September 10, 2018

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Iowa, Latest News

Iowa Universities Tumble in Rankings Due to Reynolds Budget Crisis

Reynolds’ Cuts to Workforce Development and Education Undermine Iowans’ Future

It’s back to school season, which means the leaves are changing, freshmen are moving in to their dorms, and there’s plenty of excitement in the air. Unless you’re in Iowa, where students are heading back to school following a summer filled with slashed University programs and jobs as a direct result of the Kim Reynolds budget crisis.

And today, the Des Moines Register reported that the University of Iowa and Iowa State have fallen in U.S. News and World Report’s latest rankings of public universities. The University of Iowa dropped seven spots, and Iowa State University fell three spots.

University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld pointed directly to Kim Reynolds’ budget cuts as the reason the university plummeted in the rankings. “Those rankings are a stark illustration of what happens when there’s not enough investment in higher education by the state.”

“Once again, it is everyday Iowans that are shouldering the burden of the Kim Reynolds budget crisis,” said Democratic Governors Association Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “While Reynolds’ special interest donors line their pockets with taxpayer giveaways, Iowa students are left to suffer with higher tuition and falling rankings.”

Read more about the effect the Reynolds cuts are having on schools in Iowa below:

Where do University of Iowa, Iowa State University rank in new U.S. News & World Report ratings?

The University of Iowa tumbled seven spots in U.S. News & World Report’s newest rankings of public universities, and the Iowa City institution’s president is blunt about what caused the slippage:

“Those rankings are a stark illustration of what happens when there’s not enough investment in higher education by the state and by students and their parents,” President Bruce Harreld said in a statement to the Des Moines Register.

“We want to provide the best possible education we can, but after a generation of disinvestment in our regents institutions, you get what you buy.”

[…]

Budget constraints have affected the universities’ ability to retain and attract top faculty, leaders have said. In addition, officials are worried about class sizes and schools’ freshman-to-sophomore retention rates along with graduation rates.

Cuts in state funding have directly impacted several of the indicators used to measure students’ academic success, U of I officials said.

To offset state funding reductions, U of I officials in July announced plans to close seven centers and reduce funding to five others, moves that will mean job losses for 33 people.