Campus update

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dear UNI family,

It has been a fast-paced start for Judy and me, and we are enjoying every minute. We are thrilled to be at UNI and be members of the Cedar Valley community. We are enjoying everything about Cedar Falls/Waterloo: the restaurants, bike trails, art festivals and this great Iowa summer weather!

One of my first goals is to keep campus informed about priorities. In June, I met with the leadership of Faculty Senate, United Faculty, the P&S and S&C councils, and the Northern Iowa Student Government. We had much to discuss given the current budget situation, the priorities of increasing student enrollment, converting state appropriations to permanent base funding and the importance of continuing our fundraising efforts.

In addition to these priorities, please add the importance of coordination, communication and customer service to our list. It is critical that we coordinate and streamline our work efforts, enhance and increase the frequency of our on-campus communication, and strive to provide the best customer service both internally and externally. Consistent and high-quality customer service is fundamental in higher education and impacts one's decision-making. A customer-centric and student-centric approach will differentiate UNI from our competitors and help us in our faculty, staff and student recruitment and retention efforts.

I want to thank everyone for their gracious welcome and openness to share ideas. In the month of June alone, internally, I had just over 50 meetings with nearly 1,000 individuals participating. Externally, namely in the Cedar Valley and at a few statewide events, I had over 20 events with more than 500 people in attendance. I have met with each division and the leadership team from each college, Continuing Education and Special Programs, and Rod Library. I have engaged in dialogue with several media outlets and met with the Alumni Board, Foundation Executive Committee and numerous on-campus groups. Listening and learning has been my focus in these meetings, and I continue to be impressed with the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the many community and state leaders. UNI is a very special place.

In July, meetings will continue with our colleges, councils, academic departments and three new Board of Regents members, and I will attend the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Council of Presidents meeting. Also, new student orientation sessions, meetings with Foundation Trustees and legislators, and several evening receptions in Cedar Rapids and Mason City are on the agenda. The month will be productive, and I am committed to being your advocate for this great university. We will continue to strengthen our relationship-building efforts with alumni. In fact, just last week, I had a great visit with UNI alumni and friends in Minneapolis.

UNI has a very exciting future. This fall, I look forward to our Open Houses that will enhance student recruitment efforts, the opportunity to seek an increase in state appropriations and meeting more UNI family members. We will rise to the challenges we face and embrace a new academic year with vigor and excitement for this academically rich community. Everyone's contributions are important to the success of this great university. THANK YOU!

Purple for Life!

Bill Ruud

President