- The University of Iowa is closing seven centers and cutting funding to five more in the next year to save an estimated $3.6 million and to make up for revenue lost in state budget cuts. The move will eliminate 33 jobs, according to the Des Moines Register.
- The centers to be closed are dedicated to a variety of specialties, including workplace-related training, dentist recruitment, relations with China, farm safety and understanding the aging process.
- In the past decade, the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa have relied increasingly on tuition as their revenue source, raising 63% from students last year compared to 49% in 2008. State aid dropped 17% in that period to 32% of revenue for the three state public universities. The president of the University of Iowa warned in April that cuts were coming.
Officials at the Labor Center, one of those cut, said that its services are important and they felt “blindsided," but college officials said eliminating the centers avoided having to eliminate majors or more directly limit student services.
The University of Iowa joins a host of colleges and universities that have cut programs and jobs, including St. Louis Community College where protests and an altercation broke out at a board of trustees meeting over layoffs of 70 faculty members and 25 staff employees last December. Western Kentucky University announced in February that it was cutting 140 jobs, and Evergreen State College in Washington announced in May it was eliminating 24 faculty positions and 19 others on its staff. University of Nebraska at Kearney also announced this year it was reducing its staff by 38 positions and eliminating three sports.
The University of Oklahoma's new president recently trimmed six top administrative positions on his first day on the job in a move to save money, among other reasons.
A combination of reduced public funding, decreased enrollment due to competition and demographics and higher costs have forced colleges and universities to look for ways to save money. Experts have noted that every $1,000 per student reduction in state and local funding means that without spending decreases, each student must pay $257 more per year.