August, 2013 Board of Regents Review

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dear UNI Family,

I hope your summer is going well. I know we are all gearing up for the start of a new academic year!

Today, I want to provide you with a quick update on the Aug. 7-8, 2013, Board of Regents meeting that was held at Iowa State University.  

  • Each university president provided five minutes of campus highlights at this meeting. Some of the recent extraordinary accomplishments I commented on included:

    • Our receipt of a $1 million gift from the Gerdin Family Foundation to establish the Ben and Pat Allen Endowed Scholarship fund. This fall we are awarding approximately $20,000 in scholarships from this fund to incoming undergraduates.

    • Our physics teacher education program was cited as one of 11 outstanding programs in the nation in the report "Transforming the Preparation of Physics Teachers: A Call to Action."

    • In May 2013, it was self-reported that 100% of our students in the master's in accounting program passed the CPA exam on their first attempt within 30 days of graduation. In addition, 60% of all UNI accounting graduates passed the CPA exam on their first attempt.

    • We have enrolled in the Student Achievement Measure (SAM) reporting program that was launched by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

    • Our 2012-13 women's basketball team was named to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll by having the seventh-best GPA (3.54) in NCAA Division I basketball. We are the only Iowa school and the highest-ranking MVC school to be named.

    • Both of our campus dining facilities (Piazza and Rialto) and Prexy's food court in Maucker Union have earned "Blue Zones" designation for making healthy food options the easiest choices.

    • We look forward to the start of the fall semester with the launching of Living Learning Communities, the reopening of Redeker Center and the opening of the second phase of Panther Village.   

  • Two academic programs were approved.

    • Environmental science established a new bachelor of arts program, effective fall 2013.

    • Geography will reopen admission to its bachelor of arts program in fall 2013.   

  • Our annual report of the 2010-2015 Leadership and Innovation for the Future: Transforming Opportunities into Reality strategic plan was received by the Board Regents, State of Iowa.

    • Updates to the six goals were provided as well as highlights on some of our faculty and student achievements. Once again, we were also recognized nationally for our academic excellence by being ranked 2nd among the Midwest Best Regional Public Universities in U.S. News & World Report.

    • Please refer to our 2010-2015 Strategic Plan at http://www.uni.edu/strategicplan/.

  • Our FY 2014 Budget was approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

    • Focusing on the Future: Through Teaching, Research and Service, was the title of our FY 2014 Budget presentation. This budget was approved, noting that we still need to make more than $500,000 in strategic reductions this year if enrollment is at 11,800 for fall 2013. However, an additional 100 students nets $550,000 in tuition revenue. We are hopeful that with additional recruitment measures taken this summer, we will exceed our projected fall enrollment.

  • The Transparency Task Force recommendations were approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, and implementation begins immediately.

    • Gary Shontz, controller/secretary/treasurer and instructor, will serve as our transparency officer. For more information regarding the Task Force recommendations, please refer to http://www.regents.iowa.gov.

We look forward to hosting the Board of Regents on campus Sept. 11 for their next meeting. I sincerely hope you are having an enjoyable summer and are looking forward to a great fall semester.

Purple for Life!

Bill Ruud