UNI President Mark Nook.

University of Northern Iowa president Mark Nook says the university will unveil a new logo as the culmination of an update to its marketing program. As Iowa businesses struggle to find enough qualified workers, Nook say the goal is to enroll more out-of-state students who will end up staying in Iowa after graduation.

“Spent a lot of time looking at our brand and what it is in Iowa and across the Midwest, in particular,” Nook says, ” but also throughout the United States and around the world.”

In addition to updated marketing, Nook says it’s time for a comprehensive, long-term plan for the institution.

“We’re approaching our 150th anniversary in 2026,” Nook says, “and the time between between now and then we’re really using to look holistically at our university and take a long view.”

According to Nook, the last long-term plan for the institution was developed around the time its name changed to The University of Northern Iowa in 1967.

“It really is time for us to take that big look,” Nook says. “There have been many changes to the higher education landscape in the last several years and there are many, many more in front of us.”

Part of the effort will include development of what Nook calls a “purpose statement” for the university and he is appointing a permanent planning committee for the campus.

“To move from simply putting together a plan every five years and following it and making it happen to having a guiding committee that is our strategic planning coordinating committee that will continue to collect data and watch the metrics and report our regularly,” Nook says, “and provide consistency and continuity from one plan to the next and really institutionalize strategic planning at the University of Northern Iowa.”

In 1876, a teacher training institution known as the Iowa State Normal School was started in Cedar Falls. Today, the University of Northern Iowa campus in Cedar Falls covers more than 900 acres. Just over 9500 students enrolled at the University of Northern Iowa this past August. The fall semester ended just before Thanksgiving due to the pandemic.