Iowa Board of Regents

April 18, 2019 Meeting Recap

April 18, 2019

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The Board of Regents met at the University of Iowa Levitt Center in Iowa City April 18. Key items reviewed by committees and the Board are outlined below.

2019-20 Tuition and Fees
In his board president report, President Mike Richards restated the Board’s tuition plans, as outlined last November. He noted that the regents are working with the legislature on appropriations and that budget clarity will come in the “very near future.” A special meeting of the Board will be called in late April or early May for a first reading of tuition.”

“I recognize this delay in a first reading of tuition rates is frustrating for students and their families. However, we will only move forward with tuition rates after we know what the state will provide us.”

Related Reading: Timing for First Reading on Tuition

Free Expression
The passage of Iowa Code Chapter 261H on March 27, 2019 directed the Board to adopt a policy addressing speech and expression at the universities under its jurisdiction. The Board approved an updated Chapter 4.2 of its policy manual, striking previous language and replacing it with a revision that adheres to the new code.

Farewell to Three Regents
Rachael Johnson, Larry McKibben and Subhash Sahai were honored at a luncheon for their service and contributions to the Board. For Johnson and McKibben, April’s meeting marked their final meeting as Regents, while Sahai left the Board last June.

Related Reading: Farewell to Three Regents

Property and Facilities Committee
Project descriptions and budgets were approved for two projects at the University of Iowa. The Roy J. Carver Pavilion will add a new Cardiovascular Procedure Recovery Unit to ease patient transport issues, while the UIHC Boyd Tower will house new microbiology automation equipment.

The Board approved phase two renovation plans for Noehren Hall, UNI’s largest residence hall. Phase one, a $3.3 million renovation of the northern third of the hall, is scheduled to be completed this summer. Phase two will renovate the remaining two-thirds of the residence hall, updating sinks and cabinets, upgrading wi-fi and electrical runs, and renovating restrooms, among other upgrades. 

Academic Affairs Committee
The University of Iowa requested the termination of its MS in community and behavioral health program, while requesting a new bachelor’s in sustainability science program. Iowa State proposed a new MS in event management.

UNI sought permission to make its Additive Manufacturing Center, currently operating as a program of its Metal Casting Center (MCC), a stand-alone center. 

The annual faculty tenure and the annual proposed promotion and tenure reports were presented. 

Audit and Compliance Committee
Auditor of State Rob Sand presented the state audit reports. An external audit of Iowa Public Radio, conducted by Nearmyer & Associates, found no deficiencies and no instances of noncompliance.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Committee
UI Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Carver College of Medicine Brooks Jackson presented the hospital report. Dr. Noah S. Butler presented on improving immunity against malaria. Finally, the Board approved a six-percent rate increase at UIHC, effective July 1, 2019. 

Public Comment
Nine speakers registered to speak to the Board. Topics included University of Iowa sick leave policies, tuition rates, and others. 

Personnel Appointments
The Board appointed Dr. Montserrat Fuentes as executive vice president and provost of the University of Iowa. Fuentes previously served as dean and professor in the College of Humanities & Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University. She succeeds Sue Curry, who has served as interim executive vice president and provost since April 2017.

Honorary Degree
The board approved the request by ISU to award an honorary Doctor of Science degree to Robert Easter at Spring 2019 Commencement. Easter is an internationally renowned expert in pig nutrition. His research has dramatically enhanced the economic viability and sustainability of swine production around the world. Easter served as the 19th president of the University of Illinois from 2012-15.

Stead Family Children’s Hospital Revised Budget
The Board revised the budget of the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, increasing the total by $32.5 million. UIHC requested the project budget be revised to allow payment of all outstanding construction contracts and litigation claims. The total Stead Family Children’s Hospital budget rose to $392,700,000.

Admissions and RAI Presentation
Associate Chief Academic Officer Jason Pontius presented on the Board’s admission procedures. In light of recent admission scandals throughout the country, the Board thought it prudent to highlight a presentation on the admission process for Iowa’s Public Universities.

Related Reading: Admission at Iowa’s Public Universities

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