Dr. Nook reflects on first semester as UNI President - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dr. Nook reflects on first semester as UNI President

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University of Northern Iowa President, Dr. Mark Nook, said the school's budget will be one of his biggest challenges this year.

After the president wrapped up his first semester at UNI, Dr. Nook said he's just as excited as when he first started back in February.

Even though UNI's campus is quiet between spring and fall semesters, President Nook is hard at work every day, after lawmakers changed collective bargaining rights and announced a nearly $2 million cut to the school's budget.

"They're just issues we've had to work through. Those have gone fairly well. I think we've built a good relationship with our local legislature delegation, but also our leadership in the legislature," Dr. Nook said.

Dr. Nook said prospective budget cuts won't impact students and faculty directly, but future projects and scheduled maintenance will likely get pushed back.

"We'll go a little bit slower through those long-term plans. Implementing our long-term plan is still on track, We'll go a little slower. We'll have some things, especially with deferred maintenance, some building maintenance, and those sorts of things we'll have to slow up a little bit," Dr. Nook said.

The president said, the school is still on track with their long-term goals.

They'll just be pushed back, because of those recent challenges.

"But, you've got to expect those. Every single year you're a president, you don't know what they'll be. There's going to be something that's going to take some really hard work, and you're going to have to get into some really difficult conversations, but that's just the nature of the job," Dr. Nook said.

Dr. Nook said some of those budget concerns will be ironed out during June's Iowa Board of Regents meeting.

Right now, the board is focused on searching for a new Iowa State president.

A permanent replacement is set to be named sometime in the fall.

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