At the Sept. 13 Board of Regents meeting, the board approved our fiscal year 2020 budget request for an additional $4 million in state appropriations. At the meeting, President Nook said that with this additional state investment in UNI, we will be able to build on the university’s commitment to student success.
The University of Northern Iowa’s mission is to engage students in high-quality and high-impact learning experiences, emphasizing excellence in teaching and scholarship within a challenging and supportive environment. As the state’s comprehensive university, UNI focuses on educating Iowans for Iowa.
This year, UNI will focus on building our enrollment back to levels that are in line with our facilities and the needs of the state. We are working to define and promote the attributes of UNI that make us distinctive as a regional comprehensive public university focused on the success of our students. With a four-year graduation rate that is 11.7 percentage points higher than institutions with a similar student profile, UNI remains an excellent value for the citizens of Iowa.
UNI is also requesting $38 million over three years for the renovation and modernization of the Industrial Technology Center building and an additional $400,000 for an additive manufacturing expansion at our Metal Casting Center. Our remaining state appropriation line-items for economic development programs, recycling and reuse center, real estate education and STEM education are requested at status-quo funding.
While the university remains committed to its history in teacher preparation, the impact of UNI extends well beyond these roots. Our excellent programs in business, social and behavioral sciences, humanities, arts and natural sciences, and education prepare students to work and contribute in every employment sector across Iowa and provide a meaningful contribution to the state. And while our core focus remains on undergraduate education, we also provide strong graduate programs that continue to attract students in all stages of life.
We will continue our effort to build legislative support and we ask for your help. More information on our budget requests can be found on the Board of Regents website.