UI moves forward in exploring public-private partnership

The University of Iowa has taken another step forward with its exploration of a partnership with a private firm to maintain and operate its utility system. The UI on July 11 announced it will proceed with a request for proposals in its search for a potential public-private partnership with the utility system, according to a statement. Firms had until 3 p.m. June 14 to submit their request-for-qualification proposals to officials at Wells Fargo, one of three companies consulting the UI during this process. UI Media Relations Director Anne Bassett said in an email the UI will not be able to share the number of vendors or their names until the process is complete. The request for proposals will be released this summer, Bassett said, but there is no set date as of now.
  • As part of the request for qualifications process, the UI included that firms must be committed to:
  • making sure the UI operates coal-free no later than Jan. 1, 2025
  • exploring new sources of boifuels to create sustainable, lower-cost fuel options
  • keeping all facilities in similar or better condition
  • continuing campuswide sustainability efforts
According to the statement, the UI expects that whichever firm involved in the partnership will operate the system will offer jobs to current utility-system employees. For employees not offered jobs, there will be positions at the UI. “Following a rigorous RFQ process, which involved shared governance and academic leadership, we are ready to take the next step in our exploration,” UI President Bruce Harreld said in the statement. “The potential partners in this next round have illustrated a commitment to our employees, ensuring the UI is coal-free by 2025 and the additional responsibilities we outlined toward a sustainable future.” Source: Dailyiowan