Branstad signs bills allowing tuition freeze for regent universities

BY KRISTEN EAST | JUNE 21, 2013 5:00 AM

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A tuition freeze for in-state undergraduate students at Iowa’s public universities is now a reality, following Gov. Terry Branstad’s Thursday signing of House File 604 and 648.

The two bills will provide funding for various services and projects at each of Iowa’s public universities.

The bills include the necessary funding for a 2.6 percent increase in the state Board of Regents’ universities’ general-operating appropriations, allowing for a undergraduate resident tuition freeze in the 2013-14 academic year.

Also approved was $2 million for the University of Iowa Entrepreneurship Initiative and $1 million for a multipurpose training facility at the State Hygienic Laboratory.

Regent President Bruce Rastetter commended Branstad for approving  the funds.

“We could not be happier with the governor’s approval of this funding, because it will greatly enhance the universities’ ability to serve Iowans with our world-class institutions,” he said in a release.

Yet some items were not approved, including $3 million in funds for the construction of a new pharmacy building at the UI.

“… The board is disappointed that funds necessary for the planning and design for the highest priority academic capital projects, which are central to the specific missions of each university, were not approved,” Rastetter said.

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