Our messaging provides a way to talk about the University of Iowa with consistency and impact. It explains what makes us different from other universities and ensures we’re all speaking with the same voice.
Use these themes when communicating to prospective audiences to reflect and reinforce the most distinctive facets of the Iowa brand.
The writing university.
Iowa’s excellence in writing has created an unmatched array of writing-related resources that everyone can benefit from.
Where art meets science.
Iowa’s balanced leadership in the arts and sciences encourages exploration and innovation across disciplines.
Collaboration over competition.
At Iowa, we believe great teams, not individuals, will find the answers to the biggest challenges.
A college town like no other.
All of this is made possible by our uniquely integrated town and campus, making Iowa City an ideal place to live, learn, and work.
Use our messaging guide when talking about the university—online, in conversation, in print materials, in speeches, and during presentations. It applies at all levels, from the president’s office to prospective student tour guides.
Effective messages are:
- Active. Avoid the passive voice, dull language, and run-on sentences.
- Simple. Limit your use of adjectives and superlatives.
- Concise. Keep sentences short, tight, and focused on the objective of your message.
- Intentional. Understand your audience(s) and your unit’s goals. Use that understanding to guide your communications.
- Clear. Avoid heavily academic or technical language in promotional or recruitment-driven materials.
- Compelling. Look for opportunities to connect with your audience emotionally and move them to action.
University of Iowa in text
Refer to the University of Iowa on first reference and as “Iowa” for subsequent references. If doing so may lead to confusion between the university and the state, use “the UI” (not “U of I”). Use sparingly as adjective. Don’t capitalize “university” if standing alone, and only capitalize “the” in “the University of Iowa” if it is at the beginning of a sentence.
- The University of Iowa has 11 colleges.
- Welcome to the University of Iowa campus.
- Iowa has a world-renowned space-science program.
- There are three public universities in Iowa; the UI has 11 colleges.
- The university was established in 1847.
Additional messaging resources
The University of Iowa is known both nationally and internationally as “the Writing University.” We encourage communicators to live up to this reputation by demonstrating care and precision in all messaging, including press releases, digital and print materials, social media posts, and editorials. Communication should also reflect the university’s goals toward diversity, equity, and inclusion, and be inclusive, respectful, and accurate.
Editorial style guide
The University of Iowa uses predominantly AP style, with some exceptions. Consult the Editorial Style Guide for more instruction and details.
DEI style guide
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Style Guide attempts to answer common questions and provide thoughtful guidance on topics that may be encountered when creating and/or editing content.
Rankings and facts
The University of Iowa boasts an impressive list of rankings and historical firsts. An overview sheet offers current rankings and facts that can be used to support your messaging.