Guest Opinion | Tanya Uden-Holman: Student voices matter at the University of Iowa

The University of Iowa associate provost for undergraduate education encourages students to share their experiences at the UI through a campus survey.


Grace Smith

Pictured on Aug. 27, 2020, is a student walking through campus to their classes during the first week of school at the University of Iowa. (Grace Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Dear Students,

You are the reason we are here, and hearing from you helps us make the University of Iowa a better place for everyone. That’s why we are reaching out to all students and inviting you to tell us about your experiences at the UI this year.

Last year at the end of spring semester, the university asked students to tell us about the transition to virtual instruction and challenges you faced managing academic responsibilities during the pandemic.  Your responses were extremely valuable for helping university faculty and staff plan for this year and identify priorities for supporting students.

Prior to the pandemic, the university surveyed all students and gained important information about your academic experiences, campus involvement, and financial concerns. That same survey gave us extensive information about your views on the campus climate for diversity and contributed greatly to the development of the campus Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan.

Our campus is filled with examples that show how hearing from students has helped us make the university better.  Recent improvements shaped by student input include tools to help you build your schedule each semester, supplemental instruction at the Academic Resource Center, and expansion of university Counseling Services to a number of locations around campus in addition to their original offices in the Westlawn building.

We have learned a lot by listening to students in previous years, and this semester we are asking you to tell us more.  This semester all bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. students will receive email invitations to take a survey and tell us what has been working well — or not so well — for you as a UI student. To make sure your voice is heard, go to and tell us what you think.

Past surveys have confirmed something we see every day:  There’s a lot of Hawkeye pride here, and even as students tell us how we can improve the university, they are also telling us about incredible experiences that make them glad to be here. The UI is a great place, and when you share your stories, we can keep making it better.

Tanya Uden-Holman, associate provost for undergraduate education

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