Position Description

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, is seeking to fill the position of President of the University of Northern Iowa.

About the University

The University of Northern Iowa (http://www.uni.edu), with more than 12,000 students and over 650 full-time faculty members, is one of three state-supported universities in Iowa. The University has a national reputation for teaching excellence complemented by an increasingly impressive research profile. U.S. News and World Report ranked UNI in the top three among Midwest public comprehensive universities for the past 16 years.

A rich tradition of great teaching guides UNI's broadly-based academic program grounded in a strong liberal arts core. The University is organized into four major colleges, each having a host of departments, majors, minors and special programs.  UNI also has a strong graduate college.  UNI offers programs at the masters, specialist and doctoral levels.  Faculty members include Fulbright scholars, world-class teachers, researchers, authors, and international business consultants.

The University of Northern Iowa is located in picturesque Cedar Falls, Iowa, a riverfront town with many recreational, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s size allows it the academic choices of a large university, while retaining a friendly, small-college atmosphere on a compact, park-like campus. The campus consists of more than 40 major buildings on 850 acres.

Leadership and Innovation for the Future: Transforming Opportunities into Reality 

Vision Statement

The University of Northern Iowa will be nationally known for innovative education, preparing students for success in a rapidly changing, globally competitive, and culturally diverse world.

Mission Statement

The University of Northern Iowa provides transformative learning experiences that inspire students to embrace challenge, engage in critical inquiry and creative thought, and contribute to society.


As a university community we are guided by the following core values:

  • Academic Freedom – freedom of inquiry by students, faculty, and staff
  • Access– an affordable, inclusive educational environment
  • Accountability – integrity, responsibility and the highest ethical standards of students, faculty and staff
  • Community– an ethical, caring, and safe community characterized by civility
  • Diversity – a welcoming community that celebrates pluralism, multiculturalism, and the unique contributions of each person and group
  • Engagement – characterized by challenge, transformation, and lifelong learning in a global society
  • Excellence – in teaching and learning, scholarship and creative work, and service
  • Sustainability – an attractive, well-maintained campus environment that enhances the living and learning experience with an emphasis on environmental stewardship


As the University’s chief executive officer, the President reports to the Board of Regents and is responsible for:

  • Articulating the University vision, mission and principles in collaboration with the institution’s internal and external stakeholders
  • Sustaining and enhancing the institution’s mission and overall operations
  • Fostering and building upon the existing traditions, distinctiveness, and strengths of the University
  • Approving and overseeing the institutional budget and securing external funding
  • Working with the Board of Regents, Governor, legislators (not limited to the area), alumni, donors and the broader community to advance the purposes of the University

Qualifications Preferred

  • An earned doctorate or appropriate terminal degree with teaching and research experience
  • Demonstrated higher education leadership experience in a senior administrative position
  • A commitment to the institution’s academic quality
  • A commitment to the student-centered mission of the University
  • A commitment to academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance
  • A demonstrated expertise in fiscal planning and management
  • Strong background in strategic planning and implementation
  • The ability to interact effectively with the various constituencies of the University, Alumni, Foundation, and the community at large
  • Excellent skills in interacting effectively with legislative bodies, as well as governmental and state Board leadership
  • Demonstrated ability to hire and build a team
  • Demonstrated capacity to capture opportunity and convert challenges into innovative solutions and programs advancing the future of the institution and benefiting students, faculty, staff, management and administration in their professional growth and performance
  • A commitment to the professional development of faculty and staff, and a demonstrated track record of empowering them through collaborative leadership
  • A demonstrated commitment to a collaborative process for creating and promoting a shared vision to address challenges and create opportunities, especially in the areas of student recruitment, finances, and improvements to facilities and technology.
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to fundraising and capital campaigns
  • A commitment to diversity among faculty, students and staff
  • An appreciation for the value of a strong Division I intercollegiate athletic program
  • An understanding of and an appreciation for the role of wellness/recreation services and a performing arts center in a university setting

The Board of Regents and the University of Northern Iowa invite letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, resume/CV, and contact information of at least five references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the university. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to December 14, 2012 to:

Laurie Wilder, Executive Vice President & Managing Director
Porsha Williams, Principal
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2900 | Atlanta, Georgia 30328
770-804-1996 ext: 109
lwilder@parkersearch.com | | pwilliams@parkersearch.com

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, is an EEO/AA employer. UNI is a smoke-free campus.