Welcome to Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
The University of Northern Iowa is nationally recognized for the high quality educational opportunities provided to students. The goal of the provost's office is to help provide the highest quality learning environments and to encourage engagement with various communities across the State of Iowa, throughout the country and around the world. Through teaching, scholarship, creative activity and outreach, our outstanding faculty and staff strive to achieve excellence in everything we do.
As the fall semester begins, and the energy and enthusiasm on the campus returns, I want to welcome all of you back to a glorious start of the 2015-2016 academic year. In some way, each of us individually and all of us collectively are called to this work of teaching, which is, at its heart, centrally about creating opportunities for students to learn.
I have had the chance today to talk with students as they scurry from one class to the next or sit on the lawn studying. They are excited to be here, and for them we must model the type of community that we want to see in the classroom—a community of curiosity and inquiry, of high expectations filled with a desire to learn and grow and become, of respect and deep listening.
In this challenging time in higher education, with new pressures arising almost daily, we must remember that what we do matters. It matters to the individuals who pass through our hallways, and classrooms, and residence halls, for we provide them with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to become thriving professionals in a dynamic world.
It matters also to the communities we serve—local, state, national, and even international communities. We must provide opportunities for students to become active and engaged citizens, to do the work of making our communities better places to live and work.
Finally, we must also remember that it matters to the individuals who join us on this journey as they try to find their way in the world, to find work that can become a vocation and to find a way to create a life full of meaning and purpose. In the end, this aspect of our work is often the least celebrated, the least noticed, rarely assessed, but always the most important.
The challenge I offer the faculty and staff at the University of Northern Iowa over the coming years is to work towards elevating the incredible level of engagement we have with our students, to create an intentional plan for that engagement so that students do not accidentally become involved in applying their learning outside the classroom but that it becomes simply a measure of what they do. How can we think about all the high impact practices that we offer—first year only courses, internships, service learning and civic engagement, undergraduate research, collaborative projects, learning communities, engagement with diversity and sustainability—in a way that creates a developmental model for our students, connected to our curriculum?
I hope you will attend the Fall Faculty Meeting to hear more about my goals for the year, and I would strongly encourage you to attend one of the Academic Master Plan Open Forums where we will collectively develop a Vision and Mission for Academic Affairs. We will use the Vision, Mission, and Strategic Plan that we develop to guide our programmatic and budgetary decisions as we move forward, so it is essential that you attend and participate.
This is an exciting time in Higher Education, and an even more exciting time at the University of Northern Iowa for I believe that here we can together create a vision for a 21st century education and put that vision into practice. I look forward to getting to know all of you, of working together with you to elevate our vibrant and rich, innovative and transformative learning community.
Awe & Wonder,
Professional Development Assignments Propel UNI's Contributions to Scholarship and Iowa
Every fall, a committee comprised of one faculty representative each from CBA, COE, and CSBS, and two representatives from CHAS, evaluates applications for Professional Development Assignments (PDA). A PDA provides full regular salary for one semester or half-salary for an academic year.
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