POSTED BY MARTIN KICH
Last week, I posted an item on the proposals to eliminate tenure in Iowa and Missouri. Hank Reichman subsequently posted the AAUP’s statement on those proposals.
Those proposals were made by Republican members of the state legislatures. In the intervening week, the Republican governors of both states have proposed substantial cuts in higher-ed funding to close budget gaps.
Writing for the Des Moines Registar, Jeff Charis-Carlson reports:
“Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed cutting more than $25.5 million from the Iowa Board of Regents and $8.7 million from the state’s community colleges during the current fiscal year.
“If the cuts are approved by the Iowa House and Senate budget committees, higher education would shoulder the highest portion of about $110 million in cuts that Branstad proposed Tuesday in response to lower-than-projected revenues.
“Democrats responded by saying tuition at Iowa’s community colleges and universities will certainly go up. But regents officials said Tuesday tuition is locked in for fall 2017.
“Officials in the governor’s office said the regents could decide how to divide the cuts among the three public universities. The governor’s budget proposals for 2018 and 2019, however, factor the 2017 cuts into the line items for Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.
“’We understand the revenue constraints the state is facing for the current fiscal year,’ Bruce Rastetter, president of the regents, said in a prepared statement Tuesday. ‘We will work with our institutions to make the required reductions in a way that has the least effect on students.’
“It is unclear how the cuts would affect the regents’ funding needs for the 2018 fiscal year, which the regents approved in September. The regents at that time asked for a 2 percent increase over this year’s funding to all three public universities, plus an additional $2.5 million to help support UNI.”
Charis-Carlson’s complete article is available at: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/education/2017/01/10/branstadcallscutting34millionhigheredyear/96387658/.
Likewise, in an uncredited article, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
“Gov. Eric Greitens cut $146 million from the state budget Monday in response to a lingering slowdown in state revenue.
“Missouri’s new chief executive took aim at spending on state universities and transportation programs as part of his budget-cutting maneuver. His predecessor, former Gov. Jay Nixon, had already pared more than $200 million from the state’s $27 billion spending blueprint before leaving office last week.
“The move came the day before Greitens delivers his first State of the State speech since being elected as a political newcomer in November.
“Greitens, a Republican who was sworn into office on Jan. 9, is expected to outline his policy goals for the upcoming legislative session in the 7:30 p.m. speech on Tuesday. But he is departing from tradition and not planning to outline an overall spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Those details, including a plan to close an estimated $456 million gap in revenue, likely will come in early February.
“Democrats say the lack of an overall budget plan is troubling.
“’It’s not as if the governor and his staff have not been aware of these issues for two months,’ said Assistant House Minority Leader Gina Mitten, D-Richmond Heights. ‘One would think the governor would be focusing on being fiscally responsible.’
“As for Monday’s action on the current year budget, aides said Greitens had been reviewing the spending plan since before Thanksgiving.
“Higher education bore the lion’s share of the burden, with funding cuts topping $82 million. HarrisStowe State University lost $101,400 for graduate programs. A cybersecurity training program at Southeast Missouri State University lost $101,400.”
The complete article in the Post-Dispatch is available at: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/gov-greitens-cuts-million-from-missouri-budget-with-higher-education/article_cdbd8a9e-cf32-554f-b17e-210fc6fc0501.html.