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UNI receives $2 million grant from Carver Charitable Trust to lead educational research and development

April 26, 2013
Contact: 

Gloria Gibson, UNI executive vice president and provost, 319-273-2517, gloria.gibson@uni.edu

Dwight Watson, dean, UNI College of Education, 319-273-2717, dwight.watson@uni.edu

Lynne Sasmazer, Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, lsasmazer@carvertrust.org

Stacey Christensen, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728, stacey.christensen@uni.edu

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa has received a $2 million grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust to create a new center for educational research and development.

The creation of this new Center for Educational Transformation will enable UNI to provide statewide and national leadership in the area of educational research and development. Funds will be used to support faculty and student research.

Gloria Gibson, UNI executive president and provost, said, "We are grateful to the Carver Trust for helping UNI continue its legacy of educational research and development. Shaping pre-K through 12 education in Iowa dates back to UNI's origins as Iowa State Teachers College. As an institution, this rich tradition and focus on improving the educational experience of all Iowa children is one that will remain a focal area of our institution for generations to come."

The center's mission is to transform education in Iowa and the nation through collaborative research, dynamic practice, policy advocacy and sustainable innovation.

Overarching goals for the center revolve around four key areas: research, practice, policy and innovation. Research activities will be a blend of both long-term solutions and opportunities to quickly address an issue and disseminate best practices across the state. These goals connect directly with the State of Iowa's legislative intent for educational research and development.

Roughly 25 percent of Iowa's educators and 33 percent of school administrators come from UNI. More than 12,000 alumni educators live in Iowa and 500 new teachers graduate each year. Annually, around 3,500 in-service educators connect with UNI for professional development and continuing education.  Another 400 in-service educators are enrolled in UNI graduate programs via distance education. This existing network and wealth of knowledge will enable the center to provide transformational leadership for Iowa's learners, educators and systems.

"We are thrilled to receive this funding from the Carver Trust," said Dwight Watson, dean of the College of Education. "We look forward to collaborating with educators across the state to conduct research and to the opportunities this center will provide our pre-professional educators."  

The Center for Educational Transformation will be housed on the UNI campus and will commence summer 2013.