February Board of Regents, State of Iowa Meeting

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dear UNI Family,

Just one year ago I was announced as your 10th president. Judy and I have enjoyed the support from each of you this past year. We look forward to and are very excited for the future of UNI! To keep you informed of campus updates, the following is a brief summary of the Feb. 6 Board of Regents meeting:

We highlighted receiving a $539,000 grant to pilot a yearlong student teaching program from August 2014 to May 2015 for 30 students

Our student teachers will fully immerse themselves into host schools (Waterloo, Hudson and Linn-Mar) by carrying out daily classroom instruction, attending university coursework taught onsite, participating in professional development trainings, joining parent teacher conferences and other activities completed every day by teachers. The student teachers and their host teachers will co-teach, with the students doing more observation early in the program and transitioning to more of a lead teaching role as they gain experience. Congratulations to dean Dwight C. Watson, education coordinators J.D. Cryer and Chad Christopher, and their team for receiving this grant.

UNI mobile app released

UNI’s mobile app is now available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Android phones and other phones, such as Windows phones and Blackberry, via mobile web. MyUNI, which includes a custom-designed user interface, is a great way for our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community to interact with UNI’s campus.

New UNI app aims to help treat speech disorder

The Name That! app, developed by a team led by Angela Burda, professor of speech-language pathology, and Stephen Hughes, program assistant in the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC), at the AppsLab in UNI's JPEC, aims to supplement traditional treatment used by speech-language pathologists to treat aphasia, a language disorder that inhibits speech and language comprehension. The Name That! app is currently available for Apple devices in the App Store and for Android devices in Google Play.

UNI Society of Physics earns Outstanding Chapter Award

Our chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) was selected to receive the Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Office. The chapter is recognized for its excellence as a top-tier, student-led physics club. This is a designation given to less than 10 percent of all SPS chapters in the U.S. The SPS chapter is advised by Tim Kidd, associate professor of physics, and is led by student officers, including Darian Everding, president; Courtney Keiser, vice president; Noah Hurley, secretary; Josh Frost, treasurer; and several other outstanding students.

More than 170 UNI students volunteered at the MLK Day of Service

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, more than 170 students volunteered their time to package 25,272 meals for the Iowa Food Bank. We commend our students for their exemplary volunteerism efforts.

Sixth annual Diversity Town Hall Meeting held Jan. 22

UNI's Diversity Council hosted guest lecturer Regina Dixon-Reeves, faculty diversity and development specialist at the University of Chicago. Dixon-Reeves spoke on the role of diversity and inclusion programs, initiatives and strategic planning for faculty development programs. Eight of our outstanding faculty, staff and students were also awarded the Diversity Matters Award.

UNI selected as military friendly by Military Advanced Education magazine

Once again, UNI was selected as a Military Friendly University in Military Advanced Education's (MAE) 2014 Guide to Military Friendly Colleges & Universities. Some of the criteria used in the evaluation for inclusion in the guide are flexibility of online learning options, extent of transfer credits accepted by degree level, on-campus ROTC program, on-campus active duty/veteran assistance and the support provided to the families of service members. If you have not done so already, be sure to visit our Military and Veteran Student Service Center located in the upper level of Maucker Union.

Two UNI students named to Academic All-American Teams

Two UNI volleyball players, Shelby Kinzel, a senior from Mt. Vernon, and Macy Ubben, a senior from Ackley, were named to NCAA Academic All-American teams. Kinzel was named to the 1st Academic All-American team and Ubben was named to the 2nd Academic All-American team. We were the only Division I volleyball program in the United States to have two students in the top two teams.

Presentation to the Education and Student Affairs Committee

Professor Annette Lynch and Alan Heisterkamp, director of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Institute, presented "Building Capacity and Infusing Gender Violence Prevention and Bystander Education Strategies on Campus and Around the State of Iowa." The presentation highlighted work being completed in our Center for Violence Prevention.

Presentations to the entire Board included:

Randy Pilkington, executive director of UNI's Business & Community Services, and Dan Beenken, director of UNI's Small Business Development Center, presented an economic development presentation, "Advance Iowa: Supporting Growth Companies in Iowa." This program provides economic gardening services to second-stage growth companies across Iowa.

Marty Wartick, Halverson Professor of Accounting, and alumnus Brian White, B.S. and M.S. in accounting and now employed with John Deere Insurance Company in Johnston, Iowa, presented "Accounting: A Culture of Achievement." They highlighted the hallmarks of our accounting program, including our excellent CPA exam pass rate, career opportunities for graduates, and the outstanding support our accounting graduates continue to provide their alma mater, such as financial support for five faculty fellowships. 

If you have any questions regarding the Board of Regents meeting, please let me know. Thank you for all you do to support this great university, and remember to show your support at UNI Day at the Statehouse on Monday, Feb. 24!

Purple for Life!

Bill Ruud