Thank You

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Cheryl and I always enjoy attending year-end events hosted by student leaders on campus. It provides an opportunity to share how much we care about the learning and success of our students, to express our appreciation that each of them chose UNI as their home, and to thank them for the impact they have had on UNI. These events also provide an opportunity for us to hear directly from students about the positive and lasting difference each of you make in their lives. It is inspiring to hear the gratitude and empowerment our students carry with them every day because of your commitment to their education and personal growth. Thank you for helping our students grow and lean into the difference makers we aspire to create in society.

This year we have faced significant challenges and seized important opportunities the best way we know how--together. From the ongoing effort to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, to creating our university’s next strategic plan, to creating and implementing a re-envisioned core curriculum (UNIFI), to continuing our push to assure affordability and access for students, we are working as a community to address the ever evolving challenges of our time. 

As we reflect on the accomplishments of this past year, we must keep our sights set on creating a strong and vibrant future for UNI. As higher education across the Midwest confronts strong enrollment headwinds created by demographic shifts and heightened competition, we will continue to recalibrate our marketing and recruitment efforts to grow enrollment.  At the annual leadership retreat in May, unit and departmental leaders across campus will convene to envision strategies and tactics to widen the pipeline of prospective UNI students. These efforts will build upon our comprehensive re-branding effort, our push to differentiate tuition costs to align with our access mission, and a greatly enhanced and data-driven marketing and recruitment plan that has been implemented this past year. All of these efforts help us maintain our competitiveness as the entire higher education sector across our region confronts heightened pressure to attract and retain students; this work is essential to fulfill our mission to positively impact the lives of students through our faculty and staff. 

Without you, none of the successes of this year would have been possible. Thank you for the positive difference you make in the lives of students, your colleagues and the people of the Cedar Valley, and for your partnership and engagement in helping UNI lay the foundation for a strong and vibrant future.

I wish you the very best this summer.

Panther Proud!

Mark A. Nook