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News Brief

October 8, 2003

James O'Connor, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

Board of Regents to meet at the University of Iowa

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, will meet Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 15 and 16 at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City. Several issues pertaining to UNI will be on the docket. These items are scheduled to be discussed on Thursday. Specific times are unknown. Not all sources will be present at the Board of Regents meeting. The docket is available on the Web at

1. Annual report on libraries

A joint report from UNI, ISU and U of I.

a. The three regent institutions continue to pool funds to purchase electronic resources.

- Saves money

- Gives students access at all three universities greater access to more titles, 24 hours a day from the Web -- great for distance-learning students

- Examples of full-test resources purchased recently: Elsevier Science Direct and electronic books in the fields of music, reading and library science.

b. Budget cuts

Rod Library has reduced staff due to budget cuts, but is working to maintain service to students.


Marilyn Mercado, dean, Rod Library, (319) 273-2737

2. Annual regents merit system report

The report is a snapshot of Human Resource Services activity during fiscal year 2002 (hirings, terminations, transfers, etc.)

Contact: Nick Bambach, director, Human Resource Services, (319) 273-2423

3. Fall enrollment report

Annual update of statistics. Includes information on graduation rates and enrollment projections for the next 10 years.

- UNI's fall 2003 enrollment is 13,441 students, a planned decrease from last year

- This is part of a planned effort to maintain quality while addressing state budget cuts

- UNI's four-year graduation rate is on par with peer institutions


Renee Romano, vice president for educational & student services, (319) 273-2331

Phil Patton, registrar, (319) 273-2283

4. Student financial aid narrative report

- More UNI students than ever are carrying loans

- $8 million increase in student loans from last year

- The average UNI student graduates with almost $20,000 in loan debt

- Positive note: the loan default rate for Iowa students is 1.4 percent (national average is 5.9 percent)

UNI financial aid program highlights

a. Iowa Teacher Shortage Forgivable Loan Program

Students receive financial aid in return for agreeing to work for five years in an area of Iowa experiencing a shortage of teachers. For each year they work in the area, 20 percent of their loan is forgiven. (Maximum award is $3,000 per year.)

- 98 percent increase in one year -- 98 students in program

- UNI awarded $270,000 in aid

- See

b. Career Scholars program

Pilot project designed to combine scholarship funds with high-quality work experience. Cooperative effort between the Financial Aid office and the colleges.

c. Web enhancement

- UNI's approach is used as a model by other institutions

- Students can access Financial Aid information 24 hours a day via the Web

- Saves money and time -- less paperwork

- Simplifies the process for students

d. Recommendation

UNI supports the recommendation from the National Association of Financial Aid Administrators to increase loan limits for undergraduates and graduates.

- Increased loan limits help ensure equal access to education


Renee Romano, vice president for educational & student services, (319) 273-2331

Roland Carrillo, director, Financial Aid Office, (319) 273-2701

Joyce Morrow, associate director, Financial Aid Office, (319) 273-2701

5. Annual distance education report

In 2002-03, UNI posted record highs in Bachelor of Liberal Studies admissions, graduations and enrollments.

- UNI is the third largest higher-education user of the ICN in the state

- UNI posted record-high numbers of ICN courses and enrollements

- UNI had students enrolled in 70 counties and 130 cities

- UNI offered 15 graduate degree programs and two undergraduate degree completion programs entirely or partially off-campus during 2002-03

Contact: James Bodensteiner, interim dean, Continuing Education & Special Programs, (319) 273-2823

6. Proposals for legislative program

Contact: Robert Koob, president, (319) 273-2566

7. Annual salary report

Contact: Nick Bambach, (319) 273-2423

8. Comprehensive fiscal report for previous year

Contact: Gary Shontz, UNI controller, (319) 273-3576

9. Final approval of tuition rates & mandatory fees


Robert Koob, president, (319) 273-2566

Renee Romano, vice president for educational & student services, (319) 273-2331

10. Semi-annual master lease report

Contact: Tom Schellhardt, vice president for Administration & Finance, (319) 273-2382

11. McLeod Center business plan

If approved:

- The bond issuing process can begin

- Architects will move to the next phase of design work

- The construction bid process can begin

- Fundraising will move into final phase

Contact: Bill Calhoun, vice president for University Advancement, (319) 273-2487

12. Register of capital improvements

a. Business & Community Services (BCS) Innovation Accelerator

- Permission to proceed with project planning

Contact: Randy Pilkington, BCS executive director, (319) 273-6941

b. Student Health Center expansion

- Approval of program statements and design documents

- Fully funded by student fees

- Project has been approved by Northern Iowa Student Government

- Will allow combining of Student Health Clinic, the Counseling Center, and Disability Services

Contact: Renee Romano, vice president for educational & student services, (319) 273-2331