UNI Legislative Update

The Office of Governmental Relations provides legislative updates to the campus community through online communication and bimonthly campus presentations. These updates will inform faculty, staff and students of hot topics facing the legislature and legislative actions affecting UNI and the Regents institutions.

April 8, 2011

House passes UNI Budget

The Iowa House of Representatives has passed the UNI budget for next year. The budget that was passed earlier in the week cuts UNI an additional 9 percent which is in excess of $7 million.

These further budget cuts are in addition to the the roughly 20 percent budget cut that UNI has experienced over the past two years totaling more than $20 million.

The budget now moves on to the Senate where hopefully some of the budget reductions will be restored. Please contact your local legislators and tell them to support UNI!

March 14, 2011

Baker/Bartlett Project

UNI's top building request has taken a major step forward today. The project, the demolition of Baker Hall and the renovation of Bartlett Hall, was approved by the House Appropriations Committee today. The project will be funded over three years and will be a major improvement to UNI's campus.

The next step in the process will be a full House debate which will be scheduled within the next few weeks.

March 9, 2011

Senate targets are released

The Senate today released their targets for the education appropriations budget bill. Of the targets that were released, UNI's budget is being held harmless with Fiscal Year 2011.

This is welcomed news. UNI has been cut by over $20 million over the past two years and it is time to stop the cuts. The current budget proposal in the House of Representatives cuts UNI by an additional nine percent.

Please contact your local legislators and tell them to support the Senate's budget proposal and Stop the Cuts!

March 8, 2011

House Appropriations Committee

The Iowa House of Representatives Appropriations Committee voted to approve the education appropriations budget bill from the full committee today. The bill includes an additional nine percent budget cut for UNI which is on top of the nearly 23 percent budget cut UNI has realized since Fiscal Year 2009.

The next step in the process will be a full House debate which will be scheduled within the next few weeks.

February 21, 2011

Budget Situation – Stop the Cuts!

Feb. 21, 2011
The majority party in the Iowa House of Representatives has released its budget targets, or spending limits, for the next fiscal year. The Education Appropriation Subcommittee was given a target that's $24 million less than Gov. Branstad’s proposal for all of education. Simply put, the House targets cut even deeper than the governor’s proposed 7.7 percent reduction to the University of Northern Iowa.

Given the fact that the public universities make up the majority of the appropriation expenditures for the committee, we expect our cuts will be the most severe. With the budget targets that were released last week, and based on previous appropriation trends, UNI’s proposed budget cut is approximately $8.3 million. Adding this cut to the already devastating budget cuts of the previous two and a half years, UNI’s state appropriation will have been reduced by 29 percent, or almost $30 million. That's the equivalent of losing state support for 3,900 undergraduate students.

From another perspective, Iowa’s public universities are facing an aggregate reduction of state appropriations of more than $167 million. That equates to cutting out two UNI’s or one Iowa State University from the budget books.

No other state agency or branch of government is experiencing this sort of massive disinvestment. No other state agency is more critical in job creation, personal income growth, and the production of a highly qualified workforce that Iowa companies depend on than UNI and our sister institutions. As a result of these budget cuts, UNI can anticipate an increase in class sizes, reductions in course and program offerings, and the loss of faculty and staff positions.

From a national perspective, only two states, Oregon and Arizona, have cut public higher education more in the past two years than Iowa. If the budget cuts become a reality, UNI will experience funding levels not seen since the early 1990s.

In these difficult economic times, preserving higher education is essential. The state must ensure UNI's high-quality education for current and future generations of students.

We need your help! Contact your local legislators by e-mail, calling or attending a local legislative forum. Tell them to support UNI's academic quality and Stop the Cuts! Our future depends on it.

Senate Switchboard: 515.281.3371
House Switchboard: 515.281.3221

February 17, 2011

Forum Schedule

Feb 18

4:30PM -- AEA 267 Office3 -- 3712 Cedar Heights Drive, Cedar Falls
10AM-11:30AM -- Clear Lake Bank & Trust Community Room -- 322 Main Avenue

Feb 19

9AM -- Hy-Vee Conference Room -- 1501 1st Avenue, Newton
7:30AM-8:45AM -- Jasper County Farm Bureau 425 1st Avenue East
9:15AM -- Burlington Public Library, 210 Court Street
10:30AM-11:45AM -- Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids
9AM-10AM -- Oxford Junction -- Schakey’s, 317 1st Ave N
10AM -- Humboldt City Hall, 29 Fifth Street South
10AM -- Mason City Public Library 225 2nd Street Southeast

February 10, 2011

Forum Schedule for Feb 11 - 12

Make sure you attend your local weekend legislative forums and put a plug in for UNI!

Feb 11

12PM Marshalltown Fisher Community Center 709 South Center Street

Feb 12

1PM-3PM Manufacturing, 1123 First Avenue East
9AM Clinton Legislative Coffee Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce 721 S. 2nd Street
10:30AM Mt. Vernon City Council Chambers 213 First Street NW
9AM-10:30AM Council Bluffs Legislative Coffee At the Public Library, 400 Willow Avenue
9AM-10AM Olin legislative listening post Selma’s Kitchen, 306 Jackson Street
9AM Emmetsburg town meeting At Emmetsburg Welcome Center 1121 Broadway Street
11AM Pocahontas town meeting At Pizza Ranch, 211 North Main Street
9:30AM-11:30AM Ames Public Library, 515 Douglas Avenue
Quirmbach 2/12/2011 8:30AM Ames Legislative Forum At Ames City Hall, 515 Clark Avenue
8:30AM Oskaloosa Eggs & Issues Smokey Row, 109 South Market Street
4PM-6PM Oskaloosa red tape hearing Oskaloosa Interpower, 100 Interpower Avenue
10AM McGregor legislative listening post Maggie’s Diner, 28534 Highway 18

UNI presents to Educaiton Appropriations Subcommittee

Acting president Gloria Gibson presented to the education appropriations subcommittee yesterday afternoon to discuss the impacts of the budget cuts of the last two years as well as reaction to Governor Branstad's proposed budget. Below is an article covering presentation.

University heads say more budget cuts will hurt quality of education

by O. Kay Henderson on February 10, 2011

The top administrators at Iowa, Iowa State and U-N-I say the quality of their institutions may suffer if the universities endure another year of deep reductions in state taxpayer support. Governor Branstad is calling for a six percent cut.

University of Iowa president Sally Mason heads an institution which has seen its budget cut by about 20 percent over the past two years and she told legislators yesterday cutting six percent deeper would be difficult.

“Now I’d like to sit here and claim, ‘Sure we can do this, no problem,’” Mason said. “If I did that, I think I would be fooling you and I would certainly be fooling myself.”

I-S-U president Gregory Geoffrey says that six percent cut would be on top of the $62-million that’s been cut from his university’s budget since the recession began.

“If Governor Branstad’s budget proposal were to be enacted, that cut would rise to $72 million,” Geoffrey says. “That’s a very, very large number.”

University leaders say they’ve streamlined administrative costs as much as possible, but class sizes are larger and there are fewer classes.

Board of Regents President David Miles says Iowa’s three public universities have taken harder budget hits than universities in other states.

“While the vast majority of states across the country had to reduce appropriations in this financial crisis, in (fiscal year) 2010 only five states in the country cut their appropriations to higher education more than Iowa did,” Miles says.

Gloria Gibson, the acting president of the University of Northern Iowa, says if Branstad’s six percent cut is enacted, U-N-I’s state funding would dip to the where it was in 1998.

“Even with a tuition increase and a modestly-predicted enrollment increase, when we add up new unavoidable expenses we anticipate starting the year with a multimillion dollar deficit,” she told legislators.

Representative Cecil Dolecheck, a Republican from Mount Ayr, is co-chair of the committee that will draft education spending plans and he says lawmakers may cut a little bit deeper in the university budgets than Branstad has proposed.

The Republican who heads the House Appropriations Committee wants the University of Iowa to sell a valuable painting and use the profits for scholarships. Jackson Pollack’s “Mural” — painted in 1943 and is considered one of the most famous paintings by a modern American artist. It is valued at $140-million and was given to the university in 1951.

February 4, 2011

President Allen's budget message

Over the past three weeks, the parameters of our budget situation have started to be defined. First, the Iowa House of Representatives passed a deappropriation bill, which if passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, will have a profound effect on UNI. The bill would cut $10 million from the Regents institutions for the current fiscal year -- that equates to a $1.66 million cut for UNI. The bill also would cut another $15 million from the public universities for each of the next two fiscal years.

Last week, Gov. Branstad presented his budget proposal, which includes a $6.3 million budget reduction for UNI. See the governor's full budget at http://www.legis.iowa.gov/DOCS/lsaReports/BudgetAnalysis/LSAPreliminaryAnalysisGovFY2012BudgetRecommend.pdf

Governor Branstad's BudgetThis trend of disinvestment is troubling to say the least. Since July 1, 2008, UNI has seen no fewer than eight appropriation changes to our base budget, resulting in an appropriation reduction of $23 million (22.3 percent). In real dollars, state appropriations are now at the same level as fiscal 1997-98, and in constant dollars, the university is funded at the same level as fiscal 1987.

These budget cuts continue to have a more profound impact on UNI because we depend much more on state appropriations than our sister institutions, which have the benefit of a much greater percentage of non-resident students supplementing their budget. State appropriations and tuition are our two primary sources of revenue. The Iowa General Assembly will now take the governor's proposal and add it to the debate about the state's budget.

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa met yesterday. A key point of discussion was tuition for next year. The Board Office is recommending a 5-percent increase in resident and non-resident tuition for UNI. Even with this tuition increase and a modest predicted enrollment increase, the additional revenue when contrasted against the governor's proposed budget reduction, creates more than a $2 million shortfall going into the new fiscal year.

We do not know what the final outcome will be with respect to the budget that will be passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor. Even the tuition decision will not be known until the March board meeting.

Planning will begin immediately to develop ways to maintain the high-quality education provided by this institution, meet the needs of our students, and continue to work toward our strategic goals, while also balancing our budget. This will not be easy, but it must be done. Tough decisions will have to be made.

What can you do? Now more than ever, it's important for us to share the value this institution brings to the state—to tell UNI's story. And we have a very important story to tell. For example, more than 90 percent of our students come from Iowa; and 77 percent of those graduates either take their first job in Iowa or attend graduate school in Iowa. More than 60,000 UNI alumni live in Iowa. What could be more important to the economic welfare of Iowa than providing teachers, accountants, business leaders, scientists, researchers, graduate students who become lawyers, doctors and professors, and the myriad of other professional roles that our students fill?

Certainly, UNI is a significant contributor to the economic, social and cultural development of the state in several other ways. For example, UNI's Business and Community Services programs provide support to businesses in all 99 counties. UNI also produces creative and successful entrepreneurs. Our students create new and innovative products and start businesses that add to Iowa's economic wellbeing and stature.

Also, UNI is providing leadership to help Iowa regain its position as the state with the strongest pre-K through 12 system in the nation. An example of UNI's commitment and expertise in this area is the Iowa Math and Science Education Partnership (IMSEP), a collaborative effort with the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, is headquartered at UNI and is active in 88 counties. Additionally, the upcoming statewide Research and Development School, which is in its second year of a three-year transition plan and will be headquartered at UNI, will aid significantly in advancing Iowa's educational system.

We have much to be proud of and an important story to tell. I am encouraged and thankful for what we have accomplished here at UNI. As we make decisions in the weeks and months ahead we must do everything we can to maintain our outstanding academic quality, to ensure students progress to graduation, to make student financial aid accessible and available, and to keep our campus safe and secure. Together we will make the right decisions and continue to keep the University of Northern Iowa on the path to becoming an even greater university.

December 2, 2010

IMSEP important for future

Below is an op-ed that appeared in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.

Posted: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 12:00 pm

Now in its second year, reports from the Iowa Math and Science Education Partnership give reason for optimism.

Funding problems for the partnership, however, tempers that outlook.

Since their inception, IMSEP programs have touched about 26,000 students, 1,700 teachers and 100 faculty and staff members statewide

It was reported in 2008 that there were about 100 physics teachers nearing retirement across the state at that time, but only 14 such teaching students graduating.

Work over the past two years with a teacher recruitment program is partially to thank for an increase in the number of students enrolled in math and science teaching majors at the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University.

Still, Jeff Weld, director of the Iowa Math and Science Partnership, says that it will be hard to tell the reach of their programs until this year's high school sophomores and juniors are headed off to college.

We have been hearing for years that our nation is losing ground in the areas of math and science.

"The economists and national thinkers see it. The presidents of universities see it. But a lot of citizens are just quietly going about their lives," Weld said.

There was enough awareness that the partnership was formed with a state-appropriated budget of $4 million - a budget that was expected to grow in each of the succeeding five years.

Statewide budget cuts scaled back the budget to $3.2 million in fiscal year 2010 and to just $1.8 million in the current year.

In order to gain ground internationally, we are going to have to make some tough decisions on priorities, hopefully with an eye toward a better future.

Consider that, according to the "Tapping America's Potential" report completed by the Kauffman Foundation, American fourth-graders are on par with their international counterparts in science and math testing. By 12th grade, they are falling to the bottom of the list.

Those are the sort of reports that would lead us to question the decision to pour tens of millions of dollars into new preschool resources in Iowa, while cutting programs such as IMSEP. Perhaps we need to continue working on fixing the reasons we are losing these kids educationally between the fourth and 12th grades.

For a long time, we have been aware that we were falling behind other countries in producing the engineers needed in today's global work force and economy. We understand that the teachers who prepare students in math, science and technology are at a premium. However, this information is meaningless if we decide to do nothing with it.

"If you peel away everything and get down to the brass tacks of it, if we fail at everything else, what we had better succeed at is bringing in and producing more quality math and science teachers," Weld told The Courier a year ago.

The Iowa Math and Science Education Partnership is doing something about it. And we need to continue with such endeavors if we wish to continue to compete effectively in the global economy.

October 25, 2010

UNI receives $10 million gift for Imagine the Impact campaign

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa has announced the national launch of its $150 million Imagine the Impact campaign, the largest campaign in its history. The campaign, which began in 2005, has raised $109 million and is scheduled to continue through 2013.

The University of Northern Iowa's Imagine the Impact campaign has received a commitment of $10 million from Mark C. Oman (B.A. '76) and Jill Fuerhoff Oman (B.A. '85) of West Des Moines. Their gift will be used to fund scholarships for UNI students. This represents the largest gift ever received from a UNI graduate and the largest commitment ever received for student scholarships.

The Omans are making their gift as a challenge to encourage other UNI alumni and friends to support the Imagine the Impact campaign. Mark Oman is the co-chair of the campaign and a member of the UNI Foundation Board of Trustees.

Mark Oman is senior executive vice president of Wells Fargo & Company. "UNI will always be a very special place for my wife and me," said Mark Oman. "It gave us an outstanding education in business and in the liberal arts, preparing us for successful and satisfying careers and lives. We hope our gift will enable future students to enjoy the same educational advantages that we found at UNI."

"We are honored that the Oman's have made this very generous commitment to UNI," said UNI President Ben Allen. "Thanks to their support, the Oman's will have a profound impact on future generations of students at the University of Northern Iowa."

The Imagine the Impact campaign focuses on raising funds for scholarships and faculty and program support. To date, gifts from alumni and friends have created 206 new scholarships and 154 new funds to support fellowships, professorships, undergraduate research, visiting artist series and travel abroad opportunities for students and faculty.

Campaign co-chairs are Mark Oman (B.A. '76), senior executive vice president, Wells Fargo & Company, and Beverly Riess (M.A. '78), UNI Des Moines-area student-teacher and community- outreach coordinator.

To learn more about the Imagine the Impact campaign, visit www.uni-foundation.org.

October 4, 2010

Get to know your candidates!

We are in the final sprint to the 2010 election. Here is a link to the candidate list throughout all of Iowa. 25 members of the Iowa Senate and all 100 members of the Iowa House are up for election as well as the Governor.

Get to know your candidates before you pull the lever on November 2!

September 27, 2010

UNI and Iowa Community Colleges announce Admissions Partnership Program

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Students admitted to Iowa's community colleges who plan to pursue a bachelor's degree at the University of Northern Iowa can now sign up for the Admissions Partnership Program to streamline the transfer process.

Ten of the 15 community college presidents have already signed the Admissions Partnership Program agreements. The remaining five community colleges will complete the signings on the UNI campus Thursday, Sept. 30. The community colleges are Western Iowa Tech Community College, Northwest Iowa Community College, Southeastern Community College, Southwestern Community College and Indian Hills Community College.

"UNI has a long history of working with Iowa's community colleges, which play an important role in providing higher education to Iowans," UNI President Ben Allen said. "This new partnership with the community colleges gives students a direct link to UNI from the day they sign up for the Admissions Partnership Program, and we believe it will make earning a bachelor's degree a reality for more and more Iowans."

Through the program, community college students who plan to pursue bachelor's degrees at UNI will receive special benefits to help pave the way for academic success at both schools. Students accepted into the program while enrolled at the community college will benefit from:

-Guaranteed admission to UNI, provided all requirements are met.

-A transfer plan that will allow for maximum applicability of coursework.

-Career exploration programs for undecided students.

-Timely progress toward graduation.

-Academic advising at both the community college and UNI from the point of acceptance into the Admissions Partnership Program.

-Early orientation and scheduling for the first semester at UNI

-Guaranteed placement in UNI housing, provided the student complies with established residence policies and application procedures and deadlines.

-Receipt of updated UNI materials and information about campus events and opportunities.

-Updated community college transcripts automatically sent to UNI at the end of each semester.

Students who want to be a part of the UNI Admissions Partnership Program must enroll at their community college as a degree-seeking student in a program appropriate for the transfer and then apply to the program. Once accepted into the Admissions Partnership Program, the student will meet with a community college adviser/counselor each semester to select course work that meets UNI's transfer requirements and consult with a UNI adviser each semester prior to transfer.

September 22, 2010

UNI Reading Recovery Center receives U.S. Department of Education grant

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa--More than 10,000 Iowa first graders who struggle to read, will receive intense literacy assistance in the next five years. A new $45.6 million U.S. Department of Education grant awarded $3,096,000 to UNI's Reading Recovery Center.

Reading Recovery has been helping first graders who struggle to learn to read for years. The 12 to 20 week program is a highly effective one-to-one literacy intervention that prepares specialized teachers to work with students that fall in the lowest quarter of their class and are having the greatest difficulty learning to read and write.

UNI, along with 14 other colleges and universities with Reading Recovery Training Centers, will be the recipient of the Department of Education's "Investing in Innovations" (i3) grant, led by Ohio State University. The new grant will allow the partner universities to give more attention to schools with large proportions of English Language Learner (ELL) students, schools that have been identified for Title I corrective action and low-achieving or high poverty rural schools.

"We will now be able to prepare 50 new Reading Recovery teachers and provide the intervention to 2,250 of Iowa's first graders each year for the next five years," said Salli Forbes, director of UNI's Reading Recovery program. "We will also begin preparing one teacher leader this year who has already been identified from the new Reading Recovery site in Ottumwa."

The funding approach, which brings together government, philanthropy and business, represents a new way to drive innovation in education. The Department of Education requires documentation from the 15 colleges and universities showing a 20 percent private sector match of $9.1 million in order to receive the federal award. The matching funds will go directly to pay for Reading Recovery teacher tuition and direct costs of the participating teachers. The Department of Education is providing $2,446,025 of the grant awarded to UNI, with private funds and in-kind gifts to provide the rest of the grant.

The R.J. McElroy Trust supplied UNI with $150,000 towards its matching funds. "We're proud that UNI's expertise and innovation in literacy is putting it in the national spotlight," said Stacy Van Gorp, executive director of the R.J. McElroy Trust. "The grant was a great opportunity to help UNI leverage public and private resources to make sure every child in Iowa gets off to a strong start in reading."

"This latest gift is an example of McElroy's long history of supporting the education of Iowa students," said Forbes. "We are very thankful for their support of the teachers and students of northeast Iowa."

According to Forbes, the Reading Recovery Council of Iowa will also be partnering to offer an additional $50,000 grant for teacher leader preparation and may be providing other matching grants for the preparation of Reading Recovery teachers during the next five years. "The Reading Recovery Council of Iowa's ongoing support of children's literacy achievement is greatly appreciated," said Forbes.

UNI's Reading Recovery Center of Iowa is the only Reading Recovery university training center in Iowa.

August 19, 2010

Richard O. Jacobson pledges $11 million to create literacy center at UNI

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Des Moines businessman Richard O. Jacobson has pledged $11 million to create the Richard O. Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy at the University of Northern Iowa, pending approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. This is the largest gift the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation has made, and the largest gift ever to UNI.

The Center will focus on educating, coaching and mentoring teachers and administrators to develop effective instructional practices based on current reading research. Start-up support of $1 million will prepare UNI faculty and literacy coaches in selected partner schools. Professional development for teachers will impact the literacy learning of all students in the schools. An endowment of $10 million will support the expansion of the program to schools throughout Iowa as well as continue to strengthen UNI's work in preparing new teachers, serving current teachers and conducting research on best practices in literacy education.

Jacobson said, "Learning to read is the most important aspect of education and the foundation for all subsequent learning. UNI has long been known for excellence in preparing teachers and especially teachers in reading. I am pleased to partner with UNI to impact the children of Iowa."

"To have a non-alum and business leader of his stature invest in UNI is the strongest affirmation to our vision of being the nation's leading resource on pre-K through 12 issues," said UNI president Ben Allen. "Dick's gift reflects his commitment to the youth of Iowa and his understanding of the critical relationship between quality education, particularly reading, and economic development."

Dwight C. Watson, dean of UNI's College of Education, said, "This generous gift allows us to address literacy development of current and future students, and especially students of color and students with low socio-economic backgrounds. We will implement training through partner schools as well as the Research and Development School at UNI to successfully close the achievement gap for students with learning challenges. This model will be replicated across Iowa."

Jacobson, a Belmond, Iowa, native is the founder of Jacobson Companies. Beginning in 1968 with a single Des Moines warehouse, Jacobson grew the warehouse facilities to more than 30 million square feet, while expanding the company into a business encompassing eight separate companies and employing more than 6,500 people in 27 states. He was also one of the original investors in Hawkeye Renewables, one of the largest producers of ethanol in the United States.

Jacobson's gift is part of the $150 million Imagine the Impact Campaign for the University of Northern Iowa. The campaign focuses on scholarships, faculty and program support.

June 12, 2010

UNI and Iowa Central Community College announce Admissions Partnership Program

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Students admitted to Iowa Central Community College who plan to pursue a bachelor's degree at the University of Northern Iowa can now sign up for the Admissions Partnership Program to streamline the transfer process.

UNI President Ben Allen and ICCC President Dan Kinney signed the Admissions Partnership Program agreement Friday, June 11.

'UNI has a long history of working with Iowa's community colleges, which play an important role in providing higher education to Iowans,' Allen said. 'This new connection to Iowa Central Community College gives students a direct link to UNI from the day they sign up for the Admissions Partnership Program, and we believe it will make earning a bachelor's degree a reality for more and more Iowans.'

Through the program, ICCC students who plan to pursue bachelor's degrees at UNI will receive special benefits to help pave the way for academic success at both schools. Students accepted into the program while enrolled at ICCC benefit from:

-Guaranteed admission to UNI, provided all requirements are met.

-Timely progress toward graduation. With the exception of some UNI programs, participation enables students who stay on track to begin at ICCC and graduate from UNI in a total of eight semesters.

-Option to lock-in bachelor's degree requirements with the same status as a student who enrolls directly at UNI as an entering freshman.

-Academic advising at both ICCC and UNI from the point of acceptance into the Admissions Partnership Program.

-Early orientation and scheduling for the first semester at UNI.

-Guaranteed placement in UNI housing, provided the student complies with established residence policies and application procedures and deadlines.

-Access to UNI campus and student resources.

-Receipt of updated UNI materials and information about campus events and opportunities.

-Updated ICCC transcripts automatically sent to UNI at the end of each semester.

Students who want to be a part of the ICCC-UNI Admissions Partnership Program must enroll at ICCC as a degree-seeking student in a program appropriate for the transfer and then apply to the program. Once accepted into the Admissions Partnership Program, the student will meet with an ICCC adviser/counselor each semester to select course work that meets UNI's transfer requirements and consult with a UNI adviser each semester prior to transfer. In addition to one-on-one work with Admissions Partnership Program students, UNI will collaborate with ICCC to provide career exploration programs to undecided students, provide a transfer plan to allow for maximum applicability of coursework to the student's designated degree program, and provide opportunities for participating students to take part in a number of activities and services at no charge.

May 24, 2010

Dwight Watson named UNI dean of the college of education

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Dwight C. Watson has been named dean of the College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa. Watson will assume his new duties at UNI on July 1. The appointment is contingent upon approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, at its June meeting.

'Dr. Watson brings a strong background in academic leadership, and a strong commitment to education leadership and outreach in early childhood education through collegiate education systems,' said Gloria Gibson, executive vice president and provost at UNI. 'I look forward to working with him to elevate UNI's educator-preparation programs at the state and national level and in partnering with the K-12 school systems to provide highly qualified educators.'

Watson is currently the associate dean of the Teacher Education Program, chair of the Department of Education Studies and professor in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Watson earned his Ed. D. in curriculum and instruction at North Carolina State University and his M.A. and B.A. degrees in elementary education from the University of South Carolina.

Prior to his current position, he was the chair of the Departments of Curriculum & Instruction and Foundations of Education in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He was also the interim director of the Center for Excellence in Urban Education at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minn. Watson taught elementary and middle grade students in North and South Carolina and won the Teacher of the Year Award for Wake County, N. C.

Other finalists for the position included Paul Theobald, Woods-Beals Endowed Chair in Urban and Rural Education and interim associate provost and dean of the Graduate School at Buffalo State College; Brad Colwell, associate dean for academic and student affairs, College of Education and Human Services and professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Higher Education at Southern Illinois University; and Jerry Thomas, dean, College of Education and professor of kinesiology, health promotion and recreation at the University of North Texas.

The new dean will replace Bill Callahan, who has served as dean since 2007.

April 28, 2010

UNI featured by The Princeton Review and U.S. Green Building Council in just-published 'Guide to 286 Green Colleges'

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is one of the country's most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review. The nationally known education services company selected UNI for inclusion in a unique resource it has created for college applicants -- 'The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges.'

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the 'Guide to 286 Green Colleges' is the first free comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education that have demonstrated an above-average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.

The guide is based on a survey of hundreds of colleges nationwide and profiles the nation's most environmentally responsible campuses. From solar panel study rooms to the percentage of budget spent on local/organic food, it looks at an institution's commitment to building certification using USGBC's LEED green building certification program; environmental literacy programs; formal sustainability committees; use of renewable energy resources; recycling and conservation programs, and much more.

The free guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide and www.usgbc.org/campus.

'Students and their parents are becoming more and more interested in learning about and attending colleges and universities that practice, teach and support environmental responsibility,' said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher, The Princeton Review. 'According to our recent College Hope & Worries Survey, 64 percent of college applicants and their parents said having information about a school's commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend it. We created this guide to help them evaluate how institutions like UNI focus on environmental responsibility so that they can make informed decisions as they move through the college assessment and application process.'

UNI joins the ranks of outstanding universities and colleges nationwide that are leading the 'green' movement through their own special programs and initiatives.

'Education and awareness of sustainability issues have been building for many years and in many capacities at UNI, including academics, facilities, outreach and programs and student involvement,' said UNI President Benjamin Allen. 'With the recent hiring of Eric O'Brien to serve as UNI's first university sustainability coordinator, I am confident our efforts will continue to grow and sustainability will become a key component in all university activities.'

The Princeton Review noted that another unique aspect of the guide is that it provides important information on schools that have dedicated environmental studies curriculums. 'By many accounts, there are going to be a lot of job opportunities related to the environment and sustainability,' Franek said. 'For those who are interested in working in this growing sector, the guide highlights the schools that are doing an especially good job in preparing and placing the next generation of green professionals.'

How the Schools Were Chosen:

The Princeton Review chose the 286 schools included in the Guide based on the 'Green Rating' scores the schools received in summer 2009 when The Princeton Review published Green Rating scores for 697 schools in its online college profiles and/or annual college guidebooks. The Princeton Review's Green Rating is a numerical score from 60 to 99 that's based on several data points. In 2008, The Princeton Review began collaborating with USGBC to help make the Green Rating survey questions as comprehensive and inclusive as possible. Of 697 schools that The Princeton Review gave Green Ratings to in 2009, the 286 schools in the Guide received scores in the 80th or higher percentile. The Princeton Review does not rank the schools in this book hierarchically (1 to 286) or in any of its books based on Green Rating scores.








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