The university is committed to ongoing, focused measurement and assessment of activities in support of the plan.

Each tactic implemented as part of the strategic plan includes metrics and indicators for assessing its effectiveness, guiding its ongoing implementation, and recognizing its success. These indicators will be monitored, updated, supplemented, and reported on throughout the life of the plan. Since the five priorities of the strategic plan are interconnected, all our metrics and indicators are tied to multiple areas and reflect work taking place across the university. 

In alignment with the strategic plan of the Board of Regents, the university has set specific five-year targets for several high-level indicators, and will report on progress toward meeting these targets annually. 

Year 1 Update

In our first year, we made significant progress toward the goals outlined in the 2022-2027 Strategic Plan. We built upon our strengths in research, advanced teaching methods that promote student success, encouraged a more respectful and welcoming campus culture, and enhanced well-being for our students, faculty, and staff.

Over time, success in implementing our plan is expected to contribute substantively to improvements in the targeted progress indicators below and in many other key indicators of institutional progress, such as AAU membership indicators, faculty and staff retention rates, demographic data and diversity measures, and more. 

All baselines and numbers below are three-year averages unless otherwise noted.

Targeted Progress Indicators




2027 Target 

Fall-to-fall retention for first-year undergraduate students 



Increase to 90% 

Four-year undergraduate completion rates 



Increase to 58% 

Six-year undergraduate completion rates 



Increase to 75% 

Attainment gap2 in fall-to-fall retention of underrepresented minority3 undergraduate students 



Decrease to 2% 

Attainment gap2 in fall-to-fall retention of first-generation4 students 



Decrease to 6-8%

Attainment gap2 in four-year graduation rate of underrepresented minority3 undergraduate students 



Decrease to 7-9%

Attainment gap2 in four-year graduation rate of first-generation4 undergraduate students  



Decrease to 9-11%

Attainment gap2 in six-year graduation rate of underrepresented minority3 undergraduate students 



Decrease to 6-8%

Attainment gap2 in six-year graduation rate of first-generation4 undergraduate students  



Decrease to 7-9%

Need- and merit-based philanthropic scholarship support for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students 



Increase to $32.4M

UI Health Care Vizient Quality and Accountability Study ranking of comprehensive academic medical centers

Ranked 71 of 1015

Ranked 80 of 116

Rank in top 50

Annual increase in research expenditures6




Philanthropic support for faculty prizes/awards, fellowships, professorships, chairs, and deanships 



Increase to $21.6M

Percentage of students reporting participation in a high-impact, experiential learning opportunity in responses to the Senior Exit Survey 



Increase to 90% 

Additional Targets for 2027

Maintain 95% or greater success rate for online courses
The success rate for online courses from 2020 to 2023 is 95%.

Increase UI Health Care patient capacity by 10%7
UI Health Care measured an average of 2.49 million annual patient encounters in FY21-FY237, a 14% increase
over the baseline measurement.

60% participation in the campus climate surveys
The response rate for the 2022 survey was 30%. The next survey will be administered in fall 2024.

75% of undergraduate students completing a sustainability-focused course
A baseline of 24% was established in the 2022-23 academic year. 

Achieve a 47% campuswide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
The university recently deployed a new carbon accounting tool (SIMAP), which will provide carbon reduction numbers for future years of the plan.

Maintain 79% or greater of a Net Asset Value8 index score of GEF facilities
The index score is updated every two to three years.

100% of new buildings and renovations meet or exceed LEED design certification thresholds
UI Design Standards and Procedures ensure quality standards for campus projects.

Include employment outcomes of graduates in academic program reviews
The university updated its Operations Manual in October 2023 to require employment outcomes as part of departmental and academic program reviews.

13-year average unless otherwise noted
2The disparity between groups of students on a given academic performance goal.
3In the narrow context of monitoring gaps in retention and graduation rates between underrepresented students and other students, this plan defines underrepresented minority (URM) to include members of the following federally-defined race/ethnicity categories that have traditionally been underrepresented in higher education: Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian or  Alaskan Native, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and Two or More Races (where at least one race is included in the preceding list). URM counts include only U.S. citizens and permanent residents (international students are counted separately).
4A student is considered to be of first-generation status if neither parent or guardian holds a four-year degree. This is self-reported information collected on the undergraduate admissions application.
5Baseline period is 2021 Vizient Quality and Accountability Study
6Based on NSF HERD data
7Average annual encounters, excludes COVID-19 clinic and telehealth activity during the pandemic.

8A measure of building stewardship and condition, calculated using a dollar value of facility needs and replacement value.

Progress by Priority Area

Reaching our five-year goals is not something that will happen overnight. It requires multi-level change within our institution and the continued commitment from the entire university community. Each tactic implemented within the different priority areas includes its own metrics and indicators of progress. The pages below highlight some measures from Year 1 of the plan that show we are making progress toward our high-level goals.

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Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Our goal is to create an environment where teaching and learning thrive, and where every student has the support and resources they need to succeed.

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Innovative Research and Creative Discovery

We aim to position our university at the forefront of research and creative discovery, which will in turn enhance the success of our talented collection of scholars, researchers, and artists.

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Welcoming and Inclusive Environment

Our goal is to inspire and empower every member of our community to make a positive impact on our campus environment, which will ultimately enrich the university experience for all.

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Holistic Well-Being and Success

Our goal is to provide comprehensive support for individuals throughout their relationship with the university, beginning by attracting and retaining talented students, faculty, and staff who will contribute to a thriving university community.

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Transformative Societal Impact

​​​​​​Our goal is to expand the university’s impact on local and regional communities, the state of Iowa, and the world by leveraging its areas of distinction, the resources entrusted to it, and the collective talent of its people.

Download the Strategic Plan for 2022-2027 (PDF)