The University of Iowa

In the news: you can help UI overcome funding challenges

March 7th, 2017
University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld

University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld

Bruce Harreld, Iowa View, The Des Moines Register

On March 9 and 10, we will welcome members of the Lincoln Project to our state to discuss the importance of public research universities to the future of our nation. I am so pleased that one of the leaders of this endeavor — former UI President Mary Sue Coleman — knows our state exceptionally well.

The Lincoln Project meeting will allow local leaders from diverse fields to think creatively and dynamically about the challenges facing public higher education in Iowa. The decline in funding over the past 20 years suggests that our state views public universities as an expense to minimize instead of an asset to leverage. This type of long-term disinvestment is creating accessibility and competitive disadvantages for institutions like the University of Iowa.

This hurts Iowans. Our state is home to two of the top research universities in the nation, and that affords our citizens access to superbly talented professors, ground-breaking research, and state of the art health care. These benefits represent a trust that past Iowans have given to the current generation.

To build on this legacy of excellence in education, scholarship and research, the UI must recruit and retain the best and brightest minds. We must offer competitive salaries and excellent facilities to attract top talent. Unfortunately, state disinvestment combined with the cheapest tuition in our national peer set makes it impossible to compete.