The proposed merger of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the College of Natural Sciences was announced in January of 2010, in addition to other reorganization plans at UNI. Because the two colleges provided the vast majority of UNI's liberal arts core courses, the time was right to bring the colleges together with the goal of developing new, integrated programs to serve the needs of UNI students and the state, according to UNI Provost Gloria Gibson. "At the heart of the merger is the belief that from two colleges can emerge a strong, innovative and creative unit," Gibson stated.
The merger became effective on July 1, 2011. During the three-semester transition period, a number of work groups, consisting of faculty from each of the colleges, formulated recommendations on topics ranging from curriculum to technology. One of these groups is developing a statement on the strategic goals of the combined college. Despite the fact that the statement is not yet completed, clearly the strategic goals of the new college are aligned with those of the university. Until a new strategic plan has been implemented, the combined college continues to work toward meeting the goals of both the College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the College of Natural Sciences, as stated below.
COLLEGE OF HUMANITIES AND FINE ARTS
- We shall provide excellent undergraduate and graduate education, including breadth and depth of experience, for all students majoring in disciplines offered by the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at the University of Northern Iowa.
- Through recruitment and retention programs, we will attract students who contribute to the quality and diversity of the university.
- We shall provide excellent courses that contribute to the General Education program at the University of Northern Iowa.
- Through on- and off-campus opportunities, interdisciplinary and international programs and cultural and artistic events, we shall provide a strong foundation for the future of our students.
- We shall provide a physical and technologically appropriate environment that supports the college's educational goals.
- We shall provide the necessary support for our faculty to encourage their continual development as teachers, scholars and artists.
- We shall support the Iowa as Our Campus initiative through curricular offerings and other outreach programs.
COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCES
- We shall increase scientific, technological and mathematical literacy among UNI students and the general public within reach of the college.
- We shall maintain academic rigor.
- We shall increase the visibility of the College of Natural Sciences.
- We shall increase support for scholarly activity. The college must maintain an atmosphere where scholarship and professional growth are encouraged, in order to continue to attract external funding, students, prestige and more top-notch faculty.
- We shall provide strong support staff for all college programs.
- We shall strengthen graduate programs within the College of Natural Sciences.
- We shall maintain state-of-the-art facilities.
- We shall foster collegiality in the College of Natural Sciences.