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University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) is a public university in Cedar Falls, Iowa. UNI offers more than 90 majors across the colleges of Business Administration, Education, Humanities, Arts, and Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences and graduate college. The fall 2019 enrollment was 10,497.[3] More than 88 percent of its students are from the state of Iowa.[6]

University of Northern Iowa
University of Northern Iowa Seal.svg
Former names
Iowa State Normal School (1876–1909)

Iowa State Teachers College (1909–1961)

State College of Iowa (1961–1967)
MottoLux (Latin)
Motto in English
Endowment$118.4 million (2017)[1]
PresidentMark Nook
ProvostJim Wohlpart
Academic staff
Location, ,
CampusUrban, 900 acres (3.6 km2)
ColorsPurple      and      Gold [4]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IMVC, MVFC and Big 12
Sports17 varsity teams [5]
MascotTC Panther (male panther) & TK Panther (female panther)
University of Northern Iowa.svg
The Campanile, a major university landmark at the center of UNI's campus.


Iowa State Normal School, c. 1904
Curris Business Building at University of Northern 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.[7]

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.[7]

The school has been known under the following names:

  • Iowa State Normal School, 1876–1909
  • Iowa State Teachers College, 1909–1961
  • State College of Iowa, 1961–1967
  • University of Northern Iowa, 1967–present
Memorial to 2LT Robert Hibbs and Campanile at University of Northern Iowa


Since its founding, the university has had eleven presidents.[2]

  • James Cleland Gilchrist, 1876–1886
  • Homer Horatio Seerley, 1886–1928
  • Orval Ray Latham, 1928–1940
  • Malcolm Poyer Price, 1940–1950
  • James William Maucker, 1950–1970
  • John Joseph Kamerick, 1970–1983
  • Constantine William Curris, 1983–1995
  • Robert D. Koob, 1995–2006
  • Benjamin J. Allen, 2006–2013
  • William Ruud, 2013–2016
  • Mark Nook, 2017–present


University of Northern Iowa Colleges include:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Humanities, Arts and Sciences
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Graduate College

Student statisticsEdit

The fall 2019 total semester enrollment was 10,497, the lowest since 1975. Its freshman enrollment was 1,495.[8][9] UNI president Mark Nook attributed the decline to increasing tuition, saying "we're too expensive".[10] The incoming class of 2016 marked the most diverse class in UNI's history with 11.2 percent minority students. Minority students now account for just over 10 percent of UNI's student body.[11]

Liberal ArtsEdit

UNI has implemented a Liberal Arts Core (LAC) in order to provide a common liberal arts foundation for all undergraduate students.

LAC Categories
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

Study Abroad CenterEdit

UNI provides an opportunity for the students to study in 25+ countries and select from over 40 programs.[12] The mission of the Study Abroad Center at the University of Northern Iowa is to provide service and leadership in international education to UNI students, faculty, staff, the community and the State of Iowa.[13]

Culture and Intensive English ProgramEdit

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.

North American ReviewEdit

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 Rachel Morgan, Jeremy Schraffenberger, Grant Tracey, and Brooke Wonders.

UNI Teaching and Research Greenhouse

Teaching and Research GreenhouseEdit

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.


From 2014 through 2018 the UNI hosted the Midwest Summer Institute: Inclusion and Communication for All, a two-day conference on facilitated communication sponsored by the Inclusion Connection and Syracuse University's Institute on Communication and Inclusion. In 2018, just before the fifth annual conference held on June 18–19, a group of over thirty "researchers and academics around the globe" signed a letter to the UNI asking the university to cancel the conference because the practice has been "thoroughly discredited over 25 years ago"[14]. The letter also stated that "overwhelming scientific evidence suggests that facilitated communication constitutes a serious violation of the individual, civil and human rights of people with disabilities, robbing them of the opportunity to communicate independently with available innovative technologies."[14][15][16][17][18][19] Proponents of the method have defended the conference.[20] The National Council Against Health Fraud released an article that was critical of the school's support of Facilitated Communication and summarized the American Speech–Language–Hearing Associations draft position on Facilitated Communication as a harmful pseudoscience.[16][21] The 2018 conference was held as scheduled, but the university withdrew its support shortly thereafter. On Oct 24, 2018, Provost Jim Wohlpart announced that the UNI would no longer host the conference.[19][22] Critics were pleased with this result but are skeptical of UNI's statement that the workshop was hosted by an outside agency, as UNI continues to employ "current staff members who trained with Douglas Biklen.[23]


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.[24] 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.[25]

Bryce Paup won the Defensive Player of Year Award by the Associated Press in 1995. In 1999 and 2001, UNI alumnus Kurt Warner was named NFL MVP by the AP.[26]

During the 2014-2015 season, the men's basketball team ended the regular season ranked #11 by the AP Poll, the highest ranking in school history, and #9 by USA Today.[27]

Campus buildingsEdit

  • Baker Hall - Faculty offices. Formerly an all-male residence hall, demolished in 2014 (replaced by a parking lot)
  • Bartlett Hall - Faculty offices. Formerly a residence hall.
  • Bender Hall - Coed Residence Hall (Towers Complex)
  • Begeman Hall - Newly Renovated Physics Building - opened October 5, 2007
  • Biology Research Complex
  • Communication Arts Center - Location of radio station KUNI (FM)'s studios.
  • Campanile - Clocktower on campus built in 1926, landmark of UNI and included in many university logos
  • Campbell Hall - Coed (formerly female only) residence hall.
  • Curris Business Building
  • Center for Energy & Environmental Education
  • Center for Educational Technology
  • Center for Urban Education - Located in Waterloo
  • Dancer Hall - Coed Dormitory (Towers Complex)
  • Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center
  • Gilchrist Hall - Administration building. Closed until 2008 due to arson fire during homecoming, Fall 2005, now reopened[28]
  • Greenhouse Annex - Part of the McCollum Science Hall
  • Hagemann Hall - Coed Dormitory (formerly all female, part of Quads Complex)
  • Industrial Technology Center - Academic Building
  • Innovative Teaching and Technology Center - Previously known as the East Gymnasium. Former Women's Gym. Remodeling was completed late Spring 2006
  • Kamerick Art Building - Academic Building; houses the University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art
  • Latham Hall - Academic Building
  • Lawther Hall - Coed Upperclassmen Residence Hall. Reopened for the Fall of 2017 after closing for renovations in May 2015.
  • Lang Hall - Academic Building housing the communication departments.
  • Maucker Student Union- home of UNI's student-run radio station, KULT 94.5 FM[29]
  • McLeod Center - Home of UNI Men's and Women's Basketball, Volleyball, and Wrestling
  • McCollum Science Hall - Academic Building housing the science departments.
  • Museum - Natural Science and Anthropology collections, Rural Schools collection, Marshall Center School, main collection and exhibits located on the first floor of Rod Library[30]
  • Native Roadside Vegetation Center
  • Nielsen Fieldhouse, Former gymnasium of Malcom Price Laboratory School (Special Education Offices and to get your Teacher Name Tags)
  • Noehren Hall - Coed residence hall (Part of Quads Complex)
  • Panther Village - Apparment-Style residence buildings for juniors and seniors. Will be open to sophomores beginning in the Fall of 2018.
  • Redeker Center - Center of Quads Complex. Houses UNI Department of Residence and Piazza Dining Center
  • Residence on the Hill (ROTH) - Coed Suite Style Residence Hall for Upperclassmen
  • Rider Hall - Coed (formerly male only) residence hall (Part of the Quads Complex)
  • Rod Library - Library, UNI Museum, Special Collection & University Archives
  • Russell Hall - Academic building and auditorium housing the Music departments
  • Sabin Hall - Academic Building
  • Schindler Education Center - Academic Building housing the education departments
  • Seerley Hall - Home of the Office of the President. Also an Academic Building, home to the History department
  • Shull Hall - Coed (formerly male only) Dormitory, recently remodeled for upperclassmen only (Part of Quads Complex)
  • Student Health Center-Student Health Clinic, Counseling Center, Student Disability Services, Violence Intervention Services.
  • Student Services Center - Attached to Bartlett Hall, formerly known as East Bartlett
  • Strayer-Wood Theatre - Theatre that also houses the theatre department of UNI. Home of Theatre UNI
  • Towers Center - Home of the Rialto Dining Center
  • UNI-Dome - Stadium with seating for 16,000+. Home of UNI Football.
  • Wellness Recreation Center
  • Wright Hall - Academic Building housing the Mathematics Department
  • West Gymnasium - Home of the UNI Military Science program (ROTC) and men's wrestling practice facility. Former home of UNI women's basketball and women's volleyball.


Student lifeEdit

Campaniling 2018

Student newspapersEdit

  • Students Offering, 1888–1889
  • Normal Eye, 1892–1911
  • College Eye, 1911–1967
  • Northern Iowan, 1967–present

Fraternity and sorority lifeEdit


NPC sororitiesEdit

Notable alumni, faculty and staffEdit




  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY2016 to FY2017". Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b "UNI Fact Sheet | Rod Library". Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  3. ^ a b c Miller, Vanessa (12 September 2019). "Enrollment drops at Iowa's public universities". The Gazette. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  4. ^ "University of Northern Iowa Web Colors". Archived from the original on 2017-02-14. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  5. ^ "Panther Athletics | University of Northern Iowa".
  6. ^ "Institutional Research & Effectiveness". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  7. ^ a b University of Northern Iowa, Gerald L. Peterson, Aracadia Publishing, 2000.
  8. ^ "UNI reports fall enrollment, student success trends | Inside UNI". Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  9. ^ "UNI Fact Sheet | Rod Library". Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  10. ^ Miller, Vanessa. "600-student drop? UNI expecting lowest enrollment in 40-plus years". The Gazette. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Institutional Research & Effectiveness". Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  12. ^ "Programs > List All > Study Abroad Center". Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  13. ^ "About Us | UNI Study Abroad Center". Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  14. ^ a b Miller, Vanessa. "'Facilitated communication' conference draws fire at University of Northern Iowa. Academics condemn technique as discredited, harmful, unethical". The Gazette. The Gazette, Cedar Rapds, IA. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  15. ^ Whitford, Emma. "Critics Question Conference on Facilitated Communication". Inside Higher Ed. Archived from the original on 19 June 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  16. ^ a b Salzberg, Steven. "Facilitated Communication Has Been Called An Abuse Of Human Rights. Why Is It Still Around?". Forbes. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  17. ^ Orac (2018-06-19). "The University of Northern Iowa promotes facilitated communication quackery". Respectful Insolence. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  18. ^ Muller, Jordan (2018-06-18). "SU to co-host conference on discredited communication method, drawing criticism from academics". The Daily Orange. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  19. ^ a b Miller, Vanessa. "University of Northern Iowa will review involvement in 'facilitated communication' conference". The Gazette. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  20. ^ Steffen, Amie. "Proponents of facilitated communication defend Midwest Summer Institute". The Courier. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  21. ^ Barrett, Stephen. "Consumer Health Digest #18-24". National Council Against Health Fraud. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  22. ^ Miller, Vanessa (November 13, 2018). "University of Northern Iowa drops controversial conference". The Gazette. Archived from the original on November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  23. ^ "University of Northern Iowa Cancels Support of FC Conference". Skeptical Inquirer. 43 (2): 8. 2019.
  24. ^ Nelson, Jim. "College wrestling: UNI welcomes move to Big 12 Conference". Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Baseball - Media Guide - Official Site of University of Northern Iowa Athletics".[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ National Football League Most Valuable Player Award
  27. ^ "NCAA College Basketball Polls, College Basketball Rankings, NCAA Basketball Polls - ESPN".
  28. ^ "Gilchrist Hall". Rod Library.
  29. ^ "KULT".
  30. ^ "About Us". UNI Museum. 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
    . Archived from the original on 2018-08-18. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  32. ^ "Theta Zeta – University of Northern Iowa".
  33. ^ "Sigma Alpha Epsilon". Archived from the original on 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  34. ^ "Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity - University of Northern Iowa -". Archived from the original on 2018-04-19. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  35. ^ "Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Inc". 2018-09-13.
  36. ^ "Alpha Delta Pi Epsilon Mu". Archived from the original on 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  37. ^ Scotch. "Alpha Xi Delta".
  38. ^ "Alpha Phi University of Northern Iowa - Welcome". Archived from the original on 2018-08-06. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  39. ^ "Gamma Phi Beta".
  40. ^ "The Des Moines Register". Archived from the original on 2013-11-08.
  41. ^ "Edward Arthur Thomas, 58, Parkersburg". The Daily Freeman Journal. 25 June 2006. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  42. ^ "Ben Hagarty".

External linksEdit