Enriching Commerce, Culture, and Communities

A comprehensive approach to enhancing quality of life

In 2009, the University of Iowa commissioned a comprehensive study of the UI’s statewide economic impact. The resulting report revealed that the University of Iowa contributes $6 billion to Iowa’s economy annually by creating jobs, attracting visitors through programs such as the arts and athletics, supporting local governments and municipalities, generating scientific discoveries, fostering businesses, and building community through volunteerism.

There’s no question that the University of Iowa makes its home state a better place. But the UI also touches lives well beyond Iowa’s borders, through discoveries such as new treatments and cures for diseases like diabetes; through faculty members who share their expertise with new business ventures and budding democracies; and through artistic creations that germinate at the UI and spread to theatres, bookstores, libraries, and museums all around the world.

The quality-of-life enhancements that the UI shares with the world begin here in Iowa. And as our home state ages, becomes more diverse, and competes with other states and countries for people, jobs, and resources, the UI can and must do more to make Iowa a magnet for investment—the kind of place families and companies want to call home, which in turn can generate more ideas and innovations for the world. Whether newcomers or natives, Iowans want to live in a state that makes them proud, by pioneering innovations and achievements that change and improve lives.

What does it mean to enrich quality of life? For many Iowans, a better life begins with access to jobs and economic opportunity.

As the recent impact study demonstrated, the University of Iowa is clearly playing an important statewide role in creating such opportunities by educating tomorrow’s workforce, attracting companies drawn by the UI’s research enterprise, and more.

But quality of life also relies on fundamental factors such as clean air and water, strong schools, vibrant entertainment and cultural offerings, and a commitment to community-building and civil discourse. In each of these dimensions, the University of Iowa contributes valuable, statewide service and outreach programs that enrich the experience of living in Iowa, and send ripple effects across the country and around the world.

Campaign objectives such as these will help the University of Iowa strengthen and expand quality-of-life initiatives to benefit commerce, culture, and communities in Iowa, across the country, and around the world:

  • New facilities for flood-ravaged Hancher Auditorium, the School of Music, the School of Art and Art History, and the UI Museum of Art
  • Iowa Writers’ Workshop endowment
  • UI Libraries innovations in technology and information-sharing
  • Digital Public Humanities, which uses technology to connect Iowa communities with UI faculty and students in fields such as history, literature, and languages
  • Diversity initiatives
  • Enhanced facilities for Hawkeye athletics

For Our Communities

The UI is helping entrepreneurs from around Iowa learn how to take their businesses global.

A course offered online by the UI’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center—“Entrepreneurship and Global Trade”—provides practical lessons to small business owners who want to start selling outside the United States.

“Exports are a significant part of the Iowa economy and provide many opportunities for Iowa entrepreneurs to expand their business with global trade partners,” says Terry Boles, professor of management and organizations and director of the Henry B. Tippie College’s Institute for International Business. Boles and three other faculty members teach the class, giving an introduction to topics such as government regulation, marketing, advertising, finding new markets, building a supply chain, and securing financing. The faculty pre-record lectures and post other course materials online, all of which the students can access from their computers when they have time. The full class then “meets” online every week for a virtual discussion.

“A lot of people in Iowa don’t realize how much of the state’s economy already involves global trade,” says Boles. “We want to show entrepreneurs that future economic growth is global and that even if you own a small business, there are lots of possibilities around the world.”

Educating our students

Tomorrow's leaders are in UI classrooms today

Ensuring a healthier and more sustainable world

Changing the world by changing lives

Enriching commerce, culture, and communities

A comprehensive approach to enhancing quality of life