About the University of Iowa

Founded in 1847 as the state's first public institution of higher education, the university offers a number of top-ranked programs and is a member of the Association of American Universities. With a solid liberal arts and sciences foundation, the university is known nationally and internationally for excellence in education, passion for discovery, and a tradition of public service. UI offers a vibrant intellectual community that values collaboration and draws students and scholars from around the country and around the world.

There are twelve academic colleges comprising the university: Business, Education, Engineering, Dentistry, Law, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, University College, and the Graduate College. The total annual operating budget is approximately $4 billion, and the university’s major buildings are situated within walking distance of one another, giving the campus a strong sense of community.

UI Health Care comprises 45 percent of total faculty and staff headcount. The University of Iowa’s faculty includes 2,809 regular faculty members of whom 1,485 are tenured or tenure-track, 937 are clinical-track, 41 are research-track, and 346 are instructional-track. The remainder of the faculty is composed of fixed-term faculty members, including those holding adjunct, clinical adjunct, and visiting faculty appointments. Among all paid faculty in fall 2019, 43 percent were women and 18 percent identified as minorities.

UI is home to an ambitious and academically strong student body comprised of more than 23,000 undergraduates, 5,900 graduate students, and about 3,100 professional students and post-graduate scholars. About 60 percent of students are Iowa residents, 32 percent come from other U.S. states, and 8 percent are international students. Approximately 18 percent of students identify as African American, Asian American, American Indian or Native Alaskan, Latino, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or two or more races. Approximately 23 percent of UI undergraduate students are the first in their family to attend college and about 1.9 percent are veterans. For further information about university demographics, see the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion data reports.

The university has won international recognition for achievements in medicine and allied health professions, the sciences, the humanities, creative writing, and the arts. UI has been a top producer of Fulbright Scholars and has highly ranked programs across all disciplines. The university has world-renowned research programs in genetics, hydrology, neuroscience and the biomedical sciences. Iowa scientists have been pioneers in space research, designing and building research instruments for more than 50 successful U.S. satellites and space probes. The visual and performing arts have a vibrant presence on campus, with a large art collection in the Stanley Museum of Art and hundreds of performances available to students and the community each year. Known as the Writing University, UI is home to multiple units dedicated to creative writing, including renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the International Writing Program, the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, the Iowa Translation Workshop, and the Nonfiction Writing Program.

To learn more about the University of Iowa, see uiowa.edu

 

GOVERNANCE AND UNIVERSITY LEADERSHIP

The Iowa Board of Regents is the governing body for Iowa’s three public universities and is composed of nine citizen volunteers appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate, serving staggered six-year terms. The Board provides oversight, establishes system-wide policies, and approves academic programs, budgets, tuition and fees, as well as capital projects.

Bruce Harreld became the 21st President of the University of Iowa in 2015. President Harreld has served in corporate leadership positions including Senior Vice President of IBM, President and board member of Boston Market Company, and Senior Vice President and Division President of Kraft General Foods. President Harreld has also served as a consultant, advising public, private, and military organizations on leadership, organic growth, and strategic renewal, including serving as Manager, Vice President, and member of the board of the Boston Consulting Group. President Harreld served on the faculty of Harvard Business School from 2008–2014, with dual appointments to the entrepreneurial and strategy units. He was faculty chair of the Building New Businesses in Established Organizations program. He also has been an adjunct professor at Northwestern University in the Kellogg School of Management, developing the first- ever MBA course on Strategic Use of Information Technology. He received a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University.

In 2019, Dr. Montserrat (Montse) Fuentes was appointed Executive Vice President and Provost. Provost Fuentes came to the University of Iowa from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she served as dean and professor in the College of Humanities & Sciences. Provost Fuentes received BS degrees in mathematics and statistics and in music and piano from the University of Valladolid, Spain, and a PhD in statistics from the University of Chicago. She completed postdoctoral studies in environmental sciences at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. She is a first-generation college graduate and is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

 

THE CURRENT MOMENT

Since its founding, the university has sought to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in higher education. From its founding, Iowa has been a beacon of equality and opportunity for all people. It was the nation’s first public university to admit men and women on an equal basis, the first public institution to award law degrees to women and African Americans, and the first state university to recognize a campus organization for gay students. Iowa invented the Master of Fine Arts degree, becoming the first institution to accept creative work in lieu of a written thesis. It has pioneered fields ranging from educational television to cochlear implants. Its “University of Firsts” moniker reflects the many pioneering actions taken by administrators, faculty, staff, and students to create a more diverse and inclusive experience on campus Committed to principles of shared governance with faculty, staff, and students, UI promotes collaboration and diverse perspectives with the goal of achieving optimal outcomes for the university. As such, nearly every important and effective program, initiative, and structure advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of Iowa has been rooted in the active and persistent energy of the campus community. Whether it be the founding of student cultural centers, the establishment of ethnic studies programs, the infusion of employee affinity groups, or the call for a comprehensive assessment of campus climate and the development of transparent action plans as a result, the University of Iowa’s progress relies on and is  fueled by a broad pool of insightful, talented, and enthusiastic campus partners and advocates. Their knowledge, skills, and sense of urgency will continue to build upon the work to date and spur even greater excellence through diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In 2017, UI embarked on a comprehensive assessment of campus climate led by the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; the Office of the Provost; and the Charter Committee on Diversity. The campus implemented faculty, staff, and student surveys to gain a systematic understanding of campus climate, establish a baseline for measuring change in campus climate over time, and inform future diversity, equity, and inclusion-related strategic planning. In 2019, the university released its 2019-2021 Excellence through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan. The plan represents the culmination of a multi-year assessment and engagement process and is designed to provide a roadmap to guide diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives preceding the campus-wide strategic planning process that will commence in 2021. Today, progress is underway with respect to many of the critical tasks outlined in the DEI Action Plan. Under the leadership of the new AVP-DEI, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives will constitute a critical component in the university’s forthcoming 2021-2026 strategic plan.

Looking to the future, the campus is eager to embark on a comprehensive, data- and research-informed process to cultivate a campus community that is committed to and excels in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion across its teaching, research, and service mission. UI recognizes that in order to realize excellence in research and learning, diversity, equity, and inclusion must be inextricably linked to the educational mission. Situated in the Office of the Provost, the AVP-DEI will be best positioned to help define a coherent path forward, coordinate various components, expand the reach, and enhance the strategy to meet current institutional needs most effectively.