Position Description

The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) seeks applicants to be the inaugural director of a data science and data analysis hub. The director will work collaboratively to plan, develop, name, and launch the hub. The director will be expected to operationalize a vision for the hub by systematically pursuing communally-vetted goals. 

UNI is poised to develop new courses, majors, minors, certificates, and outreach initiatives in data science and data analysis. The director will be asked to work with faculty and staff to create connections spanning the campus to help create these programs. The director will be responsible for creating a vision for the study of data science and data analysis at UNI. Our aim is to embed data science and data analysis in most majors. Currently, UNI offers a data analytics major in the College of Business, an interdisciplinary data science minor, a data science emphasis in Physics, and a general education certificate in data science. UNI recently was awarded a $364,000 grant to establish an on-campus high performance computing facility. In addition, support for Big Data is a featured component of UNI’s $250 million comprehensive campaign. 

The successful candidate will be appointed to a tenured position as an Associate or Full Professor in one of UNI’s existing departments. The position will begin in August 2023. Primary responsibilities include:  serving as the inaugural hub director; teaching 1-2 undergraduate courses per semester in data science/analysis and/or for home department; and conducting publishable research.

To view full position details/requirements and to apply, visit the jobs.uni.edu website

UNI Data Science & Data Analysis Initiatives

Curricular programs

Below are curricular programs that already exist at UNI: 


UNI Academic Positioning and Data Science

Academic Positioning (AP) was initiated in Fall 2019 by the Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs’ office to position the University of Northern Iowa as a leader in educating the Midwest as the landscape of higher education shifts. The process for AP was conceived as a grassroots initiative, where members of the campus community could propose ideas that would position UNI for success moving forward. 

Phase 1 (January 2020 - March 2021): A Project Management Team composed of faculty, staff, and administrators was formed to collect proposals, identify ways proposals may work in tandem, create larger themes around emerging ideas, and make recommendations on how campus should move forward utilizing the created themes. The Phase 1 Final Report provided recommendations for moving forward on 10 emergent themes.

Phase 2 (March 2021 - May 2022): The second phase of Academic Positioning focused on developing stakeholder groups to develop the details for implementing specific pathways. Data Science was identified as one of the immediate pathways to explore. The goals for the Data Science Focus Working Group (FWG) were to identify marketable curricular programs in data science and a structural framework for programming. The FWG cataloged current UNI offerings, identified unmet needs, explored peer models, and identified program features that could be suitable for UNI. An overview of the Data Science FWG’s recommendations for curricular programs and structural framework at UNI

High Performance Computing

To support student, faculty and staff teaching, learning and research in data science and big data, the university has invested in high performance computing (HPC) by seeking external funding for an on-campus HPC cluster. In doing so, we have also started to establish a data science/analysis community through the HPC users group and the Data Science FWG. Summary of the HPC initiative funded by the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust


Search Committee

‌Alicia Rosburg

Faculty member, Economics (College of Business), Search co-chair

Matthew Bunker 

Faculty member, Marketing (College of Business)


Ashleigh Kysar-Moon

Faculty member, Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminology (College of Social & Behavioral Sciences)

Josh Sebree

Faculty member, Chemistry & Biochemistry (College of Humanities, Arts & Sciences), Search co-chair

Maureen Clayton

Associate Dean, College of Humanities, Arts & Sciences

Aleksandar Poleksic

Faculty member, Computer Science (College of Humanities, Arts & Sciences)

Tilahun Abebe

Faculty Member, Biology (College of Humanities, Arts & Sciences)

Robert Boody

Department Head, Educational Psychology, Foundations and Leadership Studies (College of Education)

John DeGroote

Director of GeoTree and Instructor of Geography (College of Social & Behavioral Sciences)

Ali Tabei

Faculty member, Physics (College of Humanities, Arts & Sciences)

About UNI

The University of Northern Iowa (UNI), located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, is one of three state universities in Iowa and the only comprehensive institution. 

A member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the institution has been honored with two AASCU Excellence and Innovation Awards in the past five years. The first award, in the area of Student Success and College Completion, recognized UNI’s peer mentoring program and its focus on first-year students, making them feel at home and putting them on a path to success. The second award for Regional and Economic Development acknowledged the UNI Regional Entrepreneurship Project, reaching into 17 Iowa counties to develop a customized strategic plan in each area, thus assisting local leadership in success for their local economies. The University and its faculty, staff, and students are ranked consistently and recognized regionally and nationally for success.

Founded in 1876, the University’s enrollment is approximately 10,000 students in five colleges: the College of Education; College of Business; College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; and the Graduate College. UNI is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission; there are many programs within the institution that have discipline- specific accreditation based on their high quality.

In addition to a robust academy of faculty focused on teaching, research and service, outside the classroom UNI’s vibrant campus is home to more than 260 student clubs and organization, 17 Division 1 collegiate sport teams, a multitude of fine arts options and more.