Parent Newsletter August 2010

UNI I am a Panther Parent

Panther Parent is UNI's e-newsletter for parents and guardians. Panther Parent is sent three times per semester and features university events, deadlines and tips from the UNI Parents Association. 


We want to hear from you! Please let us know if there's information you need or topics you'd like to see addressed.


Move-in Day Starts 8 a.m., Friday, Aug. 20
How do you get more than 4,000 people into 10 residence halls in less than three days? Carefully. UNI prides itself on helping students and families make a hassle-free transition. See the Smooth Move website for a checklist and tips to help you help your student make a smooth move to UNI.
The Department of Residence office in Redeker Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 21, to answer questions about housing and dining and issue university ID cards.

Pardon Our Progress - Road and Sidewalk Construction Update

2010 is a summer of improvements to streets surrounding campus. Click here to view a construction map.

MAP-Works Helps Students Make an Effective Transition to College
Parents of new freshmen are encouraged to urge their students to take a survey between Sept. 13 and Oct. 2 called MAP-Works. MAP-Works is an exciting new tool to help students get off to a great start at the University of Northern Iowa.

Every new freshman is encouraged to take the MAP-Works® survey when it arrives as a link in their e-mail on Sept. 13. The survey will ask students about academic and social integration to the campus, entering skills and abilities and expectations of their college experience. About a week after completing the 20-minute survey, each student will receive their personalized report, providing them with insights about how they're doing-in relation to other freshmen-in managing their life, succeeding in the classroom and other success-related areas.

The information also will be confidentially available to their residence life coordinator, if they live on campus. If they live off campus, it will be confidentially available to a member of the Academic Learning Center staff. These staff members can help guide students toward resources that can assist them in making progress toward a successful freshman year at UNI.

There will be drawings for prizes for all who complete the survey. Prizes include 10 $50 gift cards from University Book and Supply; names will be drawn from those who take the survey on Sept. 13, the first day. The grand prize, randomly drawn on Oct. 2, is spring semester room and board OR a $500 gift card to University Book and Supply (the student can choose one or the other).

More information is available at

UNI Initiates Use of Online Sexual Assault Prevention Program for new students
UNI is committed to promoting a safe, welcoming and inclusive campus environment. Student SuccessTM Unless There's Consent is an online course designed to help students protect themselves and each other from sexual assault, harassment, stalking and dating violence and give students a better understanding of the types of behavior that constitute sexual misconduct.

New students received information on how to complete the course after attending orientation this summer. Student SuccessTM is required of all new students entering UNI this fall and takes less than two hours to complete. Questions about the course may be directed to Mark Rowe, Violence Intervention Services, 319-273-3423 or

New Look for UNI Home Page
If you haven't visited the university home page in awhile, check out its new look. An e-magazine, "This is UNI," debuted at the end of spring semester. This venue shows what's happening at UNI through stories and images.

Summer Flooding
UNI is contacting all new and current students to offer support to those who may have been affected as a result of recent flooding and other weather related damage in Iowa. More information can be found on the Dean of Students' site.

Visit UNI at the Iowa State Fair
If you make it to the State Fair this month, stop and check out UNI's booth inside the air-conditioned Varied Industries Building. Pick up football posters, get your picture taken next to a larger-than-life backdrop of Ali Farohkmanesh sinking one of his devastating three-point shots or with a life-size cutout of seven-foot-tall Jordan Egelseder. You can also get a glimpse of UNI's new public relations and marketing efforts.

Financial Aid Refund Checks
UNI requires that all excess financial aid refunds and all other credit balances from your student's university bill be electronically deposited to the financial institution of your student's choice. This effort is to provide faster refunds, reduce mailing errors and lower costs. For prompt processing of your student's refund, they must sign into MyUNIverse and go to the Finances Tab and select Direct Deposit Sign-up. Your student will need to provide their account information into the secure site to expedite all future refunds.

If checks are issued, students are responsible for picking them up at the Office of Business Operations at 103 Gilchrist Hall. Checks will be held for up to 21 days before they are mailed to your students local address. Co-payable Parent PLUS loans are not eligible for direct deposit. Contact the Office of Business Operations at 319-273-2162 or for special instructions.


College of Education
UNI places more than 500 student teachers in 40 to 60 Iowa counties; that translates into 500 new teachers every year. More than 2,400 take part in other field experiences each year.

College of Business Administration
The UNI College of Business Administration is accredited by AACSB International, a distinction earned by fewer than 5 percent of business schools worldwide.

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
The Department of English Language and Literature (in partnership with the College of Education) educates and prepares more English/Language Arts teachers than any other institution in the state of Iowa.

College of Natural Sciences
The College is now offering five professional science master's degrees, a new type of degree for students interested in nonacademic careers, in applied physics, industrial mathematics (quality control or modeling), ecosystem management, biotechnology and applied chemistry and biochemistry. No other college or university in Iowa is offering this degree.

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
All CSBS departments have courses with required research components allowing students to experience primary and field research techniques first hand.


Click here to see all the Welcome Week activities
Click here for a complete list of UNI events.

Key dates
Aug. 23 - Classes begin
Sept. 6 - Labor Day, university holiday
Oct. 2 - Family weekend
Oct. 23 - Homecoming
Nov. 20-28 - Thanksgiving break
Dec. 13-17 - Finals week
Dec. 18 - Commencement
Jan. 10 - Spring semester begins

UNI Community Visit Days
Community visit days allow President Benjamin Allen and university faculty, staff and students to visit with Iowans about education and economic issues in their community. The visits also provide an opportunity for communities to learn about the university's academic, economic, cultural and social programs and outreach to the state. 

Visits scheduled this fall:
Sept. 23 - Quad Cities
Oct. 14 - Sioux City
Nov. 16 - Waukee/West Des Moines


Academic Help for Students 
UNI's Academic Learning Center offers a variety of services: free courses in speed reading, effective study strategies, free tutoring and help with preparing for examinations. The Academic Learning Center is located in
007 ITTC (Innovative Teaching & Technology Center). In addition, the center offers help via its writing center and math center. 

Academic Advising offers students help with choosing or changing a major, exploring minors and offers advice on academic requirements, policies and procedures.

Resume Week
Students can have their resumes critiqued the week before the Career Fair from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sept. 13-17, at a table in Maucker Union by Chats.

Fall Career Fair - Sept. 20
More than 160 organizations, graduate and professional schools will be on hand from 2 to 6 p.m. in the McLeod Center to visit with students and alumni about career opportunities, internships and continuing education. All majors, freshmen through seniors, graduate students and alumni are welcome.

Counseling Services
The Counseling Center provides a variety of services to UNI students. Counseling services are confidential and provided free of charge to students who have paid the Student Health Fee. There may be a fee charged if any tests are administered.

Crime Prevention Safety Tips
UNI prides itself on being a safe campus, but students should follow basic safety precautions. The Department of Public Safety offers escorts to the UNI community 24/7. To request an escort, students should call 319-273-2712. Ten emergency phones are located across campus for use in emergencies. UNI Public Safety officers respond to emergency phone calls. Click here for a host of safety tips and services.

How do Students Know What's Going on at UNI?
MyUNIverse News is the official source of university information for students. It's sent directly to students every Monday during the academic year via e-mail. Please encourage your student to read MyUNIverse News.

MyUNI Weekend is a weekly digest of weekend entertainment and activities on campus and in the local community. It's distributed to students via e-mail every Thursday morning during the academic year.

A Response to "There's nothing to do."
UNI fields 17 NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletic teams and the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center hosts 350 performances each year. The UNI u-Card (student I.D. card) gives full-time students free admission to all Panther regular-season home games and a 50-percent discount on adult tickets for the Artist Series at the Gallagher-Bluedorn.

$5 Rush Tickets Available for Many GBPAC Shows
For many GBPAC shows, $5 student rush tickets may be available on the day of the show. Students can sign up online to receive an e-mail notification when rush tickets are available. Notifications will generally be sent the day prior to the show.

Link to Student Activities/Organizations
Click here to learn about student organizations at UNI



About UNI
A handy website for parents to quickly find UNI information is the "About UNI" page. You'll find links to the Cedar Falls/Waterloo community, campus maps, University Book & Supply, facility hours and more. 

Parents and Grandparents-Sign up for Lifelong University

For the past five years, UNI's Lifelong University Program has been serving Iowans of all ages. The program, geared toward the lifelong learner, offers non-credit courses about interesting topics. The courses take place on the UNI campus and are taught by UNI faculty and staff. Costs range from $20 to $40, which covers parking passes and course handouts. Click here to see this fall's program.

UNI Speakers Bureau
UNI has many talented faculty, staff and students who are willing to share their expertise with you. UNI's Speakers Bureau is a great resource for community organizations, businesses and industries looking for speakers at meetings, summits, conferences and more. More than 200 topics range from a healthy environment, renewable energy sources, economy, business ethics, crisis communications, high school reform, world religions, presidential elections, work-life balance, motivation and more.


Letting go
Sending your student to college is a transition time for the whole family; expect some bumps along the way. Here are some quick tips from the UNI Parents Association to help you through.

  1. Get to know UNI and the resources we have - so if your student calls worried about a challenging class, you can suggest contacting Academic Advising for help. 
  2. Let them be in charge of themselves - college is only one step away from the real world. Now is the time to encourage self-sufficiency - make their own oil change appointments, do their own laundry, handle their own finances, etc.
  3. Support them, but don't do it for them. Issues will come up throughout the year, from roommate disagreements to sickness to registration problems. As tempting as it may be to call and handle things yourself, this is a crucial time to step back and let them deal with it. Encourage and support them to use the various resources UNI has in place to help students with issues

How to Get Your Student's Name in the Local Paper

To ensure your student's name is included in UNI hometown news releases such as dean's lists and graduation lists, ask your student to check his or her personal records via MyUNIverse. They should click on the "Privacy" tab to make sure they haven't inadvertently restricted their directory information.

All parents/guardians of UNI students are automatically members of the parents association, which works as an advocacy group. Benefits include e-newsletters each semester and a parents' booth at orientation. Contact Jon Buse, UNIPA liaison at 319-273-2897, or with questions. The parents association also supports the Parents Fund, which supports student scholarships and activities on campus.

Get Involved - Join UNIPA Advisory Board
The UNI Parents Association advisory board is an advocacy group for UNI students and their parents. Members get the opportunity to share their opinions and insight with UNI staff and faculty. It's a great opportunity to hear and be heard. Learn more on the UNIPA website.

UNI Parents Association
118 Gilchrist
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614
(319) 273-2897