Overview of UNI Presidential Candidates - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Overview of UNI Presidential Candidates

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

As early as Tuesday next week, the Board of Regents will select one of three men to lead UNI.

First on the short list is Neil Theobald, former president of Temple University.

"I love that UNI's history is so tied to teaching, which is where I started and continue to teach each year," said Theobald on Tuesday during his address to faculty and staff.

The second choice for president is UNI's Provost and current Interim President Jim Wohlpart.

"To take a student and help them find their purpose and passion in life and marry it to a vocation so they can go out in the world and offer themselves to the world," said Wohlpart on Wednesday during his campus tour.

The final candidate is Mark Nook, Chancellor at Montana State University Billings.

"There is a value proposition, a public good to higher education that has been lost in a lot of the conversation," said Nook during his speech on campus, Thursday.

Three candidates with a strong background in education.

But the question the Cedar Valley is asking, "Can we get a president who will stay longer than three years?"

For a little insight, KWWL spoke with Iowa State Representative and UNI alum Walt Rogers.

"We want somebody who wants to stick around here for quite a while. I think, with all three of them, I am sensing that they want to do that. That is something you just can't guarantee," said Rogers.

Rogers says it is important the new president truly bleeds purple and carries that passion to the state capitol to fight for UNI funding.

"All three of these potential candidates give a different perspective. It depends on who we think is going to be the best one for UNI. Either experienced, or wise, or passionate about UNI. That is kind of the choices," said Rogers.

KWWL also reached out to State Senator Jeff Danielson for his thoughts. Danielson was out of town, but sent KWWL this statement:

"UNI's next president needs to focus on growing the student body by approximately 3,000 students, full funding from the legislature, and improve alumni career network opportunities for graduates (job placement rates). There are others, but these "Big Three" goals would go along way towards increasing the value of UNI to Iowa citizens." - Danielson

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