Evans: It’s time to streamline top-heavy universities

Even before coronavirus hit American colleges and universities, even before their budgets imploded because of the pandemic, questions were being asked nationally about how these institutions spend their money. Some high-profile decisions by University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld have put the focus on this issue in our state. The issue further crystallized last week when a list of administrative staff at Iowa State University landed in my mailbox. At its essence, this issue is the growth of the number of administrators, compared with the number of academic staff. Todd Zywicki, a law professor at George Mason University in Virginia, studies this issue.

College and COVID-19: Students shift, adjust, adapt to life full of uncertainties

COVID-19 turned life upside-down for Iowa’s 100,000-plus full-time university and college students as a month ago classes moved online. Some struggle to care for loved ones with weakened immune systems, and others can’t find WiFi access to earn the semester’s credits. Still others pay their rent without their low-wage job or worry about an upcoming graduation and job search. “In some ways this virus is like 9/11, where it will impact society and how things are done because of it,” said Kealan Graham, 26, who is pursuing a master’s in elementary education and is home in Greater Des Moines. “I hope this helps people realize how important paid sick leave is, how important health care is, and how important every job is to the function of society.”

The new normal: Uncertainty, disruption and adapting.

College Textbook Costs, In Their Words: Cody West, Iowa State University

Q: What did you spend on textbooks this semester? Cody West: This semester, I spent $74.50 for one English textbook and it appears about $270 in course delivery fees… I also had a $81.49 textbook. Cody West, 21
Iowa State University
Spring 2018 senior
Hometown: Altoona, Iowa
Major: Biology
Q: Most expensive book:

West: Oh goodness. I want to say that my freshman year my biology book with the access code to do my biology homework was about $220. Q: How often do you use your textbooks?