Statewide Iowa — The president of the board that oversees the three state universities says they are looking forward to resuming regular operations this fall. Mike Richards has already lifted the emergency order that went into place on March 18th of 2020 at the height of the pandemic.

He says students at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa will NOT be required to be vaccinated to return.

Richards says they will continue the effort to help students deal with COVID-19.

And he added that will include full football stadiums. The Board of Regents met in Iowa City, and Richards announced the late adjournment of the legislature would require them to delay the first reading of proposed tuition rates.

The Iowa Legislature approved a budget that gave no increase in state funding for the universities. The Legislature originally proposed a tuition freeze, but backed off that.

The Regents approved a salary increase for Iowa State University president Wendy Wintersteen to move her salary from 590-thousand dollars to 600-thousand dollars. That puts her salary at the same level as new University of Iowa president Barbara Wilson, who begins July 15th. They also approved continuing a 100-thousand dollar yearly retention bonus each year through 2023 for Wintersteen if she stays at the school. They approved a 105-thousand dollar annual retention bonus through 2023 for Board of Regents Executive Director, Mark Brown, while holding his salary at the same level.

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