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 links to Provost Butler's presentation to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa), or to see highlights of progress in FY 2013.

Renewing the Iowa Promise

Strategic Priorities

Progress Report

FY 2013 Highlights

  • Record enrollment
  • Retention and graduation rates close to record levels
  • Reaching out to Iowans: Iowa Scholars Award, admissions improvements
  • Summer Hawk Tuition Grant
  • Iowa first-year resident enrollment: up 2.3%
  • Gifts in support of student success and faculty excellence: $284M
  • Over $400M in external research funding: 5th consecutive year
  • Named "Military Friendly" and "Best Buy" school"
  • Clinical visits: Dentistry (145,000), UIHC (977,000)
  • 11 graduate & professional programs rank in Top 10 nationally

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Pillar #1: Student Success

Access and Enrollment Growth

  • Fall 2012
    • Highest total enrollment ever (31,498)
    • Most diverse incoming class (16.2% minority)
    • Highest total percentage international students (11.4%)
  • Military-friendly school (4th year)
  • Recruitment/Admission of Iowans
    • Applicants can now self-report high school transcript information
    • Review of Iowans a priority with goal to respond to application in 48 hours
    • 2012-13 first year undergraduate resident enrollment up 2.3% over 2011-12
  • Recruitment of international students – new hire in Admissions to focus on recruitment in Asia
  • Current projections indicate further growth in total incoming class and incoming Iowa residents


  • Second lowest resident undergrad tuition in Big Ten
  • Undergraduate resident tuition freeze
  • Continued listing as “Best Buy” in quality-to-cost ratio by major higher education publications
  • Initiated Summer Hawk Tuition Grant – full tuition scholarship for one summer session

Improved Retention

  • 1-year retention and 4- and 6-year graduation rates remain close to record levels  
  • Implemented Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey to gather data on student performance and satisfaction
  • Expanded financial literacy and outreach services for undergraduates
  • Enhanced support for transfer students

Increased Students’ Academic Engagement

  • Living-learning communities (LLCs)
    • Enhanced academic components
    • Every first-year student will live in an LLC starting 2013
  • Large investments in learning spaces
    • TILE (Transform. Interact. Learn.  Engage.) classrooms/learning commons spaces
    • Expansion of TILE to rhetoric and STEM fields
  • First new residence hall since 1960s under construction to help meet enrollment growth; focus on LLCs
  • Awarded first six John and Elsie Mae Ferentz Fellowships for Undergraduate Research

Student Success Initiative Funding

  • Competitive proposal process, $1M allocated to support student success initiatives in FY13

Graduate/Professional Student Success

  • High quality programs: >82% in top 30 publics; 5 programs ranked in top 10 overall
  • For 76 doctoral programs over 10 years (entering 2001-2005, completed 2007-2011)
    • Composite median time to degree decreased to 5.3 years
    • Composite degree completion improved to 57% (1/3 of programs > 67%, 1/4 of programs <50%)
    • Doctoral initial placement: 20% tenure track academic; 50% non-tenure track academic; 19% nonacademic; 11% unknown
  • Continued review of programs – 9 program actions taken
  • Expanded distance degree programs
  • Two new 3+2 programs approved to enroll students beginning fall 2013:
    • B.A. in Psychology to M.P.H. in Community Behavioral Health
    • B.A. in Biology to MPH in Epidemiology

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Pillar #2: Knowledge and Practice

Invested in Faculty Cluster Hires

  • 5 active clusters, 40 hired with new and matching funds
  • Newest (6th) cluster announced: Public Digital Arts

Enhanced Processes for Monitoring/Rewarding Faculty

  • Implementing new post-tenure review policy
  • Implementing UI Academic and Professional Record (central database of faculty activities)
  • Redesigned survey for biennial Faculty Activity Report

Sponsored funding for Research

  • Steady despite downturn in federal funding
  • Third-highest annual total ever ($438.1M) in FY12

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Pillar #3: New Frontiers in the Arts

Rebuilding the Arts Campus

  • Working together to move forward on building, renovation, flood protection
  • Meeting schedule for building, renovation, and mitigation of facilities; construction started on Hancher, School of Music, School of Art & Art History
  • Aligning campaign priorities  with arts campus needs

Academics and Outreach

  • Strengthened partnership between School of Art & Art History, Hancher, UI Museum of Art, and other academic departments through common website ( and visioning committee
  • Mural exhibition at Des Moines Art Center and conservation partnership with Getty Museum – currently the most significant art restoration project in USA
  • Launched Iowa Literaria, an online magazine promoting creative writing in Spanish

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Pillar #4: Better Futures for Iowans

Educating Iowa

  • Degree completion programs with 15/15 Iowa community colleges  
  • Partnership with Herbert Hoover Presidential Library – summer institute for teachers, gr. 5-12
  • 43.5% of enrollments in for-credit continuing education at Regent universities are in UI programs  
  • Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) partnerships with the Regent Universities; will be a model for similar partnership with WITCC and NCC

Statewide Partners

Engaged Scholarship

Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

  • Individual identified to lead preparation of application, due 2014

K-12 Engagement

  • Every county in Iowa that has a high school is registered as part of the Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy (IOAPA); 650 Iowa high school students registered for an online AP class this year


  • Created position of associate vice president for economic development to elevate status of entrepreneurship at UI
  • Targeted FY13 investment in John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center for enhanced campus and statewide activities in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education
  • Board of Regents approved $2M for FY14 targeted investment in entrepreneurship

Office of Outreach and Engagement

  • Created position of associate provost for outreach and engagement to promote collaboration with partners statewide

Better Futures for Iowans Initiative Funding

  • Competitive proposal process, $1M allocated to support better futures initiatives in FY13
  • Five projects to receive additional funding FY14

Service Examples

  • College of Engineering: Iowa Flood Information System has improved floodplain maps in 88 of Iowa’s 99 counties
  • College of Law: students offered 17 pro bono projects in Iowa
  • College of Nursing: led statewide Future of Nursing Action Coalition, coordinated multiple task forces working on implementation of recommendations in the IOM report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health
  • College of Public Health: Partnered with Seeds of Hope to implement a service learning course in Centerville, Iowa

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Foundational Commitment: Inclusion and Internationalization

Student and Faculty Diversity

  • Record diversity of incoming class (16.2%)
  • Positive trends in faculty diversity
    • Women: 33.0% of TT faculty, 38.5% of total
    • Minorities: 19.4% of TT faculty, 19.3% of total

International Students

  • New course requirement for all incoming undergraduate international students beginning fall 2013
  • UI international students and their dependents contribute $101M to Iowa’s economy

Study Abroad

  • Positive impact on retention and success
  • 2011-12: 932 undergraduate (highest total ever), 295 graduate/professional

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Foundational Commitment: Sustainability


  • Energy use remains level from 2010 to 2013 despite campus growth
  • Renewable energy at 9%; new biomass efforts
  • LEED Platinum buildings (two new)
  • Waste diversion rate at 30%
  • UIHC diverting food waste to composting, enhanced recycling opportunities
  • Launched Zipcar program with City of Iowa City

Education and Research

  • Wind Energy certificate
  • National recognition for students’ work in Dubuque
  • Iowa Watershed Project



  • 2013 APPA Sustainability Award to Facilities Management (5th award in 6 years) – recognizes integration of sustainability into the educational mission 

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Foundational Commitment: Collaboration, Enterprise, Innovation

Institutional Cost Savings and Efficiencies

  • Sustainability efforts lead to efficiencies (e.g., energy conservation)
  • Paperless “e-transactions” growing to one million  per year
  • Data Center consolidation accomplished by UIHC and General University IT organizations
  • Lowest ratio of executive/administrative staff to total staff in the Big Ten

Inter-Institutional Cost Savings and Efficiencies

  • Workers compensation decentralization to Regents
  • Joint project to advance course materials rentals and use of e-textbooks through university book stores
  • Direct UNI assistance includes investment management and software development such as developing and installing ProTrav and Jobs@UNI
  • UI acting as administrative agent for student athlete health insurance plans for ISU and UNI

Facilities Innovation

  • Privately financed and operated apartment housing to replace Hawkeye Court Apartments)
  • Uses of construction managers as UI “agents” to increase Iowa contractor opportunities
  • Developing private sector operated “Job Order Contracting” for the smallest and most numerous capital improvement projects
  • Two design-build projects under way with Board of Regents approval

Academic Efficiencies

  • 1-year retention and 4- and 6-year graduation rates remain close to record levels
  • Time to degree for doctoral programs decreased to 5.3 years

Program Restructuring to Promote Efficiency

  • International Programs reorganized to promote efficiency and coordination across IP units
  • MFA program in translation and FLARE program moved to the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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