Parent Times: The University of Iowa
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WINTER 2000-01
Volume 44, Number 2


New Division Promises More Opportunities for Performers

Under One Umbrella: Women's, Men's Athletics Now One Organization

Engineering Students Turn Good Ideas Into New Businesses

Tuition, Fee Payments Create Students' World

Reluctantly, UISG Backs Increase

Residence Hall Rooms: Do It Yourself on the Web

Why Live on Campus? Consider the Hidden Costs

Protect the Brand: Keep Iowa Strong

Mom and Dad of the Year

Parent Times Briefs

Parents Association Board of Directors

Important Numbers

Campus Events Calendar

University Calendar

What exactly do tuition and fee payments buy for our students? University of Iowa administrators have been hearing that question since it was announced that the University will seek a nine percent increase in tuition and fees for the coming fiscal year. Both still will be substantially lower than peer institutions’, but the University is no longer at the bottom of the list.

One of the University’s wireless electronic classrooms helps students learn about rhetoric skills on-line—and then learn public speaking by making presentations to their classes. Laptop computers are checked out to students to use during the class work.  
Iowa’s women’s athletics program gives student athletes a chance to excel,thanks to student recreation fees, tuition payments, ticket sales, and other funds. Women have 12 varsity sports to choose from—as participant or spectator.  
Recreation is vital, whether it’s a friendly game of pool in the Wheelroom of the Iowa Memorial Union, a pickup basketball game in the Field House, or a Latino dancing class in the Latino/Native American Cultural Center. A new recreation center is being constructed and one more is being planned.  

The Information Arcade, with its up-to-date computer systems and software, gives classes the means to work together to develop projects—even if some of the class participants are in other cities or countries.

The University’s Main Library building has longer hours and more staff, extending student use of a popular research and study venue. New comfortable furniture has been installed on the fifth floor.  
The new Biology East building provides teaching laboratory space for undergraduates to view specimens and work with them. The old Biology Building is being renovated, and when it’s finished the University will have outstanding space for a popular major area.  

When tuition rises, so does the total amount of tuition money dedicated to scholarships to help assure students that they can afford to continue to graduation. Increased scholarship aid is one reason behind the University’s rising four-year graduation rates and minority graduation rates.

Cambus, the free University bus system run almost entirely by students, benefits from student fee money—and more than 100 student employees benefit from Cambus employment.  
The popular Hillcrest Dining Hall has been redesigned and renovated through use of student fees and board payments. Students may "shop" for favorite foods at "storefronts" with such names as Field of Greens, The Grand Avenue Grill, Golden Harvest Home Cooking and Carving Area, the Piazza Cafe, World’s Fare, and the West Side Deli.  

Several Sources of Student Support

The University’s budgeting system can’t always provide for a simple answer. Revenues come into the University not only from tuition but from state support, fees paid by users of University services, residence halls, medical care, fees paid by students, research grants, support of specific programs by business and industry, and other sources. Most state appropriations and tuition flow into one "lake"–the General Fund–and then are directed out again to areas of most need at a given time.

So if the University creates a new recreation facility, fees paid by students to support recreation would be part of the funding. But so might be other fees.

Some other universities have line-item budgets, but President Mary Sue Coleman has had personal experience with them and says she hopes that Iowa’s system never changes. With a line-item budget, she says, if you have a surplus of money in an office supplies account, you can’t use it for desperately needed computers.

"I hope we always use the system we have," Coleman says. "It’s easier to manage and allows us to deal effectively with the greatest needs as they arise."

Everything They Touch

Tuition and fees, plus the other revenues, cover a variety of items that students depend on in order to complete their education. From the tutor who helps them through organic chemistry before midterms to the auditorium in which they take Quest for Human Destiny; from the new recreation fields currently under construction near Mormon Trek Boulevard to the hardware, software, scanners, and printers in the Instructional Technology Centers–almost everything that a student touches in a day has been purchased or developed using these funds.

The University devotes a substantial portion of tuition revenues to helping students pay for their education. In 1999-2000, the University used this money for $213 million worth of grants, loans, and employment for students, up 4.8 percent from the preceding year.

The University depends on the state of Iowa to support faculty and staff salary increases as part of the 20 percent of the University’s total funding that comes from the state. In years when that does not happen, such as last year, the amount the state does not fund must come from another source: delaying maintenance, renovation, or construction, delaying new equipment purchases, layoffs, or higher tuition.

Someone once described the telephone directory as having "great cast, no plot." A budget might not seem to have much of a cast either, but look underneath the rows of figures and you’ll find they are supporting students.

Perhaps Ann Madden Rice, associate director and chief financial officer of the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, put it best recently when she submitted her 2001-2002 budget:

"A budget is about how we structure our relationships," she said. "It’s an agreement we make with each other about the resources each of us will use to achieve our common goals."

For a look at all revenue streams and the general expenditures that they fund, look at the President's Report.




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