The University of Northern Iowa today officially installed a new president. State Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter performed the official duties. “William N. Ruud, by the authority vested in me, it is with great pleasure that I install you as the 10th president of the University of Northern Iowa,” Rastetter said at a ceremony in Cedar Falls.
Ruud said he’s looking forward to making UNI a better place to be. “We must continue providing students, who pass through UNI’s hallowed halls, with a high quality education that allows them to succeed and excel in an ever-changing global environment,” Ruud said. “To put that in perspective, some time in their career, the vast majority of today’s kindergarten students will hold a job that has not yet been invented.”
Ruud began work at UNI on June 1. He succeeds Ben Allen, who retired earlier this year. Ruud is challenged with boosting the school’s image and winning over a campus community that faced cuts to academic programs and the closure of a laboratory school.
He noted UNI is headed in the right direction as fall enrollment is at 12,159 students — 359 more than was projected. “Additionally, we improved our student retention rate. This fall, the rate of students returning for a second year is 82.9 percent. That’s the highest retention rate at UNI since 2007,” Ruud said.
Prior to his move to Cedar Falls, Ruud was president of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.