Iowa lawmakers’ decision to stop years of cuts at the three state universities will boost morale and mark a possible financial turning point, Iowa State University President Steven Leath said Tuesday.
But ISU, at least, will struggle to keep offering quality programs as student enrollment increases and appropriations remain well below what they were a few years ago, Leath added.
“We’re still far behind,” said Leath, who thanked Gov. Terry Branstad and the Iowa Senate for pushing a budget that offered more money for education. “Philosophically, this is a huge victory for the citizens of Iowa, but financially speaking, we’re not where we need to be if we are going to provide the access and quality that students want.”
“When I first got to ISU, I thought we could do a little better than this,” said Leath, who became ISU’s president in January. “During the process, I had to adjust my expectations.”