Looking ahead to a new academic year

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dear UNI family,

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable summer and that you're looking forward to a great fall semester. A new academic year brings a sense of renewal and excitement, and I look forward to experiencing the energy faculty, staff and students bring to campus.

To kick off the academic year, Judy and I invite all of you to stop by the President's House for light refreshments from 7:30 to 9 a.m., Friday, August 2nd or from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Monday, August. 5th. We will also host a faculty and staff welcome back picnic from 4:30 to 7 p.m., Thursday, August. 29th on the President's House lawn. These three events will give us an opportunity to meet even more members of the UNI family.

As the new academic year gets underway, there are several exciting university initiatives taking place that focus on faculty teaching and student learning:

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Center director Susan Hill, professor, philosophy and world religions, will promote opportunities for faculty to explore and enhance the practice of teaching and the culture of learning at UNI.

Library Technology Renovations. Technology upgrades in Rod Library include innovative learning spaces for faculty and students, including collaborative technology workspaces; desktops and laptops with multimedia creation and editing tools; flat-panel displays for laptop hookup; and recording/editing studios.

Living Learning Communities. New students majoring in elementary/early childhood education, music and business can live with and learn from other students with similar academic interests in a residence hall floor specifically designed for them. These communities will help students in the same areas of study build academic networks and facilitate their transition to a robust collegiate learning environment.

Another important initiative is to reengage the more than 65,000 UNI alumni living in Iowa. That number equates to 62 percent of our U.S. alumni. We will encourage them to share their experiences with prospective students and their parents. To begin this alumni reengagement process, I have met with numerous remarkable alumni in Minneapolis, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, and I look forward to meeting more this evening in Mason City.  

UNI is THE comprehensive university in Iowa serving Iowa students. I am excited to begin an academic year filled with opportunities for learning, discovery and engagement with each of you.

Purple for Life!

Bill Ruud
President