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The IOWA Challenge

A grassroots initiative developed by students, faculty, and staff, The IOWA Challenge establishes five essential expectations for University of Iowa students:

  • Excel. Set high standards—push yourself academically.
  • Stretch. Learn from diverse people, ideas, and experiences.
  • Engage. Get involved and be a leader.
  • Choose. Make decisions that support your goals.
  • Serve. Contribute to a community that’s a great place to live and learn.

For faculty and staff, the Challenge offers a concise set of principles to emphasize in teaching, advising, and programming. Each component of the Challenge has an academic dimension—from urging students to strive, to encouraging smart choices, to stressing participation.

But the Challenge also addresses the whole student experience, and the material presented here recognizes that faculty and staff influence students' lives and learning in the classroom and beyond.

Your guidance, advice, and examples make IOWA Challenge principles real and meaningful for students. And, of course, the Challenge offers timeless goals to which our entire University community can aspire.

“The IOWA Challenge can guide students toward choices that make them better students and better people. But for it to work, students have to buy into it. Faculty can help make that happen by reiterating that the best students excel, stretch, engage, choose, and serve.”

Ken Brown

Associate professor of management and organizations

Tippie College of Business

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