Strategic Plan for the UNI College of Humanities, Arts & Sciences

The below is a Working DRAFT  

Our Vision: 
Offering personalized attention to students, the University of Northern Iowa will be an inclusive campus community that provides an engaged education, empowering students to lead locally and globally.

Our Mission:
The University of Northern Iowa engages students in high-quality and high-impact learning experiences and emphasizes excellence in teaching and scholarship.

Our Values:
As a university community we are guided by the following core values:

Academic Freedom:
The freedom of inquiry and expression in teaching and scholarship.

Accountability; Collaboration; Community; Diversity; Engagement; Sustainability

 Unifying Goal: Student Success:

The University of Northern Iowa provides students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to become lifelong learners and active, contributing members of society. Each student will receive support and be guided towards purposeful pathways to success. Faculty and staff will advance student success through high-impact practices and by offering innovative programs which support  a broad-based liberal education. Students attending UNI will receive a transformational, holistic, learning experience that advances their intellectual, social, and civic development preparing them to pursue their personal and professional goals.

Supporting Goal 1: Equity and Inclusion

UNI is a diverse, respectful, and inclusive work and learning environment that prepares the university community for an evolving world. Diversity and equity are embedded in the fabric of our community. We will routinely reflect on our own beliefs and eliminate practices that discriminate against, degrade, or diminish groups or individuals based on the group members’ innate characteristics. Diversity is a necessary foundation for inclusion, and that inclusive excellence provides a learning environment for our students and our community that prepares us for a dynamic, interconnected world.

  • Increasing the diversity of faculty and staff members in the college
    • Develop recruitment pipelines by: Presence at conferences, scouting, recruiting.
    • Identify focus institutions, professional societies, and professional groups focused on increasing diversity in the field .
    • Building relationships with minority institutions and accessing their communication networks. 
  • Create a search process that is open and inviting to diverse candidates with the goal of having increased diverse candidates in the finalist pools (ideally 25%) by:.
    • Identify diversity focused career publications, list serves, professional associations and post job listings there.
    • Write jobs that add diverse perspectives to discipline based teaching/research.
    • Include CHAS or departmental  diversity recruitment statements in listings.
    • Set goals for diversity within search committees and applicant pools on a departmental level.
  • Retain and support faculty and staff from under-represented groups by:     
    • Creating a mentoring network, 
    • Facilitating the formation of affinity groups within the college, 
    • Introducing faculty to the full range of diversity present in our larger community. 
    • Engaging and maintaining dialogue with faculty members within the college on this goal.
  • Increasing the diversity of the college’s students 
    • Recruit and retain a diverse student body, establishing scholarships for underrepresented groups. 
    • Identify and encourage alumni, student, and community groups to support focused recruitment. 
    • Establishing support of off-campus outreach and on campus opportunities for identified groups, and by identifying and building relationships with potential feeder programs.(e.g., UNICUE/Trio, select Community colleges).
    • Identify three communities for focused recruitment/engagement. Engage minority alumni to inform location selection.
    • Retain a diverse student body by supporting on campus affinity groups, peer mentoring/tutoring, and the formation of alumni affinity groups/connections.
    • Enhance our marketing platforms to become more inclusive. Prepare marketing materials that represent all students and faculty actively engaged in CHAS programs.
  • Coordinate multi-disciplinary recruitment of under-represented students. These will include:
    • Educate admissions staff about our disciplines. 
    • Pair faculty members with admissions staff for select college fairs.
  • Engage underrepresented students 
    • Work with students from diverse backgrounds to identify support strategies.
    • Develop future initiatives based on their recommendations.
  • Create curriculum development processes that include elements of equity and diversity 
    • Write a curriculum statement that sets the goal of inclusion.
    • Develop a form which addresses the inclusion of equitable and diverse materials in the curriculum (when appropriate within the discipline) with a goal of inclusion and improved accessibility. Reviewed by CHAS Faculty Senate during curriculum review (PEDAGOGY, METHODOLOGY, DELIVERY)
    • Provide a variety of course and lab times as well as  locations to ensure students: traditional, working  and non-traditional have the opportunity to take the required courses.
    • Provide learning opportunities that help faculty incorporate these perspectives.

Supporting Goal 2: Campus Vitality

Our campus community will flourish in all aspects of our operations and the personal and professional lives of our community members.  UNI provides student development focused on their social, emotional, and intellectual well-being.  Faculty and staff are offered professional development opportunities that support continual learning. UNI provides a state-of-the-art working environment that uses resources wisely. UNI also supports original research, creative work and scholarship that creates new knowledge and explores our world.

  • Strategic Communications - telling the story
    • Routine meetings with College Marketing with Department Heads, CHAS Senate and Department Faculty.
    • Develop talking points/narratives to support general studies/liberal arts/broad curriculum and infuse them in college and departmental communications. 
    • Increase promotion of inter-university and academic-industry events and collaboration via a strong social media and web presence.
    • Curriculum/ Major and Program development
  • Prioritize the development of programs and curriculum that is: responsive to student needs,  the changing nature of work and lifelong learning.
    • Expand intentional student engagement in the arts, humanities, sciences, technology and mathematics through curricular and co-curricular activities 
    • Develop professional readiness extra curricular programs that complement discipline driven career preparation. 
  • Faculty Development and Support
    • Develop peer support groups for junior faculty .
    • Provide formal and/or informal mentoring to junior faculty
    • Provide professional development for junior faculty using university and discipline specific organizational resources.

Supporting Goal 3: Community Engagement 

Public-private partnerships and community relationships are central to our core mission as a comprehensive university. Through these relationships the University of Northern Iowa offers our students internships, service learning experiences, and research opportunities and offers our community partners wide-ranging benefits that support their goals. Alumni and community partners assist in our ability to recruit and retain students, raise funds to support programs and scholarships, and adapt our curriculum and programming to meet the needs of a changing world.

  • Build and Maintain Community and Community Partnerships. 
    • Identify current and potential outreach partnerships and initiatives that could be enhanced or enabled with internal and external funding 
    • Inventory and capture existing community relationships and partnerships that provide service learning, internships and career placements.
    • Collect proposals for new initiatives and partnerships.
    • Identify potential funding sources and begin solicitation.
    • Evaluate program effectiveness. 
  • Increased Participation in Professional and Global Communities
    • Establish faculty professional development initiatives that foster expansion of partnerships between the academy and professional and global communities.
    • Creation of routine professional development opportunities to explore, plan and initiate new ways to connect to the field and the disciplines.
    • Creation of funding to support off campus Professional Development Assignments. 
    • Support the development of departmental alumni groups charged with connecting students with professionals in their chosen field.