Interim President James Wohlpart to UNI: "Thrive into the future - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Interim President James Wohlpart to UNI: "Thrive into the future"

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(KWWL) -

James Wohlpart, University of Northern Iowa's interim president, is in the running to be UNI's next president. Wohlpart spoke candidly to faculty and students about how he believes UNI can "thrive into the future."

"At the heart of what we do is providing deep care for our students," said Wohlpart. " To take a student, and help them find their purpose and passion in life and marry it to a vocation so that they can go out in the world. And offer themselves out into the world. What kind of a responsibility is that?"

Wohlpart served as Provost before stepping into his role as Interim President. He says he has an understanding of the strengths within the campus, but also an understanding of what the University needs.

He touched on topics of diversity and the need to create a more inclusive environment. 

Wohlpart expressed that UNI needs to regain control of its narrative in higher education.

"I think one of the things we need to do is find a central way to tell stories about the remarkable work we do, and make sure that the storytelling is consistent," said Wohlpart.

Wohlpart expressing that the University community must come together with a shared vision. 

Professor and President of the UNI Faculty Union Joe Gorton says he hopes to see a President who has a care for the faculty behind student success. 

"You know Presidents come and go, Regents come and go, students you know there here for a few years," said Gorton. "Faculty, we're here for twenty, thirty, thirty-five years. We are the enduring values, the most important resource to the University. The President has to understand that and has to have policies and commitments that are in accordance with those values."

The last Presidential search forum will be held Thursday. The final candidate, Mark Nook, will be making a visit to campus on Thursday. 

The Board of Regents are expecting to meet again on December 6th to interview the three finalists where they hope to choose a new President. 

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