Parent Newsletter February 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. 


President Allen Announces First Round of Reorganization Plans
Pending Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approval, President Ben Allen intends to reduce the number of the university's administrative divisions from four to three. Provost Gloria Gibson has recommended combining UNI's Colleges of Humanities & Fine Arts (CHFA) and Natural Sciences (CNS). Students enrolled in programs in the two existing colleges will be able to continue course work toward their degrees. For the full statement, visit

Budget Messages from President Allen
To see the latest messages on the state of the university's budget, visit the president's Web site at

Update on University Response to Bias Incidents
Several bias incidents were reported by students in November 2009 including an assault, shouting of racial slurs and two incidents of graffiti. The university does not take this lightly and has begun significant efforts to communicate the concerns to campus and to engage key constituencies in a response. A detailed update on the university's response is now available on the Dean of Students Web site at

"Diversity Matters" at UNI
Inaugural Diversity Matters Award recipients announced at annual town hall

UNI draws the vast majority of its students from within the state. Yet among the 13,000-member student body, another 45 states and 70 countries are represented. Campus organizations encompass a variety of ethnicities, religions and lifestyles, and 11 percent of UNI's resident assistants are ethnic minorities.  

Diversity, in all its forms, is valued at UNI.

"Appreciation of diversity is an essential component of an excellent education," said UNI President Benjamin Allen in a statement to campus at the start of the fall 2009 semester. "Because our graduates carry into society the knowledge and values they learn or refine while with us, it is essential that we make continuous and substantive progress on our institutional priority to value, promote and teach about diversity."

UNI's Diversity Council, with input and feedback from the Diversity Advisory Committee, the College Diversity Councils and the campus community at large, has been busy this past year building the foundation of the university's sustainable commitment to diversity.

Text Book Tax Credit
Students who save course materials' receipts may be eligible for a tax credit up to $2,500. The economic stimulus package signed into law by President Obama in February 2009 makes the cost of college textbooks and course materials eligible for tax credits. This provision makes these academic tools more affordable for students and their families. For more information, visit

Free H1N1 Flu Vaccinations
The UNI Student Health Clinic still has free H1H1 vaccinations available for students. Have your student call (319) 273-2009 to make a vaccination appointment. Visit for more information about flu prevention.

2010-2011 FAFSA:
It's time to complete the 2010-2011 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be completed at and families can use estimated information if taxes have yet to be completed. A four-digit Personalized Identification Number (PIN) will be needed for both students and their parents (if a dependent student). If you have forgotten your PIN, please visit to retrieve a duplicate PIN. Contact the UNI Office of Student Financial Aid (105 Gilchrist Hall,, (319) 273-2700) if you have any questions or would like assistance in completing the FAFSA.

Become a Fan of UNI
Join UNI's official Facebook page at Become a fan and receive updates and information about UNI and engage in an exchange with other UNI devotees. You also can follow UNI on Twitter at

News from Career Services
Below are some encouraging numbers for UNI students graduating in May.
Four out of five UNI students had jobs within 90 days of graduation
84 percent of  UNI graduates found jobs in Iowa (a 6 percent increase over 2008)
588 Iowa employers are connected with UNI students and campus for hiring, training or collaborating
UNI is the only state school with a single point of contact to connect with all students on campus for jobs and internships

Impact to Iowa's Counties
University Marketing & Public Relations has completed a "UNI Impact to Iowa's 99 Counties" brochure, highlighting UNI's involvement in education and business, and its economic, social and cultural contributions in Iowa. For more information about UNI's half-a-billion dollar impact on the state's economy and other impact data, visit the president's Web site and click on "UNI's Impact on Iowa." To request brochures, contact Stacey Christensen,

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.


Graduate College:
UNI's five Professional Science Master's (PSM) programs are the only PSM graduate programs in the state of Iowa. They include applied chemistry and biochemistry, biotechnology, ecosystem management, industrial mathematics and applied physics.

The UNI MBA program is listed in The Princeton Review 2010 edition of "Best 301 Business Schools." The MBA was first offered at UNI in 1975.


The campus calendar of events is full of interesting things happening this spring.  You'll find everything from a rock-climbing competition (Feb. 27) to Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson coming to McLeod Center, (March 25,) lectures about media bias, a traveling exhibit on coffee at the University Museum (hot link), as well as music concerts and guest appearances at the Gallagher-Bluedorn. In preparation for the visit of His Holiness the14th Dalai Lama of Tibet there are many affiliated events happening on campus and in the community. For a complete list of UNI events, see
Key dates:
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.


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 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, Feb. 22, in the McLeod Center. In this uncertain economy, student should take every opportunity to network with employers for internship and job opportunities.  Check the list of participating employers 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

MyUNIverse News
Students receive a weekly e-newsletter full of UNI news, notices about club meetings, scholarship opportunities, campus lectures, workshops, exhibitions and performing arts.  Parents can access the e-newsletter by visiting its archive at


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 Web site.
UNI Parents Association
118 Gilchrist
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614
(319) 273- 2332