Quiet protests at an Iowa Board of Regents meeting Thursday turned boisterous at a news conference where demonstrators peppered officials with shouted questions and comments.
More than 150 students, faculty and parents first amassed outdoors at the University of Northern Iowa’s Maucker Union for a rally. When they then moved inside to the meeting, some regents looked up to observe them as they quietly held signs saying “Board of Betrayal” and “Regents of Mass Destruction.”
It was the first board meeting on the UNI campus since a series of academic cuts and faculty buyouts were announced earlier this year. The planned closure of UNI’s Malcolm Price Laboratory School, the elimination of about one-fifth of academic programs and buyouts of more than 40 tenured faculty have drawn steady public criticism.
University officials have said the measures are necessary to close a $5 million budget gap. On Thursday, though, they said details on the savings won’t be available for several weeks.