Office of the Governor of Iowa

Governor Branstad

Branstad, Reynolds applaud Board of Education’s action for veterans, launch working group tasked with making education recommendations

January 23, 2014

Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today applauded the Iowa State Board of Education for passing a measure providing a uniform policy giving veterans, their spouses and their dependents in-state tuition at Iowa community colleges, a measure Regents universities have already adopted. Additionally, the pair launched a working group to make policy recommendations with the goal of making Iowa more attractive for service members.

“A key element of our bipartisan Home Base Iowa jobs plan is ensuring veterans, their spouses and their dependents are able to continue their education and training at an affordable rate at Iowa’s community colleges,” said Branstad. “I commend the State Board of Education for their swift action that sends the signal that Iowa stands ready to welcome veterans and match them with quality careers.”

In addition to the State Board of Education’s action, Branstad and Reynolds today announced the launch of a working group tasked with finding ways to make Iowa more attractive to veterans leaving the armed services. The committee’s members, who received a letter from the governor and lt. governor, are tasked with making recommendations on the following items by July 1, 2014:

1)      Develop a more consistent approach among Iowa’s three state universities and 15 community colleges for awarding undergraduate credits to a student who also is a veteran for courses that are part of the student’s military training or experience.  Such credit shall be awarded toward the student’s major, minor, pre-requisite, or elective coursework requirements. Encourage Iowa’s private colleges and universities to adopt the same approach.

2)      Develop strategies for the state universities, community colleges and participating private colleges and universities to recruit veterans and promote educational benefits provided to veterans at each institution. Study best practices for recruiting veterans to attract and retain a better educated workforce.  Examine effectiveness of campus veteran support services. Consider opportunities to coordinate this campaign across higher education institutions, the State of Iowa, and private employers.

3)      Develop a plan to provide consistent data tracking for an annual report to the Governor’s Office and Legislature.  At minimum the report should include the following: the number of veterans enrolled at state universities and community colleges, including new veterans; the number awarded credit for military training, service or experience; and average military credit earned. Encourage private colleges and universities to participate.

“Our veterans have served our nation and state with great dignity and honor. These brave men and women are highly-skilled and will be well sought after by Iowa employers,” said Reynolds. “Governor Branstad and I applaud the State Board of Education’s for their action today and look forward to reviewing the working group’s recommendations as we strive to make Iowa more attractive for service members.”

The following individuals will make of the Home Base Iowa working group:


Jodi Tymeson, Brig. General Iowa Army National Guard (retired)

Commandant of the Iowa Veterans Home


Jathan Chicoine

Iowa State University Veterans Services Coordinator

President, Iowa Advisory Council on Military Education

Former U.S. Navy SEAL

Senior Airman Michael Considine

Avionics Technician for the 185th Air National Guard

University of Iowa Veterans Association President

Andrew Gates

St. Ambrose University Coordinator of Veterans Recruitment and Services

Former Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps

Col. Tim Glynn

Iowa National Guard

Diana Gonzalez

Board of Regents, Chief Academic Officer

Julia Heuer

University of Northern Iowa Coordinator Military and Veteran Student Services

Former SGT, U.S. Army

Colonel Robert King (Ret.)

Director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs

Chris LaFerla

Iowa Western Community College Dean of Admissions and Records

Kim Linduska

Des Moines Area Community College Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs

Hal Pittman, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired)

President and CEO, Special Olympics Iowa

Mary Elizabeth Stivers

Grand View University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Jeremy Varner

Iowa Department of Education, Division of Community Colleges

The following excerpt is from Gov. Branstad’s 2014 Condition of the State Address:

“And let’s make Iowa the destination for veterans to continue their education.  Already, the University of Iowa has been named the 6th best university for veterans by U.S. News and World Report.  But we can do even better.

“I will be asking the State Board of Education to join the Regents institutions by passing rules giving veterans, their spouses, and their dependents automatic in-state tuition at our community colleges.

“I will also be convening stakeholders from the Regents, community colleges, and private colleges to develop consistent policies to provide veterans academic credit for their military training and experience.”

Read the full speech