In recent memory, we have seen a consistent decrease in funding to the Board of Regents and a retreat from past emphasis on education and higher education in the state of Iowa.
Iowa has long been a leader in education, with each of the regent universities making contributions to various fields of study and application. The University of Iowa has proven a leader in educating the writers and doctors of tomorrow. Iowa State University has excelled in generating a brilliant cohort of engineers and designers for the future, even contributing to the Manhattan Project during World War II. The University of Northern Iowa has blazed trails in the fields of business and education.
All of these areas, along with many more, are ways Iowa and its values have extended to impact the country and the world. The wounds have already been dealt to both K-12 and higher education, but this session of the Iowa Legislature has the opportunity to begin stitching back together the aspirational institutions of higher education.
Higher education has, for many, been and will be the bridge from the past to the future, providing social mobility and a path to a greater understanding of the world in which we live. By funding that dream, Iowa can continue to lead the way in a variety of fields for the future.
The budget is tight, and the solution is neither simple nor obvious. However, the continued underfunding of higher education in the state of Iowa is taking an unnecessary and outsized gamble with the future of this great state.