The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) is a university located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States. UNI offers more than 90 majors across the colleges of Business Administration, Education, Humanities, Arts, and Sciences, and Social and Behavioral sciences, and graduate college.
UNI has consistently been named one of the "Best in the Midwest" in the Princeton Review Best 351 College Rankings guide, and has ranked second in the category "public regional universities (Midwest)" by U.S. News & World Report for twelve consecutive years. UNI's accounting program has consistently ranked in the top 10 universities in the nation for the pass rate of first-time candidates on the CPA Exam.
More than 90 percent of classes have fewer than 50 students; they are mostly taught by faculty, not teaching assistants. Tenured and tenure-track faculty teach 75 percent of UNI's classes. The Fall 2016 enrollment is 11,905. More than 90 percent of its students are from the State of Iowa.
The University of Northern Iowa was founded as a result of two influential forces of the nineteenth century. First, Iowa wanted to care for orphans of its Civil War veterans, and secondly, Iowa needed a public teacher training institution. In 1876, when Iowa no longer needed an orphan home, legislators Edward G. Miller and H. C. Hemenway started the Iowa State Normal School.
The school's first building opened in 1869 and was known as Central Hall. The building contained classrooms, common areas, and a living facility for most of the students. It was also a home to the college's first principal, James Cleland Gilchrist. The building was the heart and soul of the school, allowing students to study courses of two-year, three-year, and four-year degrees. In 1965, a fire destroyed Central Hall, and school faculty and Cedar Falls citizens donated over $5,000 to start building Gilchrist Hall.
The school has been known under the following names:
University of Northern Iowa Colleges include:
The class entering in Fall 2016 had more than 2,000 students enroll. The mean ACT composite for admitted freshmen was 22.91. 2016 marked the most diverse class in UNI's history with 11.2 percent minority students. Minority students now account for just under 10 percent of UNI's student body.
The University of Northern Iowa has a very active program of allowing students to pursue educational opportunities outside the state of Iowa and also the country. Students have the ability to study aboard or study at another North American institution though National Student Exchange.
UNI has implemented a Liberal Arts Core (LAC) in order to provide a common liberal-arts foundation for all undergraduate students.
|Category 1||Core Competencies|
|Category 2||Civilizations and Cultures|
|Category 3||Fine Arts, Literature, Philosophy and Religion|
|Category 4||Natural Science and Technology|
|Category 5||Social Science|
|Category 6||Capstone Experience|
UNI provides an opportunity for the students to study in 25+ countries and select from over 40 programs. In addition to semester and academic year programs students may choose to take part in summer, faculty-led, and short-term programs abroad. Many semester and year-long programs are exchanges in which students continue to pay UNI tuition to attend international partner schools. UNI also offers research, internship, and student teaching opportunities abroad. All exchange programs offer courses in English as well as training in the local language, if desired. Students interested in improving foreign language skills have many program choices available to them through UNI Study Abroad programs. UNI Study Abroad Center also offers scholarships to qualified students studying overseas.
Study Abroad participation is rapidly increasing at UNI as more financial support is being offered by individual campus colleges. Internationalization has been integrated into the most recent draft of UNI's Strategic Plan.
The Culture and Intensive English Program (CIEP) is an intensive program in English for non-native speakers. It is designed to prepare students for academic work at the undergraduate or graduate degree level. University of Northern Iowa students are also encouraged to participate in the Conversation Partner Program to help foreign students with their English ability and foster cross-cultural relationships while gaining mutual understanding.
The university is the publisher of The North American Review (called the NAR), a celebrated literary magazine that began originally in Boston in 1815. Its past editors have included James Russell Lowell, Charles Eliot Norton, and Henry Adams; while among its past contributors are Mark Twain, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Walt Whitman, Kurt Vonnegut, Joyce Carol Oates, Guy Davenport and Margaret Atwood. In 1968, when the magazine was purchased by UNI, Robley Wilson was appointed editor, a position he continued in until his retirement in 2000. The current editors are Grant Tracey and Vince Gotera.
In S. Duperray and R. Vidaling, Front Page: Covers of the Twentieth Century (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2003) the NAR is featured with Paris Match, The New Yorker, Vogue and twenty-four other famous magazines, and is described as being "a real institution in the United States, as much for its quality as its longevity." Since its acquisition by UNI, that book continues, the magazine has "distinguished itself" by winning a long list of prizes, both in literature and design. It has twice won the National Magazine Award for Fiction and was a finalist for that award five times; placed stories in the annual O. Henry anthologies four times, in the Pushcart Prize annuals nine times, in Best American Short Stories eight times, in Best American Essays twice, in Best American Sports Writing and Best American Travel Writing. As for its graphics, the NAR has been represented three times in Communication Arts illustration annual, twice in the Society of Publication Designers' annual, and four times in the Print regional design annual, and twice it has won the "Ozzie" gold award for best cover among consumer magazines with a circulation of less than 100,000.
The University of Northern Iowa Teaching and Research Greenhouse is a greenhouse complex incorporating botanical gardens for research and education. It is located on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
The greenhouse contains plants from many ecotypes, including 250 tropical plants, an extensive collection of arid climate plants, and the 1,200-square-foot (110 m2) Aquatic Learning Center
The school's mascot is the Panther. They participate in the NCAA's Division I (I-FCS for football) in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Missouri Valley Conference for most other sports, and the Big 12 Conference for wrestling. The major arena on campus is the UNI-Dome, currently the home of the football team. The Dome also serves as a venue for many local concerts, high school football playoffs, trade shows, and other events. In 2006, the University opened a new arena, the McLeod Center, to serve as the home for several athletic programs, including volleyball and men's and women's basketball.
UNI Athletics has enjoyed great success lately with the men's basketball team competing in the NCAA tournament three consecutive times in 2004, 2005, 2006, again in 2009 and 2010 and in 2015 and 2016. On March 20, 2010, the men's basketball team defeated the heavily favored, top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks to advance to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. It was the school's first appearance in the Sweet Sixteen. The Jayhawks were favored to win the NCAA championship. Their Cinderella potential ended with a loss to Michigan State in the Sweet Sixteen, 59-52. The win over Kansas earned them the 2010 ESPY Award for Best Upset.
The football team has been ranked in the I-AA (FCS) top 25 almost every year for the last two decades. The team appeared in the I-AA championship game in 2005, only to lose a close game to the Appalachian State Mountaineers. During 2007, the team was ranked #1 in the country by the TSN FCS poll for several weeks. The football team went undefeated in 2007 with an 11-0 record, a first for any school in the 23-year history of the Gateway conference. In 2001 and 2002 the volleyball team reached the NCAA Sweet 16 round, and in 2006 made it to the second round, and has competed in the tournament numerous times. The track team is also very successful (usually ranked in the top 25), as are the wrestling and volleyball teams.
The University of Northern Iowa wrestling team won the NCAA Division I national championship as ISTC in 1949 and NCAA Division II national championships in 1975 and 1978. They competed in the Western Wrestling Conference until 2012, when UNI became an associate member of the Mid-American Conference since the MVC is a non-wrestling conference. In 2017, UNI wrestling joined the Big 12 Conference. In 1977 the women's softball team won the AIAW national championship.
There are many traditions at UNI. Perhaps the most popular tradition is campaniling. The UNI campanile comes alive Friday night of Homecoming week each year. At the stroke of midnight, students flock around the tower to steal a kiss from a long-time lover or new acquaintance. Oftentimes pins and chap-stick are passed out at the campanile during this time. This tradition began shortly after the tower was constructed in the 1920s. At that time, there were many more women on campus than men. It is said that a male student would call a random female student to meet him at the campanile. The male student would hide in the bushes and if he did not like what he saw, he would leave the girl waiting and go back and call another one instead. It was also "common knowledge" at one time that if a female student was never kissed during campaniling, she was not a true female. The campaniling tradition faded out over the decades but has since been revived with the efforts of the Alumni Association.
There is also a tradition of wearing purple on the Friday of Homecoming. The entire city of Cedar Falls is encouraged to show support for UNI, along with wearing "UNI: Purple For Life" buttons, or any others they have. It promotes a sense of unity and school pride in the community.
A more recent trend, The Interlude, is a dance that is performed to the band "Attack Attack!"'s song of the same name. The Interlude is an all inclusive dance that was started by a small group of students at dance parties during 2010. During the 2010-2011 Basketball season the student section erupted into the dance which helped bring additional publicity. Many attempts at recreating The Interlude have popped up all over YouTube, and the dance has been featured on ESPN as well as regional media outlets, and was mentioned by First Lady Michelle Obama in her May, 2011 commencement speech at UNI.
UNI is home to three NIC fraternities, one unaffiliated fraternity, and four NPC sororities. The university has had a variety of different fraternities and sororities on campus, with many current ones being on campus for an extended period of time since their founding. The university has recently seen a huge increase in membership. Greek Life has always been a mainstay at the university with many members serving on student government and other student organizations on campus.
A main tradition of the fraternities and sororities is the annual Greek Week. Chapters participate in campus wide events such as olympics, lip sync competitions, charity drives, Greek God and Goddess, and Walk a Mile in which men wear red heels and walk an entire mile around campus for sexual assault awareness. Another tradition would be Letter Days, in which members of chapters wear their respective letters as a large community around campus. Yet another tradition would be Greek study tables, where check in tables are provided and members study together in Maucker Union amassing study hours for their chapter's respective scholarship program.
The perhaps biggest tradition of the chapters would be philanthropy. Each individual chapter runs a philanthropy program as well as having community wide ones. Fraternities and sororities are a very big part of UNI Dance Marathon.
UNI is looking to expand its Greek Life in the near future.
|No.||President||Start of term||End of term|
|1||James Cleland Gilchrist||1876||1886|
|2||Homer Horatio Seerley||1886||1928|
|3||Orval Ray Latham||1928||1940|
|4||Malcolm Poyer Price||1940||1950|
|5||James William Maucker||1951||1970|
|6||John Joseph Kamerick||1970||1983|
|7||Constantine William Curris||1983||1995|
|8||Robert D. Koob||1995||2006|