The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) is a division of the College of Education. The Institute's mission is to promote the improvement of elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education throughout the State of Iowa. To fulfill this mission the Institute serves as a catalyst for: informed dialogue on educational issues impacting the schools of Iowa, region, and nation; developing collaborative relationships with individuals and/or organizations external to schools; and education policy development.
Leadership institutes, research centers, and laboratories are neither new nor in short supply. Nearly every state has some agencies with a focus on leadership with primary interest in development, research, and/or policy development. However, the IEL, at the University of Northern Iowa, is unique because of its focus on capturing the thinking of Iowa's best school and non-school settings. The Institute strives to bring this knowledge base of practice into relationship with the knowledge base of the University resulting in stimulating interplay which addresses complex leadership and educational issues.
The Institute partners with the Iowa Association of School Boards to provide the Iowa Superintendents Finanance and Leadership Consortium (ISFLC), a professional development program for Iowa superintendents to expand their knowledge base and develop fiscal management and leadership skills. The Consortium hosts two conferences each year, serving over two hundred school leaders at each conference to meet the varied fiscal management and leadership needs of Iowa superintendents and school business officials.