Outgoing Board of Regents Executive Says Iowa Universities Face "Major Challenges"

Jun 8, 2017

Robert Donley, Executive Director for Iowa’s Board of Regents during the past nine years, says he’s leaving the state university system facing major financing challenges.

Donley lists "predictable and appropriate funding" as the major challenge.

"You have two very precious AAU (Association of American Universities) universities here," he said. "There are only 34 of those in the country. It’s very telling that this system, as small as it is, has brought in a more than a billion dollars of sponsored research. That’s an engine that is fueling every community in this state. And we’re going to have to ramp it up next year."

Donley told reporters his decision to resign, effective June 15th,  was made several months ago. He cited family ties to the east coast---Rhode Island and Florida—as major factors for leaving Iowa.

He left the Board of Regents meeting in Cedar Falls Thursday morning immediately after the regents presented him with a citation of appreciation.  

Tuition hike approved

Also Thursday, the regents made official their proposal to increase tuition at Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Iowa.  In-state undergrads will pay an additional $358 per semester, beginning this fall.

The regents had approved a 2 percent increase, but declining state tax revenues prompted the Iowa legislature to come up short of what regents were expecting in state support.