Regents History: October 19-20, 1983
October 19-20, 1983 - Iowa School for the Deaf
- SJ Brownlee, President, Emmetsburg
- Peg Anderson, Bettendorf
- Charles Duchen, Des Moines
- Percy Harris, Cedar Rapids
- Ann Jorgensen, Garrison
- John McDonald, Dallas Center
- June Murphy, Des Moines
- Arthur Neu, Carroll
The Board voted to increase resident undergraduate tuition for the 1984-85 academic year at the UI and ISU from $1,104 to $1,242 - an increase of 11.1 percent. The increase resulted in a 17.4 percent boost in tuition revenue, of which $2.1 million was used to increase student aid by the same 17.4 percent as the tuition bump. Resident undergraduate tuition at UNI moved from $1,050 to $1,184, a slightly higher increase of 11.3 percent. The vote came in response to a 2.8-percent across the board appropriations cut from Governor Terry Branstad.
Just two years previous, in October 1981, the Board voted to increase tuition by 10 percent in the face of a 4.6 percent appropriations reduction. The 1981 vote pushed resident undergraduate tuition at the UI and ISU above $1,000 for the first time.
Students were understandably frustrated. Elaine Clark, president of the ISU Student Government, produced a petition with 1,000 signatures in opposition to the increase. The president of the UNI Student Association, James Hessburg, was unable to attend the September meeting because of an emergency appendectomy, and missed this meeting because his car had broken down. Hessburg dictated his statement in opposition to the tuition increases over the phone. The student leaders proposed a “phasing in” period of two or more years in order to ease the burden on students.
The increase largely went to increasing faculty and staff salaries as part of what was dubbed the Vitality Fund. Faculty had dealt with salary freezes during the previous several years and many had voiced their unhappiness at the situation. In response, the Board and the university presidents proposed the Vitality Fund, which would be used to raise faculty and staff salaries to a more competitive level. ISU President Robert Parks said the Vitality Fund “had taken on a symbolic quality on the campuses,” meaning faculty saw the Board’s support of the fund as support for them.
Nearly two years later, at the July, 1985 meeting, members of the UI staff council thanked the Board for its efforts in creating the Vitality Fund.