Business school will become UI's Des Moines campus

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines business college will become the University of Iowa's Des Moines campus under an arrangement the two schools announced Monday.

Transitioning the 20-acre campus southwest of downtown will take at least a year, but all AIB students will become University of Iowa students as early as this fall, said AIB College of Business President Nancy A. Williams.

An integration committee has been formed to begin the transition and work out funding details. Early plans include the addition of new degree programs. AIB currently offers only business degrees.

"Over time, expanding on both the business side and probably into some other areas is definitely going to be what our integration team is looking at," said Iowa President Sally Mason.

Williams said AIB currently has the capacity to accommodate double its fall 2014 enrollment of more than 1,000 students.

"Our merger will allow for even greater opportunities for people who want to create a better future for themselves and their families," Williams said.

Mason said the arrangement allows the University of Iowa to broaden its Des Moines-area services and recruit more undergraduate Iowa students.

A new funding plan approved by the Iowa Board of Regents in May partially bases the allocation of state dollars on the number of Iowa residents enrolled at the state's three public universities. It requires legislative approval to become permanent.

Mason, who recently announced her decision to step down as Iowa's president, said she stands by a commitment she made to more aggressively recruit in-state students as she prepares to leave the school and plans for the Des Moines campus take shape.

Mason said another goal is to keep on as many AIB employees as possible through the transition.

Iowa Board President Bruce Rastetter said he strongly supports the plan, which requires board approval once there's an "affinitive agreement."

AIB Board of Regents President Chris Costa touted the benefits of increasing accessibility to the university.

"Expanding access to a nationally renowned school like the University of Iowa is obviously good for the whole state," Costa said.

AIB began in 1941 and moved to its Fleur Drive campus in 1972.

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