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A History of Excellence: The University of Northern Iowa

Founded in 1876, the University of Northern Iowa has been known for much of its history primarily as a teacher preparation institution. Over the last several decades, the University has evolved into a multi-purpose institution that offers specialized, accredited graduate programs and a wide range of accredited undergraduate programs.

The University's commitment to excellence during the past decade has been demonstrated through higher admissions standards (see UNI Catalog 2000-2002, p. 14), as well as through standards for faculty tenure and promotion that support intellectual vitality and excellence. The past ten years in particular have seen exceptional physical growth, including the construction of new facilities for residence, industrial technology, recreation, environmental education, and the performing arts. Major renovation of and addition to the library, as well as classroom and office space in three campus buildings, has prepared us to meet the needs of record enrollments (13,774 in Fall 2000).

The University of Northern Iowa is one of the nation's finest public centers for learning and in Iowa is widely recognized as a leading comprehensive university. For several years running, U. S. News and World Report has identified UNI as second among the best comprehensive public universities in the Midwest. As the premier public undergraduate university in Iowa, UNI strives to ensure that its mission and efforts reflect the primary wishes and concerns for education of the people of this state. As it approaches its 125th anniversary, the University can look forward with great confidence in its ability to continue to meet the needs of its students and its community for many years to come. Our mission statement, which follows, reflects our commitment to that purpose:

"The University of Northern Iowa is a comprehensive institution committed to providing a diverse, dynamic learning environment, founded on a strong liberal arts curriculum and characterized by excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The University focuses both on undergraduate education that emphasizes a personalized learning environment and on selected master's, doctoral and other graduate programs that provide students with specialized educational experiences. UNI programs incorporate scholarship and service to individuals, communities and organizations throughout the state, the nation and the world."


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