Republican no-shows for Tuition Task Force meeting hamper efforts to make college more affordable for Iowa students

The Board of Regents Tuition Task Force has canceled its July 27th meeting due to a lack of participation by Republican legislators and members of the Reynolds Administration.

According to the Board of Regents’ web site, the task force was “established to facilitate public discussion regarding the issue of tuition at Iowa’s public universities.  The task force will examine the core issues and strategies central to the process of setting tuition at the three Regent Universities and welcomes input from legislative and business stakeholders, university representatives, and the public.”

The July 27th meeting would have been the first of four public meetings on future tuition policy.  The Board of Regents announced the meeting was canceled due to lack of participation.  Confirmed participants included the members of the taskforce, Iowa Workforce Development, and Democratic members of the Iowa House and Senate.

“I’m disappointed that Republican legislators, Governor Reynolds’ office, and other Reynolds state agencies failed to indicate any interest in participating in tomorrow’s Regents’ Tuition Task Force meeting,” said Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Education Committee.  “Republican legislators especially need to participate because their budget cuts to the state universities this year have caused steep tuition increases, more than double what the Board of Regents had initially planned.  These late increases have slammed Iowa’s college students and their parents.”

The remaining meetings on student tuition and fees are scheduled to be held at college campuses when the majority of students won’t be there:  August 7 at the University of Northern Iowa; August 9 at Iowa State University; and, August 14 at the University of Iowa.

“All the meetings should be rescheduled to days when students are actually on campus,” said Quirmbach.  “That way we can hear from the people we are counting on to be the next generation of Iowa innovators and leaders.  Student voices need to be heard—and listened to!”

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