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Diversity Matters

President's Message

 A New Academic Year, New Leadership and a Renewed Commitment to Diversity

The start of a new academic year is a time to reevaluate, reprioritize and revitalize our goals.  As the 10th president of UNI, I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity. 

As the 2013-2014 school year opens, I look forward to increased opportunities for growth, renewal and vigor in the diversity efforts of our campus community. The University of Northern Iowa is committed to diversity and seeks to increase the diversity of our university community.  Together, we must respect and encourage individuals of all backgrounds and experiences to join the Panther family so we may further enrich the fabric of this great university.  

We already have many reasons to be excited.  A few of the most recent accomplishments are as follows:

  • We expanded our partnership with the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI), training faculty, staff and students campus-wide in the area of diversity;
  • We opened two new centers, one designed specifically for our LGBT students and allies and another for our military veteran students, giving these populations their own unique spaces on UNI’s campus;
  • In May 2013, our LGBT organization, UNI Proud, was voted the Best Gay-Straight Alliance by the Iowa Pride Network; and
  • Our campus was host to a sizable citizenship oath ceremony in April, with two of our own faculty members among those being naturalized. 

My goal is for every member of our university community to understand that she/he is a valued individual who is respected for the unique talents and characteristics she/he brings to the campus.  Please feel free to contact us at with your ideas and thoughts.  We want to be a leader in this important dialogue.

Bill Ruud, Ph.D.
June 2013