down arrowMenu

Fall 2010

Leading Learner Newsletter




Last April, as part of UNI's academic program review, external reviewers from the University of Florida and University of Nebraska-Lincoln visited campus for an extensive look at the principal program. Following examination of syllabi and conversations with current students, graduates, faculty, and staff, Drs. James Doud and Marilyn Grady issued their final report, which will be used to guide further program improvements.

Dr. Victoria Robinson, Interim Department Head noted, "We were very pleased to have experienced and well-respected reviewers like Dr. Doud and Dr. Grady on our campus. Their insights and eyes from the outside were very beneficial. And, of course, we're glad to have earned high marks in a number of areas."

The review team summarized that the program's "direct link to ISSL and ISLLC standards ensures that the program places heavy emphasis on field practice that is current and responsive to the needs of aspiring school principals." In addition, the team noted that the program's use of distance education technology makes it available to aspiring principals across Iowa, and that faculty members' experience as school leaders gives them "high credibility." The report also directed the program to continue to be responsive to the changing needs of new principals, such as the effective use of data and technology with economic and demographic changes in the state.

"Preparing for the visit and reviews by both the Iowa Department of Education and these external reviewers was nearly a two year process," explained Robinson. "We're proud that the review team affirmed our efforts toward "developing and implementing a rigorous and relevant preparation program for aspiring principals in the 21st Century."


COLLEGE OF EDUCATION WELCOMES JANE ELLIOTT                                            

Jane Elliott, internationally known teacher, lecturer, and diversity trainer, will visit campus from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 22, in Schindler Education Center room 244. In her presentation, "Anatomy of Prejudice," Elliott will discuss her beliefs that prejudice is an emotional commitment to ignorance and the answer to ignorance is education. The presentation is open to the public and seating is first-come, first-served.



In conjunction with the events surrounding the UNI presentation of the Laramie Project, Dr. Nick Pace will be facilitating a panel discussion on Monday, September 27 from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Center for Multicultural Education in Maucker Union. The panel is free and open to the public and is entitled "Safety & Learning: Optimal School Environments for LGBT Students." Panelists include:

Ellie Hail, UNI Student and Proud President

Susan Langan, Cedar Falls High School Counselor and Harmony sponsor

Shelby Lehr, West Waterloo High School Student and GSA Co-Leader

Dr. Tom Narak, West Des Moines Community Schools Superintendent

Karla Quandt, UNI Student and Matthew Shepard Scholar


Pace commented, "This is a great opportunity to hear directly from students and educators about things teachers, counselors, and administrators can do to help us meet our moral and legal obligations to all students. I'm pleased to have a broad range of perspectives, from students, teachers, counselors, and administration." Dr. Pace is the author of the 2009 book The Principal's Challenge: Learning from Gay and Lesbian Students.  More information on his book can be located at For more information about the events offered in conjunction with the Laramie Project, visit


FAMILY FEST INVITES STUDENTS AND FAMILIES                                                                                                                          

The Department of Educational Leadership and Post-Secondary Education will be represented at the University of Northern Iowa Family Weekend on Saturday, October 2nd, in the lobby of Schindler Education Center from 10:30 to 1:00. We welcome and encourage any prospective, current, or past students to stop in and say 'hi'!


IOWA SUPERINTENDENTS FINANCE AND LEADERSHIP CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCES CONFERENCES                                                                                                                                                       

The Iowa Superintendents Finance and Leadership Consortium (ISFLC) is a professional development program for Iowa superintendents, aspiring superintendents, board secretaries, and business managers to expand their knowledge base and develop fiscal management and leadership skills.  The Iowa Association of School Boards cash anticipation programs entered into a partnership with the Institute for Educational Leadership at the University of Northern Iowa in 1997 for the ISFLC.

The ISFLC offers three conferences each year: the New Superintendents Conference in September and ISFLC conferences in December and February.  Multiple tracks are offered December 15-16, 2010 and February 15-16, 2011 at the West Des Moines Marriot Hotel.  More than 1,160 district level leaders representing every school district in Iowa have attended ISFLC conferences since ISFLC's inception in 1997.  Tracks offered in December include Fundamentals of School Finance, Financial Health Analysis, Preparation for Professional Negotiations, Planning and Communicating Budget Reductions, Maximizing Spending Authority, and Understanding and Administering Employment Law.

If you wish to know more about learning and networking through ISFLC or to register for a conference, visit the website at


UNI SUPERINTENDENCY ADVANCED STUDIES CERTIFICATE COHORT BEGINS IN JANUARY                                                                                                                             

University of Northern Iowa's Department of Education Leadership will be beginning a cohort in January 2011 for those interested in the Advanced Studies Certificate in Superintendency.  The two-year program offered is for those seeking an endorsement in the state of Iowa as a superintendent.  This distance education program will meet on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. on the Iowa Communications Network (ICN).  Also, there are some on-campus seminars.  Many of our students apply for admission to the doctoral program, and these hours do apply. 

As you may know, many Iowa Superintendents are on the verge of retirement.  Also, over a third of Iowa's superintendents are UNI graduates.  We have an informational meeting on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 from 5 to 6 p.m. via the ICN at sites where interest has been expressed.  If you would like to be a part of this session, please contact Betty Hogan at 319-273-3811 or email Betty at

As one young high school principal said at the School Administrators of Iowa's Convention in August, "I am starting my superintendent program this January with UNI.  The board asked me if I had my certificate as our superintendent retired.  I did not and the board member said 'Too bad, we would have just promoted you!'"

If you have aspirations of becoming a superintendent, now is a good time to start your program.  By the time you are finished or even able to get a temporary certificate if you are far enough along in the program, there will be plenty of opportunities for positions.  Plan ahead!

If you want to speak with an Educational Leadership Professor, contact Dr. Dewitt Jones at 319-273-4546.


FACULTY RESEARCH AND INVOLVEMENT UPDATE                                                                                                                             

Dr.Tim Gilson is working with the Iowa Council of Professors of Educational Administration (ICPEA) on a chapter submission for a text proposed for principal preparation programs. Gilson's proposed chapter deals with laws and litigation that impact the role of the public school

Dr. Victoria Robinson will attend UNI's "Undoing Racism" three-session workshop on September 22-24. The training is given by the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), a national and international group of anti-racist, multicultural community organizers and educators dedicated to building an effective movement for social transformation.

Dr. Robinson also received the Evaluator III Training, sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education, on Assessing Rigor in the Classroom.  This training, held in July of 2010, was geared to evaluating both teachers and administrators.

On October 1, Dr. Robinson will conduct a Teacher Work Sample workshop for Des Moines Area Community College for adjunct professors as a form of professional development.


PACE'S "BALCONY VIEW" ENTERS THE BLOGOSPHERE                                                      

Dr. Nick Pace has entered the blogosphere, periodically sharing what he calls "reflections on schools, society, leadership, and life." Though the blog's title, "The Balcony View," comes from what Pace describes as the broad vision UNI Educational Leadership programs try to cultivate in
school leaders, he says it will cover a lot of ground. "So often I find that class discussions about issues impacting education don't stop at the end of class, nor are they solely educational issues. They're cultural, legal, political, economic, you name it. The Balcony View is just a venue for more discussion." "The Balcony View" is available at


DISTANCE WRITING TUTORIAL RESOURCES BECOMING AVAILABLE                                                                                                                                 

The UNI Writing Center will soon begin offering writing assistance via Skype tutorials.  This initiative is aimed to help current students who are distance learners and are unable to be on campus during the business day.  If you have questions about the service or would like to set up an appointment, please call the Academic Learning Center at 319-273-2361 or email  The service is by appointment only.


COLLEGE OF EDUCATION OFFERS WEBINAR SERIES                                                     

The University of Northern Iowa and the College of Education are launching a new professional webinar series, "Hot Topics in Education: Professional Development Webinars," for educators. These free one-hour webinars taught by faculty and staff will be offered once a month, September 2010 through May 2011. The webinars allow educators an opportunity to learn from UNI experts in the comfort of their classroom, office, or home. This year's webinars will feature popular topics such as classroom management, core standards, achievement gap, technology in the classroom, STEM education, and more.

 The first webinar will be at 3:30 p.m. (CST), Thursday, September 30, featuring "Iowa Core and 21st Century Skills," presented by Nadene Davidson, interim head and assistant professor in the UNI Department of Teaching.

For more information or to register for a webinar, please visit or contact Dr. Mary Herring, Associate Dean Office at (319) 273-2719.



LEADING LEARNERS                                                                                                                                  

Mike Hansen is the new elementary principal at Riverside Elementary School in the Highland Community School District.


The Western Dubuque Community School District welcomes Tesha Moser as the elementary principal at Cascade and Bernard Elementary Schools.


Dan Butler began duties this fall as the School Administration Manager (SAM) for Drexler Elementary School in the Western Dubuque Community School District.


Brian Howes, a graduate of the 2007 UEN principal cohort, was hired as assistant principal at Dubuque Hempstead High School.


South Tama Middle School welcomes Eric Townsley, a graduate of the 2007 All-Iowa Principalship cohort, as its new principal.


Anna (Schultz) Taggart started a new job as School Improvement Leader at Hoyt Middle School in Des Moines.

Starting July 1, Anthony (Tony) Voss began as the new superintendent for the Hudson Community School District in Hudson, Iowa.  Tony was a member of the 2008 Superintendent Cohort.



"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other"

-John F. Kennedy


 The Educational Leadership Faculty at the University of Northern Iowa develop and nurture reflective Leaders of Learning, Service, and Change who positively impact school improvement and student achievement. 



Comments and Input can be sent to Dr. Nick Pace at