The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), a division of the College of Education, promotes the improvement of elementary, secondary and postsecondary education throughout the State of Iowa. It works with educators throughout the state to focus on and clarify issues important to education in Iowa and to address issues of significance to Iowa's school districts. To fulfill this mission, the IEL 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 UNI is unique because of its focus on capturing the thinking of Iowa's best school and non-school settings. The IEL strives to bring this knowledge base of practice into relationship with the knowledge base of UNI, resulting in stimulating interplay which addresses complex leadership and educational issues.

The IEL partners with the Iowa Association of School Boards to provide the Iowa Superintendents Finance 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 200 school leaders at each, to meet the varied fiscal management and leadership needs of Iowa superintendents and school business officials.