Graduate College Strategic Plan
Graduate education at the University of Northern Iowa will offer a personalized, inclusive environment for students looking for high-quality programs in applied, professional, creative, interdisciplinary, and research-based studies.
Graduate education at the University of Northern Iowa fosters, through high quality research and practitioner programs, student inquiry that promotes an active, engaged and productive citizenry with a passion for lifelong learning and engagement.
Values of Graduate Education at the University of Northern Iowa
An assurance of freedom of expression in teaching and scholarship
A commitment to create options for program delivery and financial accessibility
Diversity and Inclusion
A diverse and inclusive environment that recognizes graduate student excellence
Active participation in intellectual discovery to make positive changes in local and global communities
A Commitment to academic excellence and ethics in scholarship, creative activity and teaching through rigorous and intellectual research and instruction
Faculty and Student Development
A commitment to provide opportunities for professional and academic growth that support and values research, creativity activity, teaching and leadership
A commitment to advance interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary activities and programs
Goal 1: To support, sustain and enhance the academic quality and rigor of UNI’s graduate programs.
Objective 1: To increase the opportunities for all graduate students to conduct research and creative activity with the guidance and support of faculty.
- Expand opportunities for graduate students to present their research
- Host and promote an annual conference/symposium for graduate students
- Establish a site on the Graduate College website to highlight publications and conference presentations of graduate students and faculty
- Foster the engagement of graduate students in global community outreach
- Promote the Graduate College as a repository for lists-of-faculty seeking graduate students to assist with research or creative activity to broaden/expand their experience
Objective 2: To regularly offer professional development workshops for graduate students.
- Compile information and professional opportunities and display it on the website
- Solicit additional ideas from the graduate community for workshops each semester
- Work with campus partners to develop programming that provides support for students in writing, scholarship and professional skills
Objective 3: To establish and maintain Student Outcomes Assessments for all graduate programs.
- Make sure to enforce the established deadline for graduate programs to submit SOA reports to the College
- Continue to work with Assessment Council to review reports and provide feedback to graduate programs
- Work with programs to at least have them “Meet Expectations” for all criteria
Objective 4: To provide and support opportunities for graduate faculty to share research with colleagues and graduate students.
- Schedule and host Brown Bag sessions for faculty to present and discuss their research/scholarship
- Provide opportunities/venues for faculty to engage/participate in webinars, symposiums, e-conferences, conventions, and other events allowing for global interaction
- Request presentations of faculty who have recently been awarded PDA awards and summer fellowships
- Partner with all relevant centers on campus to provide teaching, scholarship and professional development support to faculty
- Foster the engagement of graduate faculty in global community outreach
Objective 5: To ensure that UNI continually identifies, fosters engagement in, and meets the emerging demands of society at the local, state, national and global levels with its graduate programs.
- Evaluate workforce trends using Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) data and other information, that would be helpful, to generate conversations about revising graduate programs or certificates
- Make connections with local/regional organizations and interested graduate programs to enhance or modify current programs to better meet workforce trends
Goal 2: To create an inclusive and diverse environment for graduate students and faculty.
Objective 1: To encourage recruitment and retention of a diverse graduate student body.
- Work with Graduate Coordinators and Graduate Admissions Committees to welcome diversity and inclusion in their admission materials and website information
- Set aside a pool of graduate assistantship funds to use in recruiting minority and international students
- Work with Office of Admissions to develop opportunities for recruiting non-majority students
- Work with campus partners to develop programs that provide support for non-majority students
- Consistently post inclusive materials on all graduate social mediums
Objective 2: To encourage recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty dedicated to graduate education.
- Encourage departments to work with College Deans and Provost’s Office to identify programmatic needs and work with graduate faculty to make sure Best Practices are followed in hiring diverse faculty
- Work with programs to promote and welcome diversity and inclusion on their websites, especially when addressing their graduate programs (ex. Statements on website that encourage students of various ethnic backgrounds to apply...)
- Host an annual Graduate College social event to build community among graduate faculty
Objective 3: To work with UNI Advancement to grow fellowships and scholarships to recruit a diverse and inclusive student body.
- Have ongoing conversations with UNI Advancement to share the vision and mission of the Graduate College and relate stories of the UNI Graduate community
- Continue to develop and grow potential donors for Graduate College
- Work with UNI Advancement to visit potential donors
Goal 3: To ensure that resources are obtained and made available to support, sustain and enhance graduate programs.
Objective 1: To seek funding through internal and external partnerships to support academic quality for graduate programs.
- Identify and facilitate meetings with potential internal partners to collaborate with programs to provide academic experiential opportunities for graduate students
- Advocate for graduate students with respect to student travel and academic support with offices across campus
Objective 2: To work with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) to support graduate faculty in their efforts to obtain grant funding.
- Advertise funding opportunities available to graduate faculty in a more effective and consistent manner
- Promote opportunities/events offered through OSP (ex. Campus Connexus) that allow for increased faculty collaboration
Objective 3: To work with the UNI Advancement Campaign to develop a campaign to increase the number of graduate assistantships and tuition scholarships available to graduate students.
- Work to fundraise for graduate assistantships and scholarships
- Work with UNI Advancement in developing email lists for contacting alums to help with fundraising
Goal 4: To promote UNI’s student-centered graduate programs to all internal and external stakeholders.
Objective 1: To gather activities/stories of graduate program that can be shared with stakeholders.
- Enhance Graduate College website to promote student and faculty achievement
- Send quarterly newsletters (Grad Student News) to campus
- Send annual Newsletter (Graduate Alumni News) to alumni and other external stakeholders
Objective 2: To promote graduate student achievements to the University community as well as prospective students.
- Establish an Alumni focused page on the Graduate College website
- Work with University Relations to write and send news releases about graduate student accomplishments to their hometown newspaper
Objective 3: To promote UNI graduate programs regionally, nationally and internationally
- Increase Graduate College online presence
- Advertise graduate programs through professional associations