The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Education

May 16, 2014

Regents president says UI seen as less welcoming

IOWA CITY (AP) — The University of Iowa is viewed as less welcoming than the two other state universities, so fewer Iowa high school students choose to go there, the Iowa Board of Regents president says.

President Bruce Rastetter made the comments Wednesday to the University of Iowa Staff Council while discussing a proposed performance-based funding model, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

“Iowa typically has come in third as a choice for college of Iowans,” he said, adding state officials consistently hear from parents that they don’t feel as welcome on the Iowa City campus as they do at Iowa State University in Ames and the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

Rastetter also told the council that the University of Iowa doesn’t recruit as aggressively as the other universities for in-state students and ISU and UNI do more follow-up after campus visits. The newspaper reported that more than 92 percent of students at UNI are from Iowa, while nearly 60 percent of in-state students attend ISU and 54 percent are at UI.

The UI Staff Council advises university administration on policies. Council president Randy Nessler said the university needs to do a better job of convincing in-state students who are accepted to attend.

“We don’t want to micromanage, but when you see those numbers, they jump out at you,” he said. “That can be fixed, and it should be.”

A message left for a university spokesman was not immediately returned Thursday.

The budget model was proposed by a task force looking for new metrics of funding higher education in the state. The model would consider several factors for funding, with enrollment of Iowa residents being weighed most heavily.

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