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Volume 48, Number 3


What makes Cambus go?

Staying connected: Registrar's Office uses electronic resources to help students stay up-to-date 

The Parents Association is your association

It's a home worth writing home about

The art and humanity of education: UI President Skorton discusses providing resources to prepare students for life

Study abroad builds bridges to opportunity

Helping start-ups get started

Vote with your voice: Parent contact with legislators influences University-related decisions

There's a pill for that: New pharmacy at Student Health improves access to care

Cultural diversity enhances the student experience

Parent Times Briefs

Important Dates

University Calendar


The University of Iowa

The art and humanity of education: UI President Skorton discusses providing resources to prepare students for life

President David SkortonQuestionThis academic year has been designated the Year of the Arts and Humanities at the University. Why was making that designation important?

AnswerRegardless of what professional field a person goes into, the arts and humanities play a role in that field, often a critical role. The idea of the Year of the Arts and Humanities is to emphasize, celebrate, and raise the profile of these disciplines that bring reason and beauty to our lives. We have some of the finest curricular offerings and creative and scholarly activities in the arts and humanities, and that’s precious to me. These fields are so important to all of us because of what they teach us and what they do to enhance our quality of life. But these fields are also fragile—there isn’t robust federal funding as there is for the sciences. As federal agencies have cut their investment in the arts and humanities, we’ve been able to sustain our scholarship and opportunities in those fields because of strong state and other support.

QuestionNext year (2005-06) is slated to be the Year of Public Engagement. How will undergraduate students be involved in the related programs and events?

AnswerEven though the state’s economy is improving, this is still a most important time for the University to focus on community needs, because social services funding often lags behind need. We’re hoping to focus our efforts next year on two major approaches. First, we’ll focus on areas of the University that already perform substantial, high quality outreach as part of their core missions. Second, we’ll focus on the true meaning of public engagement—working outside of our normal activities to reach out to people who are in unfortunate circumstances that any one of us could find ourselves in some day. Students have been an important part of the inspiration for the Year of Public Engagement, and we will be taking counsel from them.

QuestionHow will undergraduate students benefit if the state legislature approves the proposed “Partnership for Transformation and Excellence” funding proposal for the University?

AnswerFollowing the leadership of our Board of Regents, through reallocation of funds internally plus additional funds from the state, we seek to raise faculty salaries to a competitive level, stabilize staff salaries to improve recruitment and retention, and to see tuition increases be more moderate and more predictable in the future. Addressing the issue of faculty and staff compensation will enable the University to attract and keep the best people, which will enable us to maintain our standard of excellent undergraduate education.

QuestionThe University is in various stages of design, approval, and construction of several recreation and student life facilities. At a time when it’s challenging to find funding for core academic needs, why is the University investing in these “extras”?

AnswerParticularly at a time when students are paying more for college, there has to be even more to the University than classroom, lab, and studio experiences. Recreation is important for a healthy lifestyle and it’s our duty to provide students with places to support their pursuits of wellness and fun. We owe students a good overall experience in exchange for their tuition dollars. The Parents Association board has been supportive of increasing recreation options on campus. Good recreation facilities are also an important part of finding an answer to the binge-drinking problem that is prevalent on college campuses.

QuestionYour son is in his first year as a college student. How has your experience as a parent of a college student affected your perception of our University and the way to do your job as president?

AnswerBeing the parent of a college student has changed the way I approach my job as president this year because it makes me even more empathetic about what parents go through when they drop their students at the curb at college. I have a better understanding of the transition support that’s needed, and I’ve gained even greater respect for what we do for parents and students here. It’s also become even more clear to me that no matter what your family financial situation is, paying for college can be a significant challenge.


Published by University Relations Publications. Copyright The University of Iowa 2004. All rights reserved.

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