UNI joins AASCU’s American Democracy Project in celebrating 20 years of advancing democratic principles across U.S. higher education

UNI joins AASCU’s American Democracy Project in celebrating 20 years of advancing democratic principles across U.S. higher education

Students walking on UNI campus

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa is proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) nonpartisan American Democracy Project© by recommitting to the initiative's guiding principles of civic and democratic engagement.

The nonpartisan initiative has engaged thousands of campus leaders, faculty, staff, and students to equip college graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to be informed and engaged global citizens. As a member of the American Democracy Project network, UNI joins a growing number of AASCU campuses, collaborating on creating meaningful and engaging methods of preparing students to participate in a thriving democracy. In honor of the anniversary, UNI is recommitting to the principles of the American Democracy Project. Those principles include:

  • Making civic learning and democratic engagement an expectation for every student.
  • Integrating civic inquiry across the curriculum.
  • Modeling open, democratic engagement from multiple perspectives.
  • Fostering an ethos of civic mindedness.
  • Advancing civic action through democratic processes and practices.

"The University of Northern Iowa is a proud member of the American Democracy Project, and we continue to lead by example and advocate for the kind of democratic engagement and civic mindedness the program embodies," said UNI President Mark Nook. "From encouraging voting and promoting community dialogues to developing the civic skills that stimulate critical thinking and action, UNI is committed to preparing our students to lead for future generations.”

“College and university leaders are committed to advancing thoughtful and constructive dialogue rather than polarized debate,” said Cathy Copeland, American Democracy Project director. “By recommitting to the guiding principles of the American Democracy Project, we encourage information literacy, responsible stewardship of our nation’s resources, and relationships that acknowledge America’s commitment to a healthy global society.”

The American Democracy Project was established in 2003 in partnership with The New York Times. Key benefits for American Democracy Project campuses include access to an array network of leaders, faculty, staff, and students, all of which foster collaborative research and resource-sharing opportunities. Additionally, the project offers regular gatherings such as the annual Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement meeting, professional development opportunities for leaders across all levels, and an extensive national partner network. Participating institutions also have the chance to engage in grant-funded national projects, workshops, and initiatives aligned with their missions.

To learn more about the American Democracy Project recommitment initiative and to see the growing list of institutions that have also made the commitment, visit https://aascu.org/civic-global-engagement/american-democracy-project/.