Thursday, August 17, 2023

Welcome back to campus! I hope you were able to take some time this summer for rest, relaxation, and recreation. And now we join together for another exciting, successful academic year at the University of Iowa.

I have spent my career learning at, teaching at, and serving in leadership positions at public universities. The American public university is a very special type of institution that has served our society and people around the world for nearly two centuries. Those of us fortunate to be part of a university such as Iowa enjoy a unique life of inquiry, learning, and service. Here in Iowa, when the state was first founded, the pioneering First General Assembly established the State University of Iowa as one of its very first acts, sparking a vision of public higher education accessible to all. Although today’s university is very different from the one envisioned so long ago, the UI community is dedicated to the same ideals of serving the public good that we have held since the very beginning.

As we head into the UI’s 177th year, let us remember that our first obligations are to people—to our students and our university community, to the people of the state of Iowa, and to the people of the country and world beyond our borders. As you prepare once again to educate our students, to pursue your research and creative work, and to engage in campus, clinical, and public service, please join me in celebrating the fact that we do so to fulfill our mission of improving the lives of all. That’s an honor and a privilege that drives us every day at the University of Iowa.

Best wishes for a successful semester, and I look forward to seeing you on campus!


Barbara J. Wilson