2001-2006 Strategic Plan

“Focused on Excellence”

University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa Strategic Plan is the result of a collaborative effort that involved representatives from across campus as well as the University's external constituencies. The plan is based on the presumption that UNI does, and will continue to do, many things well. Therefore the plan focuses on the handful of initiatives that can have an impact over the next five years, maintaining the core of an already fine institution while moving us forward at the margins. The plan has been approved by the UNI Cabinet and Governance Groups and will be presented to the Board of Regents later this year.

Following the Strategic Plan statement of Culture, Values, Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives is an Appendix which details performance indicators that will be used by the University and Board of Regents to track progress against the plan.


The culture of The University of Northern Iowa is characterized by a long-standing commitment to student learning and to excellence in teaching. This commitment has been established through the development of an open, ethical and caring community that promotes diversity, honesty, integrity, respect, fairness, trust and civility among its members. This community has created a culture based on core values that include intellectual vitality, intellectual and academic freedom, the well-being of its members and service to others.


The University of Northern Iowa community values:

  • Excellence in all its endeavors
  • Intellectual vitality
  • Intellectual and academic freedom, dialogue and the free exchange of ideas
  • Individualized learning
  • An ethical, caring and diverse community
  • The well being of its students, faculty and staff
  • Service to the citizens of the State of Iowa, the nation and the world


The University of Northern Iowa will be the nation’s finest public comprehensive university, known for high quality learning environments and a genuine sense of community.

Mission Statement

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 masters, 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.


Goal 1.0:Provide intellectually stimulating and challenging experiences for students that broaden and deepen their perspective and awareness.
Objective 1.1:Provide instruction to students from tenured or tenure track faculty in at least 75% of all classes and 80% of major classes, while maintaining a personalized learning environment.
Objective 1.2:Develop a university-wide Honors program.
Objective 1.3:Strengthen the UNI general education program and simultaneously increase understanding of and commitment to the role and value of a liberal arts education as the foundation of a university education.
Objective 1.4:Expand the number of programs that distinguish the University and that serve as magnets, attracting students to the University, while sustaining current levels of excellence.
Objective 1.5:Build on excellence in graduate programs.
Objective 1.6:Prepare UNI students to be proficient users of technology in their fields.
Objective 1.7:Enhance global awareness and a sense of global citizenship among all UNI students.
Goal 2.0Support creative and intellectually rigorous teaching and scholarship.
Objective 2.1:Generate increased opportunities for faculty to enhance the quality of their teaching.
Objective 2.2:Generate increased opportunities for faculty to enhance the quality and quantity of their research and creative activity.
Goal 3.0 Expand the involvement of the University in addressing critical local, state, national and global needs that also enrich the educational experiences offered by the University.

Objective 3.1:

Engage in a comprehensive assessment to determine target audience expectations for UNI programs and services.

Objective 3.2:

Increase availability of distance learning, continuing education and international academic and professional development opportunities to meet the needs of students.

Objective 3.3:

Serve the state and region through applied research, service and economic development services.
Goal 4.0Strengthen a University culture characterized by diversity, collegiality and mutual respect.

Objective 4.1:

Increase the number of American ethnic minority students and international students enrolled at UNI by 2005 consistent with the Board of Regents Strategic Plan.

Objective 4.2:

Provide a welcoming and responsive environment for members of the UNI community who have unique needs that may affect their opportunity for success.
Goal 5.0Foster a supportive living, learning and working environment with services and programs that promote individual well being and organizational effectiveness.

Objective 5.1:

Maintain safe environments, conditions and equipment.

Objective 5.2:

Enhance UNI child care services to better meet the needs of university families.

Objective 5.3:

Enhance opportunities for mentoring and social interaction among students, faculty and staff.

Objective 5.4:

Increase faculty, staff and student participation in university governance activities.
Goal 6.0Enhance the quality, diversity and number of human resources available to meet the needs of the university.

Objective 6.1:

Increase professional career development opportunities for university staff to enhance performance.
Goal 7.0Continue to improve capital, physical and informational resources at the university.

Objective 7.1:

Enhance technologically appropriate teaching and learning facilities and equipment.

Objective 7.2:

More fully integrate modern technology into the everyday lives of UNI students, faculty and staff.
Goal 8.0  Establish strong, mutually beneficial relationships with external constituencies.

Objective 8.1:

Conduct a capital campaign to raise $75 million by 2005.

Objective 8.2:

Raise awareness and appreciation among targeted local, regional and national and international constituencies for values, programs and services of the University.

Appendix: Performance Indicators

  • Percentage of student credit hours taught by tenure/tenure track faculty.
  • Average undergraduate class size--lower, upper, both.
  • First class enrolled in Honors Program by fall 2002.
  • Percentage of lower division courses taught by tenure/tenure track faculty.
  • Percentage of graduates employed or placed within one year.
  • Number and percentage of faculty using instructional technology (including computers).
  • Number and percentage of general assignment tech-equipped classrooms.
  • Percentage of course sections in which computers are used as an integral teaching aid.
  • Number of students having an international learning experience.
  • Number of international students enrolled.
  • Sponsored funding per year in millions of dollars.
  • Number of intellectual property disclosures.
  • Biennial marketing survey.
  • Headcount enrollments in credit/non-credit courses offered through extension and continuing education.
  • Off-campus student enrollment in degree programs offered through distance learning (fall semester only).
  • Annual technology transfer report.
  • Racial/ethnic composition of student populations in percentages.
  • Graduate and undergraduate student retention and graduation rates by ethnic/racial composition in percentages.
  • Campus crime statistics.
  • Annual worker compensation claims.
  • Number of children served and number on waiting list.
  • Diminish gap between need and served.
  • Faculty/staff/student surveys.
  • Number of continuing education credits earned.
  • Number of annual contributors and dollars contributed in millions.
  • Dollars available to the university from the Foundation.