General Description of the University of Iowa

The University of Iowa was authorized by the Iowa General Assembly on February 25, 1847, just 59 days after Iowa was admitted to the Union.Today, on 1,400 acres surrounding the original state capitol, approximately 30,500 students, 2,560 faculty, 8,522 Professional and Scientific (P&S) staff, and 4,864 Merit staff carry on the life of a modern teaching, research, and service university.

As illustrated by the following excerpt from its official statement of mission adopted by the Iowa Board of Regents, the university has a broad mission:

Identity: The University of Iowa is a comprehensive research university with particular distinction in the arts, humanities, and sciences, and a wide array of exceptional professional programs. While serving as the state’s most comprehensive institution of higher education, the university also enjoys a national and international reputation for excellence and competes at that level for the best faculty and the most talented graduate and professional students.

Mission: Upon founding the University of Iowa in 1847, Iowa's first legislature entrusted it with a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service. In pursuing that mission today, the university seeks to advance scholarly and creative endeavor through leading-edge research and artistic production; to use this research and creativity to enhance undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, health care, and other services provided to the people of Iowa, the nation, and the world; and to educate students for success and personal fulfillment in an increasingly diverse and global environment.

Strategic Plan

The University of Iowa’s aspiration, mission, values, and plans for the future are articulated in the university's current strategic plan. This document was formulated with input by faculty and staff to guide us in working together toward common goals.

Administration and Governance

Created in 1909, the Iowa Board of Regents, governs the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa State University in Ames, the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton, and the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs. The nine regents are appointed for staggered six-year terms by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Iowa Senate.

The university president is the principal executive officer of the university. At the university level, activities are coordinated through the Office of the Provost, the vice presidents for finance and operations, legal affairs, research, student life, and external relations.

Non-bargaining Merit and P&S staff participate in university-wide policy making through the University of Iowa Staff Council, which is composed of elected representatives. The Staff Council holds monthly meetings, recommends staff members to University committees, reviews committee reports, makes recommendations on university policy and procedure, and facilitates communication among constituents and between staff and central administration.

The university is organized to efficiently and effectively advance the knowledge of its students.  There are eleven colleges: The Tippie College of Business, College of Dentistry, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Law, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Carver College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Public Health, and the Graduate College, as well as multiple service units. 

Core Values

The culture of the University of Iowa has been formed through historic adherence to core values. In planning, setting priorities, and making decisions, the university is guided by these seven interdependent core values summarized below:

  • Excellence
  • Learning
  • Community
  • Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Responsibility 
Contact Information

Administrative Services

Campus Address
121-10 USB
Mailing Address

121 University Services Building, Suite 10
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
United States