UI leaders emphasize value, education, entrepreneurship, and impact

UI leaders emphasize value, education, entrepreneurship, and impact

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This week’s presentations to the Iowa General Assembly underscore the university’s statewide ties
View of the interior of the state capitol rotunda.University of Iowa leaders visit the state capitol in Des Moines this week to outline the university's education and economic development priorities. Interior view of the capitol rotunda via Wikimedia Commons, used under Creative Commons license.

Keeping education affordable, ensuring students succeed, fostering entrepreneurship, and strengthening connections with Iowa communities will top the agenda when University of Iowa leaders meet with Iowa General Assembly subcommittees this week.

UI President Sally Mason will address the Education Appropriations Subcommittee Tuesday, Feb. 12, outlining the university’s student-focused priorities.

Daniel Reed, UI vice president for research and economic development, and David Hensley, interim associate vice president for economic development, will address the Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday, Feb. 14, focusing on support for entrepreneurship.

Mason will emphasize UI measures to keep tuition affordable, particularly for Iowa residents. Her presentation also will note wide-ranging initiatives aimed at helping students attain their educational goals and graduate within four years—another important element in keeping college affordable.

These include new first-year programs that connect students with campus resources; early-intervention initiatives that offer proactive support for students with academic, financial, or other concerns; and high-tech teaching facilities that promote collaboration and exploration in the classroom.

The University of Iowa earns high marks in national rankings of college value. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine recently compared costs, financial aid, and graduation rates to name the UI the state’s best public university value. Fiske Guide to Colleges has listed the UI as a “best buy” eight years in a row—the only Big Ten school to make the list. UI leaders want to maintain or enhance the university’s standing.

Reed and Hensley will focus on programs that help students turn promising ideas into start-up companies. The university has requested $7 million in new funding for entrepreneurship initiatives, emphasizing how young businesses boost the state’s overall economy.

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the UI unites initiatives to start and grow businesses, regularly earning the university a spot among the nation’s top 25 entrepreneurship programs.

Specific initiatives include academic programs for undergraduates and online learners; education and training for business owners; and the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory, a business incubator that’s helped more than 150 student-run businesses get their start.

Education and economic development are two essential ways the university impacts communities in every corner of the state. The UI recently launched an outreach website that shows county-by-county alumni ties, investment, and health care impact: outreach.uiowa.edu .


Mark Braun, Office of the President, 319-335-3549


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