The University of Iowa

Click any of the four "pillars" or any of the three "foundational commitments" of the strategic plan (Renewing the Iowa Promise) below the graphic for some highlights of recent efforts and investments in that area.  Scroll down for additional details (including a link to Provost Butler's presentation to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa).

Renewing the Iowa Promise

Progress Report

Pillar #1: Student Success

Access and Enrollment Growth

  • Record size, diversity, preparation of incoming classes
  • Recruiting activities in focused markets; created recruiting materials in Spanish & 6 other languages


  • Lowest resident undergrad tuition in Big Ten (ex. Nebr.)

Improved Retention

  • Established an Office of Retention
  • Launched On Iowa! immersion program
  • Early intervention helping to improve retention
  • New supplemental instruction program for students in critical “gateway courses”
  • Record retention & graduation rates

Increased Students’ Academic Engagement

  • 4 new living-learning communities
  • 122 first-year seminars (# tripled since 2008-09)
  • TILE (Transform. Interact. Learn.  Engage.) classrooms/learning commons spaces
  • Increased funding to Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates

Outcomes Assessment

  • Hired director of assessment
  • First annual assessment report

Alcohol Safety

  • Established Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan
  • Created Harm Reduction Committee, appointed coordinator of campus initiatives

Graduate/Professional Student Success

  • High quality programs: >75% in top 30 publics
  • 13 degree programs closed; additional programs realigned for efficiency and synergies
  • 11 new programs (subtracks, certificates, 1 degree)
  • Career advising incorporated in development programs

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Pillar #2: Knowledge and Practice

Invested in Faculty Cluster Hires

  • 5 active clusters, ~50 lines allocated
  • Smaller investment in “runners-up”

Enhanced Processes for Monitoring/Rewarding Faculty

  • Developed review procedures with deans & Faculty Senate (post-tenure)
  • UI Academic and Professional Record – creating central database of faculty activities

Sponsored funding for Research

  • Steady despite downturn in federal funding
  • Second-highest annual total ever ($456.6M)

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Pillar #3: New Frontiers in the Arts

Rebuilding the Arts Campus

  • Working together to move forward on building, renovation, mitigation
  • Aligning campaign priorities  with arts campus needs

Initiated Unified Arts Vision

  • Sponsored unified Arts@Iowa campus website
  • Coordinating with Liberal Arts & Sciences

MFA in Book Arts

  • An example of creating synergies by bringing diverse programs together
  • Fully subscribed in its first year

Hired UI Museum of Art Director

  • Renewed relationship with academic units
  • Restarted faculty art show at Figge

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Pillar #4: Better Futures for Iowans

Degree Completion Programs

  • FY 2011 added Southwestern, Iowa Western, and North Iowa Area community colleges (CCs)
  • This summer added Northwest Iowa, Southeastern, and Northeast Iowa CCs (total = 13)

Expanded Distance Education Programs

  • New online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • 47% of enrollments in for-credit continuing education at Regent universities are in UI programs

Provost's Committee on Engagement

  • Articulate a UI vision and priorities that is supportive of academics
  • Consider whether to pursue Carnegie community engagement classification

Faculty Clusters

  • All clusters directly benefit Iowans

Digital Studio for the Public Humanities

  • Inaugural director appointed

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Foundational Commitment: Inclusion and Internationalization

Student and Faculty Diversity

  • Record diversity of incoming class (14.2%)
  • Positive trends in faculty diversity

International Students

  • Record percentage of international students in incoming class (10.6%)
  • State-wide, contribute $250M to Iowa’s economy

New General Education Requirements

  • International and Global Issues
  • Values, Society, and Diversity

Study Abroad

  • Positive impact on retention and success
  • 2009-10: 912 undergraduates, 453 graduate/professional students (a record)
  • 2010-11: 907 undergraduate, 441 grad/prof

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Foundational Commitment: Sustainability

2020 Vision

  • 7 ambitious goals for sustainability
  • Sustainability Partnership Program agreement with EPA

Building Smarter and Greener

  • LEED certification for new construction and major renovations

Energy Conservation

  • Energy Control Center “dashboards” – live displays of energy usage for all buildings

Materials and Recycling

  • As of August 2010, recycling available in all residence halls

Renewable Energy

  • Biomass Fuel Project
  • Sustainable Energy Discovery District

Sustainability in the Curriculum/Learning Opportunities

  • Sustainability certificate – high demand, new courses
  • Held workshop to help instructors integrate sustainability into the classroom
  • Countless opportunities for students to participate in sustainability-related research, projects, and volunteer efforts

Sustainability in Economic Development, Research, and Outreach

  • Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities – students and faculty collaborating with Iowa communities
  • Iowa Flood Center funding to support research to help Iowa communities
  • Collaborating with other Regent universities on a major outreach-focused grant proposal 

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Foundational Commitment: Collaboration, Enterprise, Innovation

Program Restructuring to Promote Efficiency

  • Created the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
  • Merged two departments into new Department of Health & Human Physiology

Instructional Productivity

  • FTE down, student credit hours (SCH) up
  • SCH/FTE up 10.5% since 2005

Institutional Cost Savings and Efficiencies

  • Sustainability efforts lead to efficiencies (e.g., energy conservation)
  • Paperless “e-transactions” growing toward one million  per year
  • Lowest ratio of executive/administrative staff to total staff in the Big Ten

Inter-Institutional Cost Savings and Efficiencies

  • Conducted a review of software licenses at Regent universities for potential savings
  • Investigated joint contracting opportunities
  • Reviewed leave programs for more effective and consistent application of policies
  • Investigated potential cost-savings in worker’s compensation program
  • Working with UNI to implement UI-developed applicant tracking system 

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