Campus Update and highlights from the March 14 Board of Regents meeting

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dear UNI Family,

We have made it through the first half of spring semester! Spring break is upon us and I wish all of you a wonderful week. I hope you can use the time to renew, refresh and relax.

I want to thank all of those who participated in the IRS/Identify Theft Open Forum on Tuesday, March 11. The questions raised were excellent, and I hope you learned more about the situation and the appropriate steps to take. I am sorry this has happened, but rest assured, we are going to be steadfast in all our efforts to address this situation.

In other news, the Board of Regents meeting was held on March 12 at the University of Iowa. The following is a brief summary of the items we highlighted at the meeting.

Dance Marathon sets a record and raises $176,498

On March 1, our Dance Marathon chapter held their third annual Dance Marathon. More than 1,000 students participated in raising funds for the Children’s Miracle Network and the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. What these students have accomplished with fundraising is impressive! This year, UNI’s Dance Marathon chapter raised $176,498, which exceeded their goal of $125,000 by more than $51,000. This places our Dance Marathon chapter in the top 18 chapters in the nation, out of more than 200 chapters.

Symphony Orchestra traveling to Brazil

Our Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Rebecca Burkhardt, professor, School of Music, will be touring over spring break to Caxias Do Sul, Brazil to perform a concert at the Unviersidade de Caxias do Sul. They will combine with the Unviersidade’s orchestra to perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in Caxias and Porto Alegre under the direction of conductor, Manfredo Schmiedt. We look forward to hearing about their trip and new partnerships this may result in for UNI.

UNI joins President Obama’s $320 million digital manufacturing initiative

UNI has joined 70 other partners across the United States in a $320 million five year digital manufacturing initiative created by President Obama. The goal of this consortium is to create a partnership between manufacturers and software companies to develop cutting-edge capabilities to design, test and move products to market.

It is expected that this effort will help to spur “thousands of jobs” in advanced manufacturing fields. UNI’s academic departments, as well as the Metal Casting Center and its 3D printer, will be able to apply for additional funding and projects through this consortium.

The funding potential for this line of research is in the tens of millions and we are positioned to be recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in 3 Dimensional Printing applied technology.

UNI’s part-time MBA program and our Graduate Education programs are ranked among the top by U.S. News and World Report

The University of Northern Iowa’s Graduate Education programs and our part-time MBA program have been listed among U.S. News & World Report’s top programs. Our part-time MBA program is designed for the working professional, with night and weekend classes that focus on real-world situations and managerial best practices that can be implemented on the job immediately.

The Bridges of Madison County makes its debut on Broadway

I was fortunate to attend the Broadway Musical opening of “The Bridges of Madison County” on Feb. 20 with UNI Alumnus and Emeritus Dean of our College of Business Administration, Robert Waller, who authored the book on which this Broadway production was based. 

We were pleased to have Robert and his wife, Linda Bow, join UNI Alumni and Friends for a reception, and to have Robert share a brief synopsis of what he calls, “the journey of the little book” from a romantic novel, to a popular movie film and now a part of the lights of Broadway. 

The print version continues to be published overseas and is one of the best-selling books of all time.

UNI wrestling team experiences success

The Panther wrestling team has had an impressive season, being ranked as high as 5th in the nation, 1st in the Mid-American Conference, and the team also had record numbers in attendance at several meets, finishing the season ranked 9th in the nation for average attendance at home wrestling meets in our West Gym.

At the Mid-American Conference Tournament last weekend, the team finished second and seven wrestlers qualified for the NCAA tournament, the most wrestlers we have qualified since 2008 when nine qualified.

Our presentation to the Board included:

Glenn Gray, assistant vice president & executive director of residence presented the five year (2015-2019) Department of Residence System Governance Report. An overview of the housing and dining rates, the Two-Year Advantage Plan and plans for summer housing options were shared. Also, a new orientation program will be implemented for students enrolling fall 2015 that will bring new freshmen and transfer students to campus early in preparation for the academic year.

If you have any questions regarding the Board of Regents meeting, please let me know.

I look forward to a great finish to this spring semester as we continue to engage with our legislative leaders for increased support for UNI, and prepare for the launch of the Efficiency and Transformation Review Study. Enjoy your break and thank you for all you do to support this great university.

Purple for Life!

Bill Ruud