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Regent budget cuts won't affect Kirkwood

Cuts affect UNI, U of I and ISU

By Thomas Kremer and Jennie Heiser
On April 27, 2012

For students planning to transfer after their education is complete at Kirkwood Community College, the atmosphere surrounding state funding at Iowa's regent schools may be a little alarming. Recently approved budget cuts have cut numerous programs at University of Northern Iowa. University of Iowa and Iowa State University programs may be next line.

However, according to Steve Ovel, executive director of governmental relations for Kirkwood, the cuts being experienced by the regent schools will have no effect on funding for Kirkwood or any of the other community colleges in Iowa. This is because funding for the regent schools is separate from the funding for community colleges.

Funding levels for community colleges had dropped $20 million from 2009 levels, from $184 million per year down to
$164 million, said Ovel. But Ovel expressed optimism for the coming fiscal year's budget. There is a possibility of a $10 million increase for Iowa's community colleges. "I'd say that's a realistic probability but we'll just have to wait and see," Ovel explained. "It's still a very volatile kind of an environment and we just never take these things for granted," Ovel went on to say.

Kirkwood receives 26 percent to 27 percent of its funding from the state, according to Ovel, while tuition from students makes up 62 percent and property taxes contribute 3.2 percent.

The Iowa Board of Regents voted 9-0 to cut 22 undergraduate majors, 20 minors and 16 graduate programs offered at UNI. The regents have also suspended admissions to eight other programs while they undergo restructuring, resulting in the deepest cuts in the school's history. UNI will no longer offer degree programs in French and German as well as other subjects ranging from geology to microbiology, shrinking the choices available to students. Figures show as of last fall more than 400 students are enrolled in the affected programs. 

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