The Board of Regents named an Iowa native to be the new president of the University of Northern Iowa following its meeting in Cedar Falls on Tuesday (Dec. 6, 2016).

Montana State University chancellor Dr. Mark Nook will begin his duties as UNI's 11th president on Feb. 1, 2017. The Holstein native will receive a three-year contract with an annual salary of $357,110.

Nook is replacing former UNI president Bill Ruud, who accepted a similar position at Marietta College in Ohio in July. Following Ruud's departure, the Iowa Board of Regents convened a 21-member search and screen committee to work in cooperation with professional search consultant AGB Search.

Nook has served as a chancellor at Montana State University since 2014. Before his move to Billings, Mont., Nook was the senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin System from 2011-2014. He also served as provost (2007-09, 2010-11) and interim chancellor (2009-10) at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and in a variety of roles at Southwest Minnesota State.

UNI's new president graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University with a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics in 1980, before obtaining a master’s degree in astrophysics from Iowa State University in 1983. Nook received his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990.

Jim Wohlpart, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, has been serving as interim president and will continue to do so until Nook takes office.

Wohlpart was one of three finalists being considered for UNI's vacant leadership role. The other was former Temple University president Dr. Neil Theobald. Each of the finalists were interviewed again on Tuesday, before Nook was selected in a unanimous vote by the Regents.

With nearly 12,000 students, the University of Northern Iowa is one of the top public regional universities in the Midwest, consistently recognized in the Princeton Review Best 351 College Rankings guide and by U.S News & World Report. UNI offers more than 90 majors across four undergraduate colleges, and is known nationally for its teacher education and accounting programs.