Oliver's Observatory

The Blog & Observations of Oliver H. Evans

What I Was Doing--2013


I am spending 2013 as the interim provost at Upper Iowa University, an institution that has grown since its founding in 1854 from a small, locally-based school to a University that serves a remarkably diverse group of students. In addition to the 950 students pursuing undergraduate degrees in Fayette,  a town of 1,300 people in north-east Iowa, Upper Iowa University serves an additional 5,300 students at locations in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arizona. Beyond that, Upper Iowa provides opportunities to 975 students at its campuses in Malaysia and Hong Kong.


Upper Iowa University’s locations include several military bases, and Upper Iowa’s commitment to serving students in the armed forces has been recognized by Military Advancement Education and G. I. Jobs as one of the top “Military-Friendly Schools.”  Upper Iowa University has an enviable record of providing access to higher education to people often denied such access either through geographic, economic, family or other factors. I am especially delighted to be associated with a University that is as diverse as is Upper Iowa. Its combined African American, Hispanic, and Native American students number more than the 950 students studying in Fayette. Committed to serving students whose family, professional, military, and other obligations can often disrupt their education, Upper Iowa has developed over many years the ability and flexibility to respond to those disruptions. Upper Iowa University was a pioneer of online learning before online learning became the trendy thing it is today.

I have spent this time speaking positively about Upper Iowa University because as an administrator, I have found that I cannot engage with an institution unless I respect its mission , which I certainly do when it comes to Upper Iowa University.


Strictly speaking, I am a consultant to Upper Iowa University, brought to the University through the work of The Registry for College and University Presidents. Being a consultant who serves in an interim capacity as the provost allows me the opportunity to offer Upper Iowa University my soon-to-be fifty years of experience in higher education.

UIU's campus is idyllic, as the photos show. The photos were taken by one of UIU's students--Daphne Barness.