UNI's impact highlighted at Day at the Capitol

TC and TK briefly took to the floor of the Iowa State House Monday as the University of Northern Iowa hosted UNI Day at the Capitol, an annual event highlighting UNI’s impact across the state by showcasing its programs, services, students and alumni.

Gov. Kim Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Gregg and other legislators met with students, faculty, alumni and top UNI administrators as violin music played by two UNI School of Music alumni echoed through the capitol rotunda. Programs across the university were featured at the event, including a research science partnership with Wind Cave National Park and the business and community services UNI provides throughout the state.  

“It’s an important day for UNI to show legislators and other lawmakers what we do at the University of Northern Iowa,” said President Mark Nook. “It’s an opportunity for them to meet our students, hear directly from them and the impact that UNI has had on their lives and their future.” 

Among those students was UNI junior Marlon Jackson, an English education major.

“UNI is the community that has unity,” he said. “It’s the best place to come for an education. There is no other place in Iowa I’d rather be.”

UNI is asking state legislators for an additional $4 million in state funding to allow the university to maintain tuition costs essentially at current levels and become more competitive with peer institutions, while growing enrollment in line with its facilities. Although UNI students already graduate with less debt than the average college student, the university continues to strive to make education even more affordable. 

The university is also asking for $39.7 million over three years to transform UNI’s Industrial Technology Center to expand our capacity to provide qualified applicants in high-demand industries struggling to meet Iowa's employment needs. 

 It’s all part of the university’s bid to remain at the forefront of providing a high-quality and affordable education, officials said.

“You’re not just a number at UNI,” said Haley Langstraat, a UNI junior studying leisure, youth and human services. “The small campus has a lot of opportunities on it.”