Thanksgiving Letter from President Bill Ruud

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Dear UNI Family,

As the semester winds down, this is a time to reflect and a time to dream of the future. Thanksgiving allows us to each be thankful for what has been so special to us. Shortly, the entire holiday season—Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Muharram and other celebrations—will be upon us and we will share the joy of family and the season. And after that, we all will look to the future as we make our resolutions for 2014!

In light of the time, I want to share some of the things for which I am thankful and share wishes for the university for the future.

I am thankful for:

  • The members of the campus community who, in their own ways, make UNI such an outstanding institution—from the students who bring curiosity and enthusiasm to campus, to faculty who instill in the students their love of learning, to the staff who ensure support of our efforts to provide an education of excellence, to our alumni who continue their successes in the world.

  • UNI being one of the best comprehensive universities in the Midwest. We have much to be proud of and we need to continue to share this news. Our student persistence rate from year one to year two is 82.9 percent, the highest since 2007. Our six-year graduation rate is 66 percent, and 85 percent of our graduates report securing their first job in Iowa.

  • Outstanding students who excel inside and outside the classroom. Many of our student academic organizations have competed regionally and nationally—and won. In addition, our student-athletes earn awards for their athleticism, their academics and their service projects.

  • Outstanding faculty members whose expertise in the classroom is exceeded only by their dedication to their students. They also received numerous major federal and national grants and awards last year. 

  • Opportunities to serve the region through our many academic and outreach programs.

  • Of course, the support we receive from our many alumni and friends who understand and appreciate all that UNI does and provides. Thanks to you and so many others, we continue to enhance our programming and our facilities as the university looks toward a bright future.

I have one main wish for 2014 and beyond:

  • We must continue to advocate for our great university. In order to implement a tuition freeze for FY 2015, we must receive a 4 percent increase in our state appropriations to address inflationary increases and have $10 million added as permanent funding to our general fund base appropriations. We have a wonderful story to tell, and I encourage each of you to share our good news.

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Albert Schweitzer said: “In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”

Thanks to you, the entire UNI family, the inner spirit of this great university burns brightly. As we get closer to the end of this calendar year, I look forward to continuing the great success of the University of Northern Iowa, providing quality education, at an affordable price, with national and global quality!



William N. Ruud, Ph.D.

Purple for Life!