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Effective Governance by the State Board of Regents

The State Board of Education (now called Board of Regents, State of Iowa) was created in 1909 to govern and coordinate the state institutions under its jurisdiction. As specified in Chapter 262 of the Code of Iowa, the Board of Regents is the governing body for the University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Iowa, The Iowa Braille and Sight-Saving School, and The State School for the Deaf.

The Governor appoints the nine members of the board for six-year terms, with confirmation by the Senate. There must be gender balance on the Board and no more than five members of the same political party. One member must be a full-time student enrolled at either the graduate or undergraduate level at one of the state universities. The Board convenes the representatives of the Central Administrative units of the Regent institutions monthly (though not always in January and August) at one of the Regent institutions. The proceedings of the Board's monthly meetings are formalized in the General Docket (a public document), which serves as the Board's agenda and chronicles the major issues. Meeting minutes serve as the official record of the actions of the Board.

The Board both governs and coordinates functions of the state institutions under its jurisdiction. Pursuant to this authority, it establishes the institution's mission, adopts long-range plans, makes educational policy, appoints presidents and other institutional officials, reviews and approves budgets for submission to the Governor and State General Assembly, establishes the annual operating budget and personnel policies, oversees the business operations of the University, reviews and approves academic programs, adjudicates disputes, and advocates for the Regent institutions with other State educational agencies and with the public.

As explained in the Board's culture statement (, the Board governs by delegating appropriate authority to the university presidents. Each institution develops its own governance structure, and the Regents have oversight of operations and management. As evidence of the Board's commitment and resolve, we quote from the Regents' culture statement:

"Effective management practices marked by continuous self-examination and improvement are intrinsic to the Board's operational culture."

The Board Office is responsible for preparing the docket and records of Board actions, commissioning reports, charging committees to study issues, providing staff assistance to the Board, reviewing and analyzing institutional proposals, and preparing recommendations to the Board. The Board Office, which keeps the Regent institutions apprised of national trends and issues, is located in Des Moines and headed by an Executive Director. At the University of Northern Iowa, the Executive Assistant to the President submits institutional requests and materials to the Board Office for the monthly Regent meetings and responds to inquiries from the Board Office.

Board members are accessible to all constituencies on and off campus. Moreover, the university presidents are authorized and encouraged to utilize appropriate faculty, students, and staff representatives as institutional resource persons at each Board meeting when, in their judgment, it is desirable. Students, faculty, and staff may request an opportunity to appear before the Board to discuss matters of interest and may request that an item be included on the docket. The Board is also accessible through UNI's website at


Criteria I
Criteria II
Criteria III
Criteria IV
Criteria V
Summary &
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