President Mark called the meeting to order at 7:08am

Chris Knapp led us in song including birthday wishes for September birthdays.

Mark called attention to a handout called 20 Clues to Rural Community Survival and noted the points relevant to Rotary including #10. deliberate transition of power to a younger generation of leaders, #11 acceptance of women in leadership roles, and #19 willingness to seek help from the outside.

Sergeant-at-Arms Report

Jack gave his alphabet report.

Guests & Visiting Rotarians included PDG Ken Noble, West Liberty Rotarian, and Sofie, 2014-15 exchange student from Germany.

Make-ups:  Chris and Vernette Knapp X 6; Deb Ockenfels; Nancy Pacha; Brad Langguth; & Brian Adamec


President Mark made the following announcements:

  • the month opener will be 9/8
  • Joint Service Club luncheon is Oct.19; tickets are $9
  • D6000 has a trip to S. Africa planned for January
  • Iowa Valley Habitat will have its annual Arts & Flowers fest 9/6

Vernette announced the speakers for the month that will include Steve Murley, Kelly Hayworth and Tom Markus

Roger Christian offered abundant dishwashing opportunities.

Rotarians in the News:

In Randy’s absence, President Mark shared the full page ad in the Press Citizen Key which included all the area Rotary clubs.

Happy Bucks:

Numerous happy bucks were shared ranging from boar names to birdies, cars and grandkids to sports teams and trips, big donations for coats, and ending with the 52nd wedding anniversary of Bryan and Ginny Clemons!

Where in the world is

Azerbaijan?  In Toby’s absence, Pat Schnack and Hazel Seaba filled in from their personal experiences in Azerbaijan.  Azerbaijan is in the Caucusus and is a former Soviet bloc country.  Although a modern country, travel in the countryside feels like a step back into the 3rd century.  Parts are hot and dry. In the cities, one will see markets with spices since the country was on the old spice route.  When Hazel was there it still felt very Soviet.  In the rural areas, there were places where people would leave money for blessings.  President Mark reflected how this must be their happy bucks.  Har,har

Toby owes Pat and Hazel big time! [ed.]

Program:   Chris Knapp introduced Robert Downer of the Iowa State Board of Regents, on which Bob has served since 2003.  Bob is also a local attorney with the firm of Meardon, Sueppel & Downer, which he joined in 1963 after graduation from the UI Law School.  Bob is a member of the Rotary Club of Iowa City Noon and a past president.

Bob began stating he was president of the Noon Club at the time of founding of AM Club and spoke at the banquet when the charter was presented.  He noted Ralph McGill, past editor of the Atlanta Constitution, is known to have said he would not speak to a Rotary club because he would never speak to a group that sang lustily during the day while cold sober.  After regaling us with a story of a Clark Mollenhof speech which included vomit, Bob turned to the topic of the Regents.

The total budget for all the Regents universities is $5B, which is approximately 2/3 the size of the total State budget.  66% of the $5B is the University of Iowa. UIHC alone is well over $1B;   athletics is larger than other universities; and the hygenics lab also contributes a significant amount to the size of the UI budget.

At next Board meeting in Ames, the agenda will include a 5-year capital plan for all the Regents institutions.  The UI portion of the plan is larger than all the others.  For example, the projections provided by the institutions include $351M for UI and $50M for Iowa State.  Bob pointed out that construction on campus will  be continuing for years beyond 2016, so mind the cranes and the cones.  

Bob then enumerated a number of projects including renovation of Seashore and the psychology area; expansion of library study space; renovation of communications & Schaeffer Hall;  an addition to the Seaman Center based on demand for engineering graduates; and Phase II of the Iowa River Landing medical clinic.  He noted that increasingly donations account for a considerable share of these projects.

He added that a new residence hall is proposed; a 12-13 story hall on the east side of river on the old Iowa City water plant site, near North Hall.  He reported studies have shown that student performance is better when they live on-campus.  Currently a smaller percentage of students are housed on campus at UI than at other institutions.  With current construction of Peterson Hall, there will only be a 150 bed net increase since the Quad will come down given its age and the inefficiency of the building.  The Quad space will be used for a proposed Pharmacy building.

Bob went on to discuss the performance based funding concept which could reallocate $23.5M from UI to IA state and UNI.  The concept is based on undergrad enrollment figures.  At this time it is not known if the concept and reallocation will be approved by the Legislature.  Bob noted that he was one vote on Board against this after a concerted effort to modify the proposal.  The formula of the concept does not take into account the cost of instruction.  He stated the cost of educating a student in the college of dentistry is 11.98 times that of the cost of educating some one in liberal arts.  Bob feels the College of Dentistry is a poster child for university departments in that it provides so much service to the whole state of Iowa; over 70% of graduates stay in Iowa and practice throughout the state.  Bob believes it is not in the public interest to drive up tuition costs in these programs and drive students to other states.  He has argued for supporting these programs to keep grads in Iowa.

Finally, he noted the Deloitte study is on the agenda as well.  Projected savings are of a magnitude which Bob does not think will be attained.

In answer to questions, Bob stated he does not expect the University will go back to requiring freshman and sophomores to live on campus; enrollment is likely to increase due to performance based funding but he is concerned undergraduate education, which can be attained in many places, will become dominant over exceptional graduate programs; out of state tuition is about 2.5 times that of in-state and is calculated annually based on the cost of instruction: the cost of instruction includes everything except building construction costs; he does not expect the public/private partnership for housing will be replicated elsewhere on campus and noted that the new housing will be on the tax roles given the ownership model.

President Mark thanked Bob for his presentation and indicated a book would be given in his name to one of our local elementary schools.

Bob’ s parting comments were a congratulations and thank you to John Ockenfels for his service as District Governor, and appreciation that yours truly had found a club she liked!

President Mark reported $2853 had been collected for coats!!

Meeting was adjourned at 8:00am

Minutes respectfully submitted with no guarantee of accuracy by Karin Franklin.