The University of Iowa is announcing additional budget cuts following a reduction in state support. The Iowa Legislature adjourned in June after approving cutting state funding for the public universities by $8 million. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, will determine Iowa’s share of the cut during its next virtual meeting on July 29. In the meantime, the university is announcing measures to trim spending for fiscal year 2021, including:
- President Bruce Harreld requesting the Board of Regents approve a 50% reduction in his base salary for the rest of the year. Pending board approval, the savings, a one-time allocation of $270,416, will be directed to the Student Emergency Fund, which is available to support students who experience an event or unforeseen circumstance, such as COVID-19, that negatively and severely impact their academic success.
- For FY 2021, the university will reduce General Education Fund (GEF) support for Hancher Auditorium, beginning a three-year process to transition Hancher to a self-sustaining unit on campus, like the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, University Housing and Dining, or UI Health Care.
- Hiring freezes for at least 32 positions in different areas across campus.
- Salary freezes for about 4,200 employees.
“Many of our faculty and staff have worked long hours to support the university mission during the current pandemic and we are grateful for their commitment to excellence and to providing a world-class experience for our students despite our current financial situation,” says Harreld.
“I’m also confident Hancher Auditorium can maintain its standing as national leader among university performing arts centers while transitioning slowly to being self-sustaining," says Harreld. "Hancher leadership and the entire team is first-rate, and I look forward to their continued prominence within our community, the state, and region.”
Several colleges and units across campus have recently announced budget reductions as a result of shortfalls created by COVID-19 or shifts in enrollment demographics, including:
- UI Athletics reducing salaries and compensation across the department.
- University Housing and Dining temporarily laying off 112 Merit staff.
- UI Hospitals & Clinics requiring employees to take unpaid time off or give back vacation hours.
- The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences not renewing the contracts of 15 instructional track faculty and assistants in instruction.
- The College of Engineering issued notices to four staff members permanently eliminating their positions.
“We are disappointed to be in this position, facing challenges from the pandemic and a cut in state support that we could not have imagined just six months ago,” says Harreld. “Each of us must make budget decisions that protect the core mission of the university and set us up for success moving forward. These decisions directly impact the lives of members of our community and it is a sad moment.”