The rate at which the University accomplishes its strategic goals will be a function of its critical resources, including—in addition to its most critical resource, its faculty and staff—the budget, student body size and demographics, space, and technology. The University’s planning has been informed by an understanding of the current status of these critical resources; given the uncertainty of their future status, the plan gives University leaders a context for judicious decisions about their effective allocation regardless of unforeseen developments.
State Appropriations and Tuition—The University’s top budget priority is raising faculty salaries to be consistent with peers and restoring faculty lines lost in recent years due to budget reductions. The competitiveness of faculty salaries has slipped over the past decade, increasingly hampering recruitment and retention efforts. Recent budget uncertainty also has created situations in which colleges have delayed making tenure track faculty appointments because of the long-term investment required to support such hires. These two items are at the center of a Board of Regents, State of Iowa, initiative for new state appropriation support: $40 million enterprisewide per year for the four years commencing on July 1, 2005. At the same time that the University seeks to improve faculty salaries, it will seek to maintain the competitiveness of staff salaries.
The Regents plan has two other important components. First, each Regents institution must reallocate one dollar for every two dollars in new operating appropriations received by the Regents. Regents institutions will compete for new appropriations based on how well they reallocate their base budgets to meet their highest-priority needs. Units must think strategically, therefore, about how all resources—existing and new—will be deployed. Second, the Regents plan calls for a moderation of tuition increases for resident undergraduate and graduate students. Coupled with the request for new appropriations, this moderation will help the Regents institutions and the
citizens of Iowa together to build upon the substantial investments of the past. Tuition rates for nonresident undergraduate, graduate, and professional students will continue to be set in response to the market factors for those students.
Focusing on the need for new appropriations for faculty salaries and faculty lines, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, has advanced a limited capital request for FY2006 and FY2007. The request includes $15 million for deferred maintenance and to correct fire and environmental safety deficiencies each year. In this area, too, the Regents universities will be required during the planning cycle to reallocate one dollar of their existing base budgets for every two dollars in new capital appropriations received. Also, the Regents capital plan includes requests for state construction funding for a very limited number of new facilities in the years FY2008 to FY2010.
Research Funding—Research funding, particularly that generated from external sources, is an important component of the University budget. While the amounts and sources of funding vary widely according to discipline, the University anticipates that overall growth of external grants and contracts will average 2.5 to 5 percent per year.
The University of Iowa’s clinical enterprise comprises the UI Hospitals and Clinics, the 650 practicing physicians of the UI Carver College of Medicine, and their joint activities as Iowa’s only comprehensive academic medical center. Also part of the health sciences campus is the University Hygienic Laboratory, which serves as the state’s public health and environmental laboratory and is a leader nationally in bioterrorism response-readiness. During FY2004, the enterprise admitted 50,324 patients, delivered 1,545 newborns, and recorded more than 850,000 total clinic visits at UI Hospitals and Clinics and some 250 outreach clinics in more than 60 Iowa communities throughout the state. Together, these clinical partners represent “the academic difference” in addressing the comprehensive health and health care needs of all Iowans. From cutting-edge biomedical research, to highly specialized services, to managing the needs of patients with complex medical conditions, to caring for low-income, uninsured, and vulnerable populations, the University’s clinical enterprise plays an invaluable role in keeping Iowans healthy.
The University’s clinical enterprise will face a difficult reimbursement environment in the years ahead. Within this environment, the enterprise’s faculty and staff will continue to demonstrate their dedication to the highest level of patient care, research, and education.
At its December 2003 meeting, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, adopted an “Administrative Services Transformation” resolution that, in part, directed the university presidents to propose methods to achieve administrative efficiencies and other cost-containment measures through enterprisewide collaboration. In December 2004, the Regents accepted proposals from the three universities to reorganize three units: internal audit, risk management, and fleet operations. The universities will study additional areas for potential restructuring and cost-saving measures during fiscal years 2005 to 2007, with a target to implement additional changes during the two-and-a-half-year period. In addition, other areas of the University are independently investigating potential efficiencies through collaboration, as evidenced, for example, by the Regents-wide strategic plan for distance education.
The University of Iowa has reached a student population of almost 30,000 students, including more than 20,000 undergraduates. An undergraduate population that is
too large affects the University’s capacity to provide high-quality educational services by taxing its resources, including residence hall space, classroom space, and faculty-student ratios. Over the next five years, the University will strive to maintain an undergraduate population at or slightly below the current level, even in the event of increasing in- and out-of-state applications. The University anticipates that the proportion of residents and nonresidents will remain relatively constant and hopes to recruit an undergraduate population that can succeed at a comprehensive research university, thereby improving retention rates, graduation rates, and time-to-degree.
Within the first 18 months of the planning period, four new General Fund-supported buildings will be completed: the Adler Journalism and Mass Communication Building, the Pomerantz Center (career, advising, and other student services), the new Art and Art History Building, and the Carver Biomedical Research Building. Private philanthropy has played an important role in these projects. While the University highlighted new construction projects in its previous five-year planning period, in the current planning period, it will put renovation of existing General Fund facilities and an emphasis on student life facilities at the fore.
Pursuant to the most recent five-year capital plan and state budget request adopted by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, capital expenditures in the near term will focus primarily on basic infrastructure needs, addressing deferred maintenance needs, and renovation of existing General Fund-supported buildings—in particular, the Chemistry Building and the existing Art and Art History Building. Planning and construction for these projects will take place over the next five-year period. The highest priority for new construction on the Regents-approved capital list for the University is a new home for the College of Public Health.
The theme of renovation of existing facilities carries over to auxiliary enterprises as well. The highly visible Kinnick Stadium project was motivated by the need to replace the aging south end zone stands and improve basic services throughout the stadium. With the aid of private philanthropy, the entire project, including the construction of a new press/viewing box, will be completed over the course of the first two years of the planning period, in coordination with the football season.
Substantial improvements to student life space also are contemplated during the planning period. Space within the Iowa Memorial Union will be remodeled, and additional interior and exterior space designed to emphasize a connection with the Iowa River will be built. A major new east campus student recreation center will be developed and built, a west campus tennis-recreation center will soon be under construction, and improvements to student residential and dining facilities are ongoing.
Information and other technology is central to the day-to-day life, instruction, research, and work process of virtually every faculty member, staff member, and student.
A key component of the current planning period will be the coordination, collaboration, and alignment of IT resources and service providers with each other and with collegiate and departmental goals. As part of the Administrative Services Transformation initiative for the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, information technology process improvement will continue both locally and in collaboration with the other Regents universities.
To align our information technology efforts with strategic directions outlined in this plan, new projects are planned and selected existing projects will receive higher priority or additional resources. Projects to help assure access to critical teaching and learning resources will include enhanced support and awareness for online technical training, expansion of the Online@Iowa course, evaluation of student e-mail systems, and continued opportunities for students to use new technologies such as wireless networking and video conferencing. Support for faculty using technology in their course work will be enhanced through a new e-learning system and through expansion of the Student Instructional Technology Assistant program. A new student information system will support the recruiting, admissions, registration, and retention strategies of this plan. Improvements in the area of business continuity and security will ensure the availability of technology-based services.
Researchers will benefit from improvements to both on- and off-campus networking, increases in data storage, provisioning of grid computing resources and our alignment with national cyber-infrastructure projects. Day-to-day computing will be enhanced through improved computer management and help desk systems, increased video conferencing, web conferencing, and other collaboration tools.
A project to investigate the need to establish a campuswide Institutional Repository to preserve and access the digital scholarly assets of the teaching and research community is jointly planned between the library and IT communities.
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