A tuition freeze will officially be going into effect for the 2013 summer session as decided by the Board of Regents with unanimous support.
The Iowa Board of Regents held their monthly meeting Wednesday, Dec. 5 at the Uelner Executive Board Room at the Alumni Center here at Iowa State.
A main topic of the Board’s was tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year. The proposal asked for a tuition freeze for resident undergraduates and only allow for a small increase for graduate and out-of-state undergraduates.
During the recession, the Board has been able to hold tuition and mandatory fees for undergrad resident students to an average increase of 4.4 percent per year ($260). This is lower than the national average of a 6.8 percent increase.
According to the College Board, the national average increase in tuition for public four-year universities in 2013 is seven percent. The Regent universities increased tuition by only 3.75 percent.
The next topic relating to Iowa State was the request for Utility - Stoker Boiler Replacement project, which would replace three existing coal-fired stoker boilers with three new gas-fired boilers. The project would help the university replace 50-year-old equipment with new equipment that meets new environmental regulations.
“These would be more environmentally friendly [and] gas powered to improve environmental standards,” said Warren Madden, senior vice president for business and finance at Iowa State.
The $38 million project would require a phase-type process because the boilers can not be shut down. They generate electricity and steam that runs the chilling plant and heats campus buildings.
“I expect these boilers to be around for 50 more years and to improve the university and the environment,” Madden said.
In addition to the three boilers, Wilson Hall is in need of fire sprinklers. These would be funded by the Department of Residence revenues. Both of these requests were unanimously approved.
Another major agenda item for Iowa State was the request to establish a new master's program in wind energy science, engineering and policy in the College of Engineering.
This idea does not exist anywhere else in the state of Iowa. The new program will offer students careers related to wind energy in industry, academia and even government areas.
After completing the new program, graduates will be able to use their newfound expertise in wind energy to help solve research problems and develop research plans to address the issues regarding wind energy.
According to the Board of Regents website, the program will be supported by faculty from the Colleges of Engineering, Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. In September 2011, Iowa State received a $3.15 million five-year award from the National Science Foundation to support the policy.
Provost Jonathan Wickert informed the board of the proposed program, stating it would be a great thing for ISU students and would attract others to the university. He also mentioned that Iowa State is installing one wind turbine on campus with the hope of getting 50 percent of Iowa State's energy from wind.
The policy received a unanimous yes, and the grant received can be renewed in 2016 to further program research.
The Board’s next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2013, at the University of Iowa.