October Board of Regents Update

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dear UNI Family,

I wanted to provide a brief update on a few October events, including the Oct. 24 Board of Regents meeting. The month started with a lecture from renowned historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin, who spoke on “Team of Rivals: The Leadership Lessons from Abraham Lincoln” on Oct. 2. This was the fifth distinguished and prominent individual we have been fortunate to host on campus through the Joy Cole Corning Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series.

We celebrated the grand reopening of Redeker Center and the dedication of Panther Village Apartments Phase II on Oct. 9. It was truly enjoyable to have Stan and Maxine Redeker on campus for the special event.

Homecoming week was filled with many student activities, and it was great to meet with our Foundation Board of Trustees and Alumni Association Board of Directors; both groups are led by some of our most passionate and dedicated alumni and friends. On Oct. 18, the Ethics in Organizations Symposium provided an excellent opportunity for individuals from various disciplines to share and discuss views about ethical best practices.

The Tenth Anniversary Celebration of our Health, Physical Education & Leisure Services Hall of Excellence awards also took place on Oct. 18. These awards recognized several meritorious graduates who have contributed significantly to their profession and have demonstrated notable scholarly activity.

The following is a brief summary of the Oct. 24 Board of Regents meeting actions:

Received approval of our Center for Educational Transformation that will be located in Schindler Education Center. The center will redefine the face of educational research in Iowa and beyond. It will be embedded in the Iowa educational landscape with partners “reaching in” to access the center’s expertise. The center will “reach out” to promote best practices from research results.

Reviewed the proposed 2014-15 Tuition and Fees. We proposed no increase in undergraduate resident tuition and a $64 increase in mandatory student fees. Our total base tuition and mandatory fees would still be the lowest of the three Regent universities. The proposal will be reviewed again at the Dec. 4 Board of Regents meeting, and if approved, this would be the first time since 1975 that we would have a resident undergraduate tuition freeze for two consecutive years.

Randy Pilkington provided an update on the Economic Development Technology Transfer Report. Some highlights included:

  • UNI provided service in all 99 counties to nearly 1,273 business, community and local- government clients.

  • We leveraged each $1 invested by the state with $5 in private grants, fees or federal funding.

  • Our incubator/accelerator programs and MyEntre.Net helped start or expand 221 business ventures, creating 430 FTE jobs.

A few of our recent accomplishments shared with the Board included:

Sean Botkin, one of our School of Music’s outstanding faculty pianists, was invited to perform in Rome on Oct. 10 at the prestigious Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, one of the oldest musical institutions in the world.

For the eighth consecutive year, The Princeton Review selected our College of Business Administration as an outstanding business school. We are featured in the New York-based education services company’s 2014 edition of "The Best 295 Business Schools," published just this month.

We will launch a university mobile application in January. This new Blackboard Mosaic platform will provide students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends with quick and easy access to university information from mobile devices. The app will be available through iTunes and all of the major online app stores.

The Redeker project added 250 much-needed seats to the Piazza Dining Center. We also created computer lab, study and meeting space for students, and we expanded retail services.

Phase II of Panther Village opened on time, on budget and fully occupied, providing the campus with an additional 246 beds for juniors and seniors in apartment-style rooms.

UNI is now a Blue Zones Certified work place. We met strict criteria in nine validation areas to receive this designation. Our existing practices and policies demonstrate we support a healthy, productive and inclusive working environment.

If you have any questions regarding the Board of Regent meetings or events to occur yet this semester, please let me know. Thank you for all you do to support this great university.

Purple for Life!

Bill Ruud