Senator Tom Harkin visited Buena Vista University Monday, October 9, for a short meeting with university President Fred Moore and staff to discuss several educational projects underway at BVU. Before the private meeting, Harkin was given a tour of some of the updated facilities around campus.
Moore, along with Paul Bowers and Michael Whitlach, updated Harkin on the new programs for distance learning and online courses.
"The other week we had one of the local schools using the classrooms for a project," Whitlach said to Harkin during a tour. "The facilities not only benefit the campus but the local schools as well."
As part of the tour Harkin was given a tour of the Estelle Siebens Science Center, which the senator hasn't had a chance to see before.
"It is a beautiful structure," Harkin said at first view of the giant "glass beaker" entrance of the science center. "It's truly amazing to see such architecture on this campus."
Harkin has helped the school secure $3.335 million to improve interactive communication and in 2003 helped to obtain $500,000 to help purchase equipment and to make improvements to the new science center.
"I have worked with Buena Vista on many projects and I look forward to working with them again," Harkin said in a quick press conference. "Buena Vista has been on the cutting edge of distance learning and I hope they are able to stay on that edge. As people have to change careers or further education they may not be able to sit in a dorm, distance learning is a tool that can help people further their education."
Harkin is the top Democrat on the Senate panel that funds education initiatives and has been looking at options to help students afford college
"We need to work on keeping the cost of education down for students to have the option of higher education," Harkin added at the end of the press conference.