Parent Newsletter December 2009

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.


Message from President Allen to Students about Tuition Surcharge
In challenging economic times, our entire campus community feels the impact. However the university will continue to commit to doing everything we can to place our students first by maintaining academic quality, progress to graduation, student financial aid, and campus safety and security.

The 10-percent across-the-board state appropriation reduction announced in October challenged the university's budget further.  And now, the state's public universities must ask students - along with faculty and staff - for their support in meeting this new and unprecedented budget demand.

Approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa today was a one-time tuition surcharge of $100 for the spring 2010 semester at the University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Iowa. This surcharge will generate $1 million for UNI, which amounts to approximately 11 percent of our $8.8 million budget cut. We recognize the financial challenges facing our students, and the decision to implement the surcharge was only finalized after much consideration to the extra demand this places on students. We are committed to directing this revenue solely to instruction, financial aid and student-service support, areas that directly benefit our students and support the sustainability of a quality-learning environment.

Tuition for the coming academic year will be decided at the Feb. 4 Board of Regents meeting. Fiscal 2011 will be a challenging year for the university's budget. I will keep you informed about the outcome of the tuition decision.

As you continue preparations for finals week, the university community wishes you much success in your studies and exams.

Thank you for your understanding in these challenging times.

Ben Allen


UNI Student Health Clinic to Distribute 1,500 Free H1N1 Flu Vaccinations
One thousand five hundred doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine have been made available to UNI students, faculty and staff age 24 and younger and students of all ages with chronic health conditions. The free H1N1 vaccinations will be distributed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 11, in the lower level of the Commons on a first-come, first-served basis. UNI students, faculty and staff seeking vaccination must bring their UNI identification card with them. Additional H1N1 vaccination clinics will be scheduled as supplies become available. Visit for more information about flu prevention.


Dalai Lama Event Tickets Go on Sale Jan. 8

Tickets for May 18 events in McLeod Center with the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet will go on sale Friday, Jan. 8. Tickets cost $15 for the 9:30 a.m. panel discussion with the Dalai Lama, "Educating for a Non-violent World," and $50, $25 or $15 for the Dalai Lama's 2 p.m. keynote address, "The Power of Education." ($2-per-ticket handling charge applies.)

All seating is reserved. A limited number of tickets are available at no charge to UNI students. When UNI students reserve their ticket, they will receive a voucher that must be redeemed for tickets April 19-23. Remaining student seats will go on sale to the public after April 23. UNI students must show a valid student ID with their ticket the day of the event. Tickets and student vouchers will be available starting Jan. 8 at all UNItix locations, by phone at (319) 273-4TIX (4849), or online at


Time to Reapply for Financial Aid
Students must reapply for financial aid each academic year. Students are encouraged to complete forms as soon as possible after Jan. 1. To reapply, visit Contact the UNI Financial Aid Office at 800-772-2736 or 319-273-2700 with any questions.


Severe Weather Announcements
Announcements regarding cancellation of classes and/or reduced university operations are made via UNI Alert, local radio and TV stations and the UNI home page ( The local TV stations also list closings and delays on their Web sites. See for more information.


Spring Refund Checks
Effective Dec. 15, UNI will require that all excess financial aid refunds and all other credit balances from your student's u-bill will be electronically deposited to the financial institution of your student's choice. For prompt processing of your student's refund, they must sign into *MyUNIverse* and click on the *Non-Payroll Direct Deposit* link under *My Personal Records*. They will need to provide their account information into the secure site to expedite all future refunds. If students do not provide their financial institution information, there will be a delay in receiving their refunds. No refund checks will be mailed to students. If a check is issued, students will need to pick them up from the Office of Business Operations. If your student is receiving a Parent PLUS loan, their direct deposit may be impacted differently. Contact the Office of Business Operations at (319) 273-2162 or for special instructions.


New Online Resource to Improve Small-Business Access to Capital
UNI has introduced a new online resource to improve small business access to capital at Iowa's Online Community for Small Business and Entrepreneurs at The new money resource at dovetails with a statewide effort to serve 10,000 Iowa small business owners online by the end of 2010.

The new Iowa Money Map offers small business owners and entrepreneur's access to more than 800 different grants, loans and equity investment programs available in the state of Iowa to support business start up and expansion.  The money map includes a unique click through county map of Iowa coupled with a searchable listing of public programs easily sorted into grants, loans, equity investments and other incentives. 


Community Visit Day Impact
UNI's Community Visit Days in Council Bluffs, the Cedar Valley, Ankeny and Cedar Rapids resulted in contact with more than 300 business, education, legislative and community leaders; visits with 42 prospective students and parents; one Admissions Partnership Program signing; interviews with 15 news reporters and editors; appointments with nearly 20 donors and friends of the university; and four community service projects with the UNI Alumni Association collecting nearly 220 pounds of non-perishable food items for local food banks.



College of Education:
UNI's Department of Special Education places nearly 100 percent of its graduates in jobs.

Since 1994, more than 1,500 student teachers have participated in the out-of-state or international student teaching (OOSI) program.

UNI received a nearly $1 million congressionally directed appropriation from NASA for the Center for Early Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CEESTEM) to be housed in the College of Education.

Eighteen recipients of the Iowa School Administrator of the Year award received their administrative preparation from UNI.

UNI's counseling programs have a 100 percent pass rate on the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) used in 265 colleges and universities. (81 percent scored above the national mean).


College of Social & Behavioral Sciences:
The departments in College of Social & Behavioral Sciences are dedicated to providing students with hands-on experiential learning opportunities that also contribute to the community. During the past academic year, students in CSBS spent more than 97,000 hours in the community through internships and service-learning projects.

CSBS offers unique four-year undergraduate majors not offered anywhere else in the state, including criminology, gerontology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and public administration. The M.A. in Women's and Gender Studies and the M.A. in criminology are unique to UNI. The social work department also graduates the highest number of social workers in the state.

The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences is first in the number of study abroad programs offered on campus, and second in number of students participating. Almost one third of CSBS faculty are engaged in internationally focused research.



For a complete list of UNI events, see
 Key dates:
Dec. 14 - 18 - finals week
Dec. 19 - Commencement
Jan. 11 - spring semester begins
Jan. 18, university holiday (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Feb. 22, spring career fair
March 12, spring break begins
March 22, instruction resumes
May 3, finals week begins
May 7, semester ends
May 8, Commencement, UNI-Dome


Hugs from home
If you'd like to help your student get through finals week, visit the Panther Pantry, and send them a care package. The Panther Pantry, an online shopping option for UNI gifts, is sponsored by UNI Department of Residence. For more information, visit



Tutoring Can Help Get Students Up to Speed

Not everyone masters every subject right away. If your son or daughter needs help with a class, suggest UNI's ASK-A-TUTOR service. UNI has free tutors (peer instructors) for many Liberal Arts Core and major courses. Students can call Academic Services at (319) 273-6023, to find out if there's a tutor for their course, or visit


Spring Career Fair Set

The Spring Career Fair will be held on Monday, Feb. 22 in the McLeod Center, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  All employers seek experience in their new hires.  In this uncertain economy, student should take every opportunity to network with employers for internship and job opportunities.  Check the list of employers participating at /careerservices/.

Rod Library Help Via Text Message

Text (319) 242-1508 to ask questions about library resources and services. Text messages will be received at the Rod Library reference desk and answered during regular hours. To learn about other ways to ask questions, visit

I-Teach Seminar:

A Tuition-Free Way for Students to Learn about Teaching Math and Science

What parent doesn't like to hear the words "free tuition" when it comes to their child’s education? Through the I-Teach Mathematics and Science Teacher Recruitment program UNI freshmen and sophomores learn about what a career in teaching mathematics and science is like before committing countless hours and tuition dollars.

An exploratory course requiring no outside homework, this 1-credit seminar class gives students perspective into the life of an educator via guest speakers in education and by shadowing mathematics or science teachers in the field.  Once a student has completed the class, students have a chance to compete for scholarships and internships teaching children in museums, nature centers, the Boys & Girls Club and other after-school programs. For more information about I-Teach, contact or call (319) 273-2959.

UNI Speakers Bureau
UNI's Speakers Bureau contains more than 200 presentations available to community and civic organizations, schools, businesses and industries.  If you are looking for a speaker for an upcoming meeting, visit /speakers/. Be sure to look at the 2009-10 UNI Featured Speakers series for additional speakers.

Parent Association Scholarships
The UNI Parent Association has provided financial support to more than one hundred UNI students through a scholarship they established more than 25 years ago. The generosity of this group of parents continues to make an impact on today's students. For more information about the scholarship or to support it financially, please contact the UNI Foundation at 800-782-9522.

Imagine the Impact YOU can make!
The UNI Parent Annual Fund provides the resources UNI needs to help its students acquire scholarships, internships, and other learning opportunities. Please give when a student calls you.

Get involved -- join UNIPA
The UNI Parents Association 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 Web <> site.



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.