UNI Centers & Institutes


Developing Centers: For information about the university's guidelines and review process for developing and managing centers and institutes, contact Tolif Hunt, Director of Research and Sponsored Programs.  Not all programmatic or activity units are subject to the university's requirements for centers.  Proposed centers that do fit the criteria, however, must be pre-approved by the University Center Review Committee. 

Centers Reporting: For information on annual and 7-year reporting requirements and documents, please visit the UNI Centers & Institutes Reporting page.

Advance Iowa

Advance Iowa provides targeted solutions to guide small and mid-size enterprises to thrive, grow and succeed. Advance Iowa delivers services and programs such as strategic growth, succession planning, business valuations, ownership transition, peer learning groups, workshops, networking events and activities.Advance Iowa provides targeted solutions to guide small and mid-size enterprises to thrive, grow and succeed. Advance Iowa delivers services and programs such as strategic growth, succession planning, business valuations, ownership transition, peer learning groups, workshops, networking events and activities.

Arctic, Remote and Cold Territories Interdisciplinary Center (ARCTICenter)

ARCTICenter is a hub for many Arctic research and educational projects funded by various U.S. and international organizations.  The center’s mission is to develop collaboration among faculty, staff and students, who are engaged in research and educational activities pertaining to the Arctic, remote, and cold regions.  The Arctic Social and Environmental Systems Research Lab (ARCSES) was established in 2011 in the Department of Geography at the University of Northern Iowa to expand Arctic research at UNI and build further capacities for receiving external funding, raising university’s profile and attracting students to UNI. The lab’s mission is to develop synergies and collaboration among faculty, staff and students in Geography and across campus, who are engaged in research and educational activities pertaining to the Arctic as well as other remote and cold regions. The lab is partially funded by NSF and NASA grants and will assist in cross-pollinating ideas and will use its capacity to promote Arctic-based research on and outside campus and involve other faculty, staff and students in Arctic-based work.

Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE)

The Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE) is part of the University of Northern Iowa. Their mission is "to empower Iowans with the knowledge, experiences, tools, and inspiration needed to create a sustainable future for our communities." Some of their priorities include using CEEE to raise public awareness about key energy and environmental issues, to create leadership opportunities for UNI students and faculty, and to foster community involvement in leadership.

Center for Social and Behavioral Research

The Center for Social and Behavioral Research (CSBR) has been conducting applied survey research since 1967.  Since this time, more than 600 externally funded studies for local, state and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations have been conducted.  Recent projects focus on various issues of public health. Project results are used to improve services and advance public policy. 

Center for Teaching and Learning Mathematics

CTLM assists teachers, students, and parents in making sense of mathematics through research-based resources.  CTLM provides professional development for teachers in the area of mathematics to deepen teachers' understanding of mathematics content and implementation of research-based best practice. 

Patricia A. Tomson Center for Violence Prevention

The mission of the Patricia A. Tomson Center for Violence Prevention (CVP) is to build the capacity of institutions of higher education, K-12 schools, victim service agencies, law enforcement and the criminal justice system to systematically implement best practice violence prevention and evaluation strategies in collaboration with state, family and community partners. 

GeoTREE Center

GeoTREE stands for "GeoInformatics Training, Research, Education, and Extension" Center. The primary goal of this center is to transfer geospatial technologies to the individuals from federal, state, local, and tribal government (FSLT) agencies through education, multi-disciplinary research, and outreach activities. GeoTREE is an interdisciplinary center and is unique in transferring geospatial technologies to FSLT agencies by bringing NASA and other scientists, academic members, and members from FSLT agencies together to integrate remote sensing data into GIS in order to improve decision-making through Decision Support Systems (DSS).

Institute for Decision Making (IDM)

IDM is a unit of UNI’s Business and Community Services Division and works to guide organizations and community-based groups in making economic-and-community-development decisions. IDMs team typically serves economic development corporations, chambers of commerce, convention and visitor bureaus, community planning groups.

Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC)

IWRC provides free and confidential environmental assistance to Iowa small businesses with less than 200 employees.  Services include on-site review, assistance with environmental paperwork, and answering questions. 

Jacobson (Richard O.) Center for Comprehensive Literacy

JCCL works with Iowa schools to improve literacy for all students. The Center strives to close the achievement gap between diverse groups, increase teachers’ knowledge and instructional expertise, support teachers' monitoring of student progress and instructional decision-making.

John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC)

JPEC is one of five such centers across the state of Iowa. The JPEC at UNI focuses on entrepreneurship in capital programs, student / faculty / staff entrepreneurship, and technology transfer. JPEC also offers educational programs and are open to all qualifying businesses and individuals.

Foundry 4.0 Center

At the UNI Foundry 4.0 Center, staff and students provide services targeted towards demonstration, education and consultation in additive manufacturing. Past clients have included small and large companies alike, as well as all five branches of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Metal Casting Center

The University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center is a nationally recognized leader in foundry research, applied technology, and technical business assistance. For more than 25 years, we have pushed the boundaries on education and research to enhance the metal casting industry. 

National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS)

The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) was developed at the University of Northern Iowa through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention. The mission of NPPS is to help the public create safe and developmentally appropriate play environments for children. They deliver training and services about outdoor play and safety and have developed the largest and most comprehensive clearinghouse of outdoor play areas safety information and resources in the U.S.

Regents' Center for Early Development Education (RCEDE)

Established in 1988, the Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education focuses efforts on improving early childhood education (birth through 8 years) in Iowa and beyond. Recognizing that children construct knowledge, intelligence, personality, and morality through active engagement with physical and social environments, the Center supports  research and educational activities that emphasize children's interest, experimentation, and cooperation. 

Strategic Marketing Services (SMS)

SMS is a component of Business and Community Services in the College of Business Administration at UNI.  SMS provides market research support and services to businesses across Iowa and beyond, including market and employee survey research, interviewing, focus groups, and expert panels. 

Tallgrass Prairie Center (TPC)

TPC works to restore native vegetation for the benefit of society and the environment, with research, education and technology transfer. Core programs include Research and Restoration, Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM), Natural Selections, and Prairie on Farms

UNI Center for Professional Sales Excellence

University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Professional Sales Excellence offers programs to support, deliver, and enhance premier sales education across the upper Midwest  Based in the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship in the College of Business, the Center brings faculty and industry partners together to offer cutting-edge, research-based curriculum, proven best practices in training and development, and contemporary principles of sales professionalism. In cooperation with Advance Iowa, a business support program of UNI’s Center for Business Growth and Innovation, the Sale Center offers sales and sales management expertise to businesses and business communities across Iowa’s 99 counties.  Tapping university faculty expertise as well as Advance Iowa’s unique expertise in pairing owners with trusted business advisors, the Centers provide resources to enhance the professionalism and effectiveness of a company's sales and sales management efforts.

UNI Center for Urban Education (UNI-CUE)

UNI-CUE's mission is to provide a positive environment for lifetime learning where individuals may pursue and continue their educational goals and prepare for careers. UNI-CUE collaborates with UNI departments and community programs to match resources to community needs. The UNI-CUE facility supports several federally-funded TRiO programs.

UNI Community Music School

The Community Music School provides innovative music education experiences for youth and adults through private instruction, coaching, enrichment classes in theory and music history, and music instruction. They also provide outreach and teaching opportunities for UNI School of Music students. 

UNI Family Business Center

The focus of the University of Northern Iowa Family Business Center is to create a community of family businesses that will have the ability to learn about business governance, continuity, strategic planning, leadership transition and growth together. 

UNI Suzuki School

The mission of the UNI Suzuki School is to enrich the lives of children and adults through the study of music.  While Suzuki training for children is primarily a "triangle experience" between parent, teacher and student--participation in group activities enhances the enjoyment of making music with and for others.

Other Activity & Resource Centers & Units

Arts and Cultural Programs/Centers

A variety of arts and entertainment programs are offered by UNI, including the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, the Strayer-Wood Theatre, the School of Music, Gallery of Arts, Interpreters Theatre, and More.

Botanical Center

Since 1938 the UNI Botanical Center has been home to a very extensive and diverse collection of plants, which have been studied and enjoyed by generations of students, faculty, staff and public visitors.  Through the Botanical Center, UNI students are offered the unique experience of:  Learning the relationships between plant species as well as the evolution of plant species; Climate and plant diversity; and Plant adaptations to climate and ecosystems. Two full time professional staff are assisted by UNI students who have an opportunity to learn horticultural techniques, while maintaining an extraordinary plant collection. The UNI Biology Botanical Center Teaching Collection contains a diversity of species that range from ancient tree ferns and cycads to a large number of economically important varieties from around the world. These excellent resources offer students the unique experience of seeing, smelling and touching living plants; learning first hand about the relationships between plant species and the evolution of plant species; climate and plant diversity; and plant adaptation to various climates and ecosystems. The ecological setting in which the plants are grown provides the basis for real life demonstrations of how organisms are connected within their environments. The botanical center operation itself allows for student internships on botanical center techniques and management.

Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education

Through the Center, the UNI Holocaust and Genocide Education Committee aims to increase our knowledge about the Holocaust and other genocides as well as to strengthen our commitment to confront genocide and other threats to human rights, such as intolerance, anti-Semitism, racism and ignorance. The Center and committee do this by providing educational programming and resources on campus, in the community, and in partnership with educational and other organizations throughout the State of Iowa, and beyond.

Cedar Valley Medical Center clinics at UNI

The Northeast Iowa Physical Therapy Clinic and the Advanced Diagnostic Imaging Clinic are housed at the University of Northern Iowa Wellness Recreation Center. The clinics are owned and operated by Cedar Valley Medical Center.

Center for Disability Studies in Literacy, Language, and Learning

The Center for Disability Studies in Literacy, Language, and Learning is located at the Price Lab at the University of Northern Iowa. The Center explores, promotes, and supports the literacy and communication development of children with significant disabilities through effective, education-based practices. The Center has four areas of focus: (a) Professional development (at the preservice and postgraduate level), (b) Family support, (c) Policy, and (d) Scholarship. The work done at the Center has implications for both national and local educational efforts. 

Center for Economic Education (CEE)

The Center for Economic Education (CEE) at the University of Northern Iowa was founded in 1975. It is part of the Department of Economics in the College of Business Administration. The CEE's primary focus is working with K-12 teachers in assisting them in integrating economic concepts and activities into their curriculum. Their mission is to improve the economic and financial literacy among Iowa's youth. The CEE shares in a national vision that they will have a country of people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills to make informed economic choices.

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning seeks to engage, explore, and enhance the practice of teaching and the culture of learning at UNI.  The CETL offers opportunities for reflection and conversations on teaching and learning that cultivate and value the variety and diversity of teaching and learning taking place at UNI; promotes research-based pedagogies and practices that encourage student engagement and success; supports the professional and career development of the campus teaching community; designs programming in collaboration with individuals, departments and programs on and off campus that is aligned with UNI’s institutional mission and strategic goals; and acts as a campus-wide clearinghouse for opportunities to enhance teaching and learning, and to share campus resources and expertise.

Center for Multicultural Education

The Center for Multicultural Education (MCE) at the University of Northern Iowa has made it its mission to foster success in racial and ethnic minority students, to contribute to the cultural competence of all students, and to promote an appreciation of diversity in the University community. They do this by providing programs and services which contribute to the success of racial and ethnic minority students, by encouraging those students to become fully engaged in campus life, by developing programming that will raise awareness and appreciation of diversity across campus, and by providing educational resources to faculty.

Geographic Alliance of Iowa (GAI)

The Geographic Alliance of Iowa (GAI) was established in 1991 with the support of the National Geographic Society (NGS). GAI is composed of K-12 teachers, college and university professors, personnel from a variety of other educational endeavors, and citizens, all of who are concerned with improving geographic instruction in Iowa. Related to several national efforts, the overall goal of the GAI is to promote and enhance the understanding by Iowans of their lace in an increasingly interdependent world by expanding their geographic knowledge. This understanding will enable citizens of Iowa to become better informed, and to analyze and relate to the geographic dimension of many contemporary issues.

Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL)

The Institute for Educational Leadership, a unit of the College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa, has as its primary mission to promote the improvement of elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education throughout Iowa. To fulfill this mission, the IEL serves as a catalyst for informed dialogue on educational issues impacting schools of Iowa, the region and nation; developing collaborative relationship with individuals and/or organizations external to schools; and educational policy development.

Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership and Integration (ICILI)

The Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership and Integration (ICILI) guides and prepares Iowa communities and businesses as they accommodate immigrant and refugee newcomers living and working in Iowa. ICILI provides tailored consultation for community leadership, conducts research relating to issues facing newcomers and communities, develops innovative training programs for business and industry, and educates Iowans concerning the needs, challenges and opportunities of their new immigrant neighbors, co-workers and employees. All ICILI programming incorporates a strong appreciation for the critical role newcomers play in ensuring the long-term social and economic vitality of Iowa's businesses and communities.

Iowa Space Grant Consortium

The Iowa Space Grant Consortium (ISGC) is part of the NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. It was formed by the three Regents' universities (University of Northern Iowa, University of Iowa, and Iowa State University). The mission of the ISGC is to coordinate and improve Iowa's future in aerospace science and technology and to stimulate aerospace research, education and outreach activities throughout the state. These goals are focused on precollege students, higher education, fellowships, research, and the general public.

Iowa Writing Project

The Iowa Writing Project (IWP) has its operations centered at the University of Northern Iowa. The IWP offers professional growth opportunities for Iowa teachers and advocates exemplary teaching of writing and use of writing for learning in Iowa schools. They do this through summer institutes and workshops built for teachers in K - college education.

Just for Kicks

The Division of Leisure, Youth and Human Services at the University of Northern Iowa has formed Just for Kicks for youth soccer players, coaches and parents. The purpose of the program is to provide and help coordinate coaching education programs for northeast Iowa high school and competitive coaches; to hold an annual conference on high school and competitive soccer; and to provide information for players, parents, and coaches to find soccer tournaments, games, and training.

UNI Panther Play

The UNI Panther Play program in the Department of Kinesiology, College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa provides an array of physical activities for children aged 2 - 5 years old. It is a weekly session under the supervision of UNI students. UNU Panther Play was developed around the philosophy that young children benefit by being exposed to a variety of activities that require the utilization of an array of physical, social, and cognitive skills.

Psychological Assessment Clinic

The Psychological Assessment Clinic provides services to the University of Northern Iowa and the greater Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. They routinely provide low-cost psychological evaluations for disability claims, diagnostic services, and referrals and recommendations for psychotherapy and psychotropic medication evaluations. The Clinic's patients include UNI students, faculty and staff, as well as both adults and children from the surrounding communities.

Roy Eblen Speech & Hearing Clinic

The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Speech and Hearing Clinic has been in existence since the early 1960s. In 1997, the clinic was renamed the Roy Eblen Speech & Hearing Clinic in honor of Dr. Eblen, the founding Head of the Department of Communicative Disorders, now the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. The Clinic is located on the east end of the second floor of the Communication Arts Center on the UNI campus.  The clinic is affiliated with the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, which is dedicated to the preparation of students who will be entering the professions of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. In this way, the clinic's service delivery model revolves around the provision of assessment and therapeutic services by students under the supervision of faculty and staff members in the department.  The clinic provides services for all forms of speech, language, and hearing disorders for persons of all ages. Clinic clientele consists of people from the University community, as well as those from the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area and many of the surrounding communities in Northeast Iowa. The clinic is affiliated with various hospitals, schools, clinics, and extended care facilities that serve as practicum and internship sites for student clinical training. The UNI clinic's supervisory staff consists of nine Ph.D. and six M.A. level Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, all of whom are licensed and have expertise in specific areas of communicative disorders.

Science Center for Teaching, Research, and Outreach in Meteorology

The Science Center for Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology (the STORM Project) at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) is a cooperative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and UNI.  The Project seeks to initiate, support, and coordinate education, service, and research activities that relate weather information and conceptual models of the atmosphere to relevant user communities in Iowa and the Midwest. STORM is developing programming in three areas: Curriculum Development, Remote Sensing, and Meteorological Decision Support.

Science Education Resource Center

The Science Education Resource Center (SERC for short!) is a curriculum materials center for science for both UNI students and faculty and K-12 science teachers.  The SERC has print materials -  science tests, activity books, science standards, and pedagogy materials - as well as science kits for grades K- 8.  Print materials may be checked out just as from a library.  Science Kits can be reserved by AEA 267 teachers for classroom use and delivered directly to the schools. A small user fee is invoiced to the school.  Contact SERC@UNI.edu with questions and for kit reservation requests.