University of Northern Iowa 2015-16 Year-in-Review

The University of Northern Iowa experienced a 7.9-percent increase in new students during the fall 2015 semester, bringing total enrollment to 11,981. New resident and non resident direct from high school increased more than six-percent, and for the first time in five years, the number of transfer students increase – up more than eight-percent from fall 2014.

UNI takes significant pride in its large university environment with a small college atmosphere. The university boasts 93 undergraduate majors, more than 300 student organizations, and high-achieving Division I athletic teams, yet the average undergraduate class size is 23 and 99 percent of classes are taught by UNI faculty. 

More than 12,000 scholarships are awarded annually, with $22.2 million awarded during the 2015-16 academic year. A gift of $2.47 million from the estate of H. Theodore (Ted) Dohrman was given to UNI in May and will be used to establish the Theodore and Mary Dohrman Presidential Scholarship Fund. The UNI Scholarship Initiative raised more than $41 million in three years and five months, far exceeding its goal of $40 million in five years.

UNI is nationally recognized for its high educational standards. The University was named “Best in the Midwest” and was selected as an outstanding business school for the 10th consecutive year by the Princeton Review. In addition, U.S. News and World Report ranks UNI as one of the top two Midwest public universities. 

Northern Iowa graduates bring huge benefits the state of Iowa and its economy. Nine-out-of-10 employed graduates are employed in Iowa, and 68-percent of UNI alums stay in Iowa a decade after graduating. Ninety-six percent of 2014 graduates were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation and UNI graduates were hired by more than a thousand unique employers last year.

UNI saw a number of new changes in leadership during the 2015-16 academic year. President Bill Ruud accepted the Presidency of Marietta College in Ohio earlier this summer and was replaced on an interim basis by Provost Jim Wohlpart. The Board of Regents will conduct a national search for his successor. Gaetane Jean-Marie was named dean of the College of Education in June, David Harris was named Director of Athletics in March, and Gwenne Berry was named UNI’s first chief diversity officer and assumed her new duties July 1.

Changes aren’t just in leadership. Facilities on UNI’s 915-acre campus are continually updated and enhanced to provide an outstanding environment for students, faculty and staff. The university’s two most notable projects – the Lawther Hall modernization and the $37 million Schindler Education Center renovation – continue on track. Lawther Hall will be updated to accommodate the changing needs of students, including single and double rooms, suite-style housing, semi-private restrooms and more community space. The Schindler Education Center renovation will create a dynamic facility that will better incorporate technology and promote collaborative learning. Faculty are scheduled to move back into the building this December.