Alliance for Iowa State
-Make Your Voice Heard-

The Iowa Legislature is considering appropriations to the three Regent universities for the fiscal year that begins July 1 (FY16). During the deliberations, members of the House and Senate are pondering the most significant change in the Regents' funding approach in perhaps 70 years.


The Regents' request to the legislature for FY16 is based on a plan they adopted in June 2014, called performance-based funding (PBF), which rewards the Regent universities for meeting board priorities. For decades, the Regents have requested funds on a "base-plus" method. That means if the legislature appropriates more money, a uniform percentage is added to the funding for the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.


Traditionally, the largest allocation has been to Iowa, with Iowa State second and UNI third. In fact, this fiscal year (FY15), the percentages are 46% to Iowa, 36% to Iowa State, and 18% to UNI. Percentages tell a story, but the actual dollar allocations really give you a sense of the inequity in the current model.


For the current year, the inequity in state support for the three Regent universities is glaring. The general operating appropriations are:

  • $230.9 million for Iowa
  • $180.9 million for Iowa State
  • $93.2 million for UNI

If you look at it from a funding-per-resident-student perspective, a resident student who comes to Iowa State receives approximately $5,000 less in state support than one who attends the University of Iowa.


Iowa State is growing; our enrollment is up more than 30% in the last seven years. To maintain high quality and meet students' needs, we are hiring additional faculty, expanding classroom and laboratory hours, and adding research facilities and student housing. Iowa State and the other Regent universities need an equitable funding system that recognizes not only growth, but other key aspirations for our state universities.


The Board-approved PBF model recognizes changes in resident enrollment and will ensure that Iowa tax dollars follow Iowa students.


PBF is a sensible model and clearly shows the taxpayers of Iowa WHY various allocations are made to Iowa State, Iowa and UNI and it holds the universities accountable for fulfilling their unique higher education missions.


Here are the words of the five-member task force that spent nearly one year analyzing the funding issue:


"Presently, the Board is perpetuating the priorities of yesterday rather than funding the priorities of today and tomorrow." 


Approval of PBF is Iowa State's top priority this legislative session. We appreciate very much Governor Branstad understanding the issue and supporting the PBF model wholeheartedly. We have been meeting with legislators for many months, providing them factual information and urging them to address the inequity in funding. Now, we are asking for your help.


As a member of the Alliance for Iowa State, please take the time to send a message to your local legislators and urge them to support performance-based funding.


We thank you in advance for your support of Iowa State University! 

 Iowa State's Mission:
Create, share, and apply knowledge to make 
Iowa and the world a better place.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter!


 Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter




The Alliance for Iowa State is maintained by the Iowa State University Alumni Association. 


The Alliance for Iowa State is a coalition of Iowa State University alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends.

The Alliance advocates Iowa State University's land grant mission throughout Iowa while focusing its advocacy on

state legislators and public policy makers.