This post is part of an extended Open Letter to the Iowa State Auditor.
In the two previous posts it was noted that over the past four years the Iowa Board of Regents has raised tuition out of scale to any legislative funding cuts, and that student-subsidized economic development is one explanation for how that new unrestricted revenue is being spent. Unfortunately, because the regents routinely obscure and even scrub tuition totals from their public reports, and because the board is only obligated to report on economic development which is directly funded by the legislature, we have no way of knowing whether the regents are taking money from students and spending it on economic development that the state desires, but does not want to fund with taxpayer revenue. What we can say is that any new economic development programs at the state universities are almost certainly being funded by tuition revenue, because everyone agrees that there is simply no other substantial source of revenue to draw from. [ Read more ]