In Budget Cut, U Of Northern Iowa To Close Museum

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The University of Northern Iowa said Thursday it would close a 120-year-old campus natural history museum, trim subsidies for athletics and outsource campus printing services as part of a strategic plan to save money for other academic priorities.

The announcement from President Ben Allen came one day after school administrators announced plans to close Malcolm Price Laboratory School, a K-12 building that had been at the center of its efforts to train teachers and conduct education research for decades. All of the plans need approval from the Iowa Board of Regents, who govern the state's three public universities, and supporters said they are mobilizing to fight the closure of the museum and the lab school.

But the plans seemed to be moving quickly. Republican leaders in the Iowa House praised them, and the Iowa Board of Regents set a meeting for Monday to consider the school closure.

"On behalf of the Board of Regents, I want to express our support for President Ben Allen and the important steps he announced today that we believe will ensure the fiscal and academic integrity of the university well into the future," Board President Craig Lang said in a statement. "We are confident that President Allen's leadership and strategic vision for the University of Northern Iowa will continue to ensure the highest academic quality for our students."

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