. Rely on the professional integrity of the university. The fact that the Board of Regents itself governs that university the fact that the board will be approving the design for the study. I have no question about what the university will
follow with the board's instructions. Senator Brown would you be satisfied if that study. I think I'd be satisfied with such a study the question has to become I guess is it time to start looking at reorganizing the border regions in terms of maybe going from a part time board to a full time board. They could more clearly deal with not only this issue but many of the other issues hopefully will be discussed in a day. But what about that Senator. You think it ought to be a full time board. I think there are some of us in the legislature I know there are some of us in the legislature this year that will be looking at reducing the size of the current border regions and going to a full time but when they get 0 9 members a nine member board of it looking at maybe going to a five member board having to be a full time position so that some of the cohesive decisions that need to be made between I will state you and I and the University of Iowa plus the other institutions under the board of regents could be dealt with. Right now we have three autonomous larger institutions and one part time border regions and I think many of us in the legislature really should not be making the administrative decisions on what the university should be doing. But a board of regents should. In my opinion the current board is an adequately
prepared to do so. But before we get on with I've got one more question for Mr. Ritchie about the WRI issue and that is if you don't assume for a moment that the state ownership of a commercial television station is a desirable thing. If you don't sell it off. How do you propose to get the money necessary to get I was state's research program back up to par to get the state into the biotechnology game and the governor says you know he has no necessarily big criticisms about WOIO or the need to educate journalism students is just that that assets worth anywhere from 20 to 40 million dollars and that that's a chunk of dough to get the state into those research programs. So if the Board of Regents doesn't sell it where are you going to find the money to do that. That's a major problem of course for the university as a whole and for the other universities as well. The board has requested. About 65 million dollars additional funds for fiscal year 1987. Which several million dollars are for. Research and Development
at Iowa State University. That is a major problem and it is one I'm sure that's putting pressure on this issue and it is. An issue a segment of the study that will have some weight perhaps on the outcome depending on what the advantages and disadvantages of the use of the station as as a Hughes now plus the use of the estimated proceeds as of the station the sale of the station. Why did the regents have to be pushed into making these kind of studies and working with guys of choice and shouldn't the regents really have been innovative and sparked this whole debate itself. In terms of the possible sale of why it has come up from time to time over the. Last two decades. And perhaps it should have come up again. But it was serving and is serving an excellent purpose at university. And the subject just just has not come up in the sense of using the proceeds on a one
shot basis to improve the university or to establish other such programs. But he's mistaken but doesn't the state university system given its supposed to be just sort of the brain center of the state. Don't you have a responsibility to anticipate these types of things. And wasn't a failure on your part by not anticipating the tough times and the need to make decisions like this. We have an hour long range planning. We have worked on the same issues just like this and on the problems associated with. Improving programs reducing programs. That's a normal part of our long range planning process. It has specific programs or specific alternatives might well not be examined that in a given time. Senator Brown why hasn't the legislature done a better job than dissipating these these problems. Here we are the states broke the universities are complaining about a lack of money. We don't have a decent research program. I mean Mike
asked that question Mr. RITCHIE But why did the legislature writes the checks. Why hasn't the General Assembly done a better job of governing the state universities. Well I think the general assembly first of all is catching up to the needs of the people I think we're only probably a decade behind the times in the past I think we did. More than that. But in the last couple of years I think we have made some effort to do so. That's where I think it's time that the legislature will seriously take a look in 1900 succession about going to a full time Board of Regents and having a centralised unit that has that bring some cohesiveness to the many institutions that are out there. The Board of Regents basically are like any local school board in that they try to protect all that they have without losing anything. And I think the fact that we were going through some tremendous demographic shifts and changes in this state right now. We've lost a couple of hundred thousand people since 1980. We know that our population is becoming older and are going to regions I don't think have have yet responded. But I don't think the legislature has either. That's why I think the legislature will move in
1986. But there will be some of the things that the legislature will do to improve that. Governor you mentioned a little time broad executive board would be one and also asking which of the border regions be in control of for example. We talk about the school for the Deaf in the school for the blind. Is it appropriate for the Board of Regents which is basically a higher educational institution to have governance over K-12 school children that have had to be handicapped either I'm blind or in hearing in most states those are out of the Department of Public Instruction. I think there would be a strong move to take those away from the border regions put the governance under the State Department of Public Instruction. And second of all I think the community colleges. In fact we have 15 unique community colleges with 15 different boards. By going to community colleges and I would do not even talk to each other let alone the board of regents. It seems to me that our 15 institutions of community colleges and our three Board of Regents Plus our 30 private institutions ought to somehow be under a unified board of higher education. Mr. Ritchie Why should the regents have control of K-12 children no special schools
what about going to the primary it's historical in terms of the governance of the school if I could you know if I get a reference I get to say it's historical In other words it's always been that way. Aren't these the type of times when we just can't do things the way we always have. That may well be. If you ask why where the institutions under the board of regents and I'm saying that it's because it's a historical fact that they have been for. 40 50 75 years they have whether they should be or not isn't it. It's a legitimate question to be examined. Who do you think given these times that perhaps we ought to get rid of the Board of Public Instruction the Board of Regents and put get a super board with her. One person maybe such as yourself or someone else like other states or has there's some coordination center in every state where that type of organization has been tried and pretty severe failure. And. I have people that have called me from some of those states where that's happened. And. Tell me that that's the one thing you don't want to happen if you don't want K through advanced graduate
school. All under one board I want to comment on Senator Brown's statement with respect to a full time Board of Regents. Whatever the size. That would represent a very fundamental change and. Governance of higher education. I don't know that it's been done anywhere in the country. It really would bring to the fore the very basic question. Of whether. There was. Sufficient and sole lation of the universities from the state government itself. What Senator Brown seems to be suggesting is an administrative board one who works every day a career board. And the that would affect campus governance very strictly. I suspect that the questions of academic freedom. And the kind of people we would get to run those universities would
be a very major issue. Why shouldn't the taxpayers of this state. Opt for something like Senator Brown is talking about you talk about fundamental change. This is these are fundamental changes that I'm going to have but we're broke. Change and the govern itself. I'm not talking about the idea of a board doing additional things or anything of that nature or doing more detail long range planning or anything of that nature or art. Have undergoing major studies for elimination a duplication of that sort of thing. I'm talking about having a full time. Day to day administrative governing board in charge of these universities that's where the real difference is. Senator Brown the legislature also spends a fair amount of money on tuition grants for private colleges. At a time when the state is broke. In fact if you add up differently that's a deficit in the state. How can the state afford to be putting money into private colleges when when you can't
meet your obligations to the public universities I am I was the first elected senator who was and I would wish to grant user in the I would General Assembly during the time feel very strongly that the I was wishing Grant was an appropriate program certainly helped me get through my four years of undergrad. However it does seem that in the 1980s the fact that we do not have enough money that you have to wonder whether or not we can afford to subsidize not only the grant program but also the programs for the Private Medical College here in Des Moines. It's interesting that the governor had large increases for those two institutions to private institutions plus supporting tuition tax credits for K-12 that did very little for the half a million school children are public schools. Yeah me a number of US students in our colleges. I think that has got to be looked at I'm confident the votes are not there to wipe out the I would grant program but we do have to question whether or not they should get a larger increase now to compete with those 30 institutions to compete against the system of 18 colleges. Let me just go back to one
thing about governance. I was not talking about a super board for K-12 and collegiate level. I think though the university system our community colleges in are our three public institutions ought to be under one board and I think it's absolutely a smokescreen to say that you're going to do away with the autonomy of the institutions by having a super board. The fact is that no one is in charge of higher education in the state of Iowa today. No one's in charge. Everybody is drafted and we can no longer afford a draft and I will we have snow drifts and I want we don't need education to this mystery. You want to respond to that. Well. I think we may be talking about two different things if we're talking about a part time board that covers all the post-secondary education that's one issue if you're talking about approval time five day a week. So many hundred days a year board that's another and I was commenting on the latter. I still the question has become how can you meet two days a week or two days a month to control a
university system you cannot do it functionally and I think that's what we're in problems too are you what you proposing it is in effect fives when Richie's. Administration I wouldn't go that far since first of all I'm going nowhere. But now I think of five I think I have an executive director is very important I think history does a good job in that role. But I still think we need five people that have the time. And would also develop the expertise to go out. You cannot analyze University of Iowa versus university nor that I want to see if they're duplicating their chemistry or physics programs or oil or their football schedules. Mr. Rich you know tuition question there have been a lot of complaints that I was students don't pay for the full cost of their education through their tuition in fact state policy they don't. It's a time that I was students are going to have to bear the full brunt. I pay tuition to pay for the education we have as you. Know increased tuition rather substantially in the past five years. I tuitions are still below the average of the comparable institutions in the Midwest and.
And nationally. So there is some room there for tuitions to grow in the future and that room has been pretty much the deliberate state policy. Over the past 10 to 15 years with the understanding that when enrollments did decline as we have been expecting them to for five years but they haven't. That we would use some of the reserve tuition Reserve. To tide us over the loss and state of and student and come from drop students. Yes there is room for tuitions to grow. There's no question of what we may have to. Have and grow at a faster rate than. It has. The real problem though is that with the economy in Iowa I want her having a harder time paying tuition. That also runs counter higher tuition runs counter to the national policy now which is to hold down the growth in student aid. So we have those counter pressures on tuition to hold it down versus the
need for money which pushes they would push tuitions rates up. So the road what's the mix here to what extent do do Iowans owe their kids a college education. And to what extent should those kids pay for their own educations because they benefit. And to what extent should we expect some return from those kids I mean we educate college students and then they run off to Texas. I mean this is a tough mix here in striking this balance but how do you feel about the question of tuitions. Well I think questions have been it's a best bargain that money can buy in the state of Iowa. I think tuitions are unrealistically too low. And I don't think the fact that the border regions have increased the tuition rate the last five years is troublesome what is troublesome however is when tuitions rates increase. Yet more students in my district and I represent a district that's just to the west of the University of Iowa complained bitterly about not obtaining not having a professor until they get to be a junior a senior in college basically being taught by more and more teaching assistants and also being taught by professors that I
honestly cannot teach. And I think the universities in the border regions are going to have to take a stronger look at making sure their teachers know how to teach First of all they think they do excellent research and they write well and they are great at getting grants. By golly the border regions have got to make sure that they are competent to teach to educate children back to the tuition though I think that. The fact that we were subsidizing the country I was subsidizing the entire country because over half of the Iowans that do go to our institutions lead the state. And so I think we ought to. Change I don't mind torsion going up I think we ought to change the mix of financial aid and here's a couple proposal I would throw out. I think we need an ROTC program for teachers and I want. I think the three institutions ought to get their act together with the legislature and we've got to get our act together to encourage people to go and become teachers in return for that. One Saturday a month. They work in a school type setting or some type of education of children even on the weekend one Saturday a month and every summer do something in education and then return the tuition for at
least three years of teaching and I want those type of oral CTC type programs more work study type programs and I want it to be encouraged. The fact is that. The torsion rates because they are so low is basically welfare for the rich in this in the state. If you're if you what about that. If we're going to charge more can students expect more for their money. Well I was going to point out that we've taken between 12 and 15000 additional students over the past 12 years into our universities with practically no state subsidy. And that creates part of the problem. The fact that. A lot of those students in the past 12 to 15 years have been non resident students which you essentially pay their own way. Has it caused us from being in a real crisis and we have some substantial funds requested to do something about the problem that Senator Brown refers to. We all know. That we are in desperate shape in undergraduate programs at the same time where I'm very very heavy pressure to turn up more research. And development for the state of Iowa. And at a
time when funds are either level are declining this year we have seven million dollars less for that. In state appropriations than we had last year. MR If you how do you address the fundamental problem that Senator Breaux raises kids are upset about the quality of teaching they are receiving when you don't have anymore money to pay teachers more. And that's their biggest complaint. We either raise tuition substantially beyond where it is now or we get additional state funds or we do not admit those students in the first place. I think those alternatives are pretty clear. Mr. Rich are you a moment ago you did mention that you're receiving direction to become a center for excellence in economic development. Which raises almost a fundamental question who decides on what what will be developed in est and how we decide. Well it's it's very difficult to know what ought to be developed even on campus. What. Piece of research is going on now and which of our campuses that might lead to economic development in the state of Iowa. Who would have
thought that a professor Len Quest working on a test over the University of Iowa thirty five years ago or so. Would have. Led to economic development and the learning center and and led to the gifts to the university through his generosity. You never know what's going to lead to economic success. That's the reason we have to be proceeding on a variety of fronts at the same time. Biotechnology. Agriculture medical technology. Mr. Ritchie at what point do you tell the policy makers to get lost that we're not going to turn the state universities into engines of economic development. I mean we're all interested in proving I was economy. But is there a point at which university has to be a university where you learn political science and history and and don't do things that are directly related to you know returning I was economy into the top for me at some point do you have to say to people I know we're not even close to that point in terms of the
encouragement we've been given to assist in the economic development of the state. So I don't know at what point that is certainly theoretically there is such a point but we're not even close to reaching that. Senator why can't we get more cooperation we've talked about some problems here but why can't why can't we get the border regions institutions the area colleges in the private schools into a room and say we're going to be siting here who's going to do what we don't need all these journalism schools and I we don't need two colleges of engineering. I mean those may not be specific examples but what's so difficult with sort of cutting up this pile little bit so that each place does fewer things. But what they do is better. Why can't that be done so I think it's because in the past we've gone we've drifted and I will for many years we have not had very strong governors I don't think in the last 20 years to actually do that the last time we had a governor who really came out and done something for education was Harold whose 20 years ago when he started the community college concept. We need leadership
in the state of Iowa that would do that. Governors in other states do that. Governor Mark White in Texas certainly has done that. Martha Lange counsell Kentucky certainly has done that. Now it's also the legislature I serve on the Finance Committee and I don't think we take our funding the responsibilities I don't think we grab the budget tight enough sometimes and hold up budgets until certain items are done but I think that's something that could be done and I think the legislature has failed I think the region has failed and certainly the governors feel that we've got a governor right now by the way that I think looks upon money that goes to education as an expenditure. And I think there are those of us in the legislature that view money to education as an investment. I think we've got to get a governor and a legislature that's on the track of that money that goes to a university to the community colleges our vestments and not just expenditures. Senator Graham many of the things you've been talking about for us right her education for it have been around before. There's not a lot new. We just all sort of put together. Is there any reason we should expect some different result this time but times are different.
No question about it. The state budget is anywhere from 100 to 200 million dollars in the red. I think the looking at the growth in the next five years and I will if there is any at all and the viler Plus the demographic shifts happened and I was in the land prices falling out which I think are going to create another hundred to 200 million dollars on the school aid foundation formula. We could be looking at a three to four hundred million dollar problem. Why hasn't something been done the past I think most of us like to play it safe in the legislature most policymakers are like that but I think any such will be different because times are different. We are in serious economic troubles and I think it's going to take some real close cooperation with the border regions the governor and the legislature from both parties. You want to believe Senator Brown this filibuster has to be you. I'm sorry folks we are out of time but we will be back next week. We'll provide a look at the priorities of the 1986 legislature. Our guest will be the House speaker Democrat Don even some of the wine and Senate minority leader a Republican from Red Oak. Before we go tonight we'd like to ask you that if you have any questions or comments concerning our
program. Write us here at our public television and I will press post office box seven hundred fifty eight Des Moines Iowa 5 0 3 0 6. That's I will press post office box seven hundred fifty eight Des Moines Iowa 5 0 3 0 6 4 panel Stephen yaps and Mike Glover. I'm said Sprecher. Thanks for joining us. Stay tuned now for take one. Goodnight. Major funding for Iowa press was provided by friends of
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- Guests were R. Wayne Richey, Exec. Secy., Board of Regents; Senator Joe Brown. Rec. Engr. JIH, Internal breaks-no; Donor-yes; Captions-no; UCA-30.
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- MLA: “Iowa Press; 1311; Higher Education And The Board Of Regents.” 1986-01-05. Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-37-00ns1vsh>.
- APA: Iowa Press; 1311; Higher Education And The Board Of Regents. Boston, MA: Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-37-00ns1vsh