President Nook reflects on first full year at UNI - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

President Nook reflects on first full year at UNI

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

University of Northern Iowa seniors will graduate this weekend, and it's been an exciting year for UNI President Dr. Mark Nook.

This marks Dr. Nook's first full year leading the school, and he says he's had several challenges, but it's been a lot of fun.

President Nook is preparing for graduation this weekend, and he's also reflecting on his first full year.

"It's been extremely positive. We've had some interesting challenges to work through. That makes the job worth while. For me, it makes it enjoyable," Dr. Nook said.

Dr. Nook came into the position last year shortly after the legislature announced a nearly $2 million cut to the school's budget.

"Ultimately, a lot of the deferred maintenance has slipped a little bit. That'll come back to bite an institution, because if you don't take care of the maintenance when it needs to be taken care of, those all of sudden become repair projects," Dr. Nook said.

Despite budget concerns, Dr. Nook said he's excited to see the community's continued support.

"I really haven't had to reach out much, because so many people have been reaching in to me and to the other people here," Dr. Nook said.

Dr. Nook said his goal as President is to attract more out-of-state students to the school.

"And, so we really form a pipeline for Iowa's economy and being able to have enough people in this state take the jobs that are growing in this state," Dr. Nook said.

While looking ahead and reflecting on his first full year, Dr. Nook said he's mostly looking forward to graduation.

"I wish that everyone could have the place at commencement that I get to have. To stand there and sit 15 feet away from that student waiting to have their name read," Dr. Nook said.

As a reminder, University of Northern Iowa's graduation ceremonies kick off Friday, and they continue Saturday.

If you can't make it, but you'd like to watch it live, you can click here.

If you're having trouble finding that link, then click here.

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