Welcome Back from President Nook!

Monday, August 22nd, 2022

Welcome Panthers to the beginning of a new academic year – it looks to be an extraordinary year for the University of Northern Iowa.

This fall we launch the new UNI Foundational Inquiry, or UNIFI, curriculum. This curriculum provides a foundation of knowledge, skills and ways to critically analyze and communicate information so students are able to achieve at the highest possible level here at UNI and in their professional and personal lives following graduation. UNIFI is an innovative approach to preparing students to make an impact while at UNI and after they graduate.

The faculty and staff of UNI are committed to providing a world-class education at an affordable price while also expanding our academic reach. New programs begin this fall in Data Analytics, Automation Engineering Technology and Human Services, and we are actively working to create new programs in healthcare and sustainability.

The students, alumni and employees of the University of Northern Iowa are proud of the high-touch, personal education that is the hallmark of the UNI experience. This summer we extended that UNI experience to students across our state who can’t come to the UNI campus when we initiated UNI at Iowa Community Colleges, or more succinctly, UNI@IACC. UNI@IACC makes a four-year UNI degree more accessible to residents across the state and provides them personal support thanks to a unique partnership with Iowa’s community colleges.

The Campanile is the heart of our campus, and we have several special events planned for Homecoming Week that center around the Campanile. During Homecoming this fall, you will have the opportunity to be a part of a special event as we cast additional bells for the Campanile. It will be a uniquely memorable Homecoming.

In June we broke ground on the expansion and renovation of our Applied Engineering Building. The work is progressing nicely and is scheduled to be completed in 2024. We have finished dramatic renovations at Noehren Hall and completed the installation of new seating at Strayer-Wood Theatre. We plan to begin a renovation and expansion of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center this spring and have it completed by 2025.

There is a lot happening on our campus this coming year, but it is the people of our campus that make it truly remarkable. It is wonderful to have students, faculty, staff and our many visitors back on campus. The richness of the UNI experience is built on the community we create through the opportunities we have for engagement, discovery and connection. Our campus serves as a forum for free expression and open dialogue conducted in a respectful manner. I hope we can all learn from one another this year as we seek to enrich our shared experience at UNI.

Welcome back and have a great fall semester!

Panther Proud,

Mark A. Nook
President, UNI