President William Ruud has been president of the University of Northern Iowa since 2013. He's overseen projects he's proud of like efforts to curb sexual assault and One Is Too Many and a project to promote mental health. He still says the best part of the job is direct interaction with students.
"Nothing better than putting on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and going over to the student union and sitting down and hearing where the people that you ought to be doing what you're doing for are thinking, where they're going, what their excitements are, what their fears are."
Though Ruud is often seen in a business suit, but that doesn't stop him from meeting students where they are. A few hours before the interview, Ruud was handing out doughnuts and coffee at a basketball game. He says talking with the students that way reminds him why he loves his job.
"That gives me a good dose of mental health for me and it also allows me to know that, you know what, this generation is a great generation and we're educating a great generation and we're going to be in good hands as we pass the reins."
In this River to River interview, host Ben Kieffer talks with President Ruud about tuition hikes, mental health, and other pressing issues for Iowa's college students.