About Tippie

Tippie Style Guide

The Tippie College uses the Associated Press (AP) 2011 Stylebook as its main style guide (which is also the University of Iowa's main style guide). Webster's New World College Dictionary is the chief spelling reference.

This style guide contains a few rules unique to the UI and a few exceptions to AP style. For additional rules regarding UI building names, programs, and other items unique to our campus, consult the University Brand Manual.

For determining the formal name of a business, use Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations published by Standard & Poor's Corp. of New York.


Using Our Name

The first time it appears, use the full name:

Henry B. Tippie College of Business or Henry B. Tippie School of Management

The second time, abbreviate to Tippie College of Business, Tippie College, or the college. Likewise, the Tippie School of Management or the Tippie School.

The name of our location is the John Pappajohn Business Building, and it should be used in full in the first reference and in addresses. It can be abbreviated to Pappajohn Business Building on subsequent reference. The University mail abbreviation is PBB.

The complete address for the college, using our general mailroom, is:

University of Iowa
Henry B. Tippie College of Business
108 John Pappajohn Business Building
Iowa City, IA 52242-1994

You can add a specific room number to this address, but all mail goes to room 108 for distribution.



The Tippie College style for degree abbreviations includes periods, except for three-letter designations (BBA and MBA). For consistency and ease of reading, we recommend that you spell out the degree in the first reference and use these abbreviations:

Bachelor of Business Administration BBA
Master of Business Administration MBA
Master of Arts M.A.
Master of Accountancy M.Ac.
Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D.

When referring to a degree generically, use the contraction abbreviation:

Nancy earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Iowa.
(The apostrophe "s" replaces the word "of.")


Always spell out the full name of a department, program, division, or institute the first time it appears and list the acronym in parentheses behind it. Use the acronym in subsequent reference:

Developed by University faculty, the Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM) is renowned as a political analysis vehicle. The media regularly watch the buying and selling trends on the IEM to gauge the outcomes of elections.

The Hawkinson Institute of Business Finance was established by financier and alumnus H. John Hawkinson. The mission of the Hawkinson Institute is to promote outstanding finance students to positions on Wall Street.


University of Iowa—Do not capitalize the "the" in "the University of Iowa" when used in prose, but retain the capital "The" in the UI logo and wordmark.

Use university, Iowa, or UI on subsequent references. Never abbreviate as "U of I" or "the U."

Do not capitalize "college" when referring to the Henry B. Tippie College of Business in subsequent use ("the college").

Capitalize the names of departments, programs, centers, and institutes of the college (the Department of Accounting, the Institute for International Business). Do not capitalize "department," "institute," etc. when referring to them in subsequent use.

Lowercase the word "state" or '"federal" unless it is part of the official name of an agency:

state of Iowa
the state seal
State Attorney General

Capitalize widely known regions, such as:

the Midwest
the Pacific Northwest
Eastern Iowa

Capitalize the season name when it refers to an academic term:

Fall 2000, Spring 2001
But otherwise use seasons in lowercase: Homecoming is always held in the fall.

The university's academic sessions are lowercased in text. The following are the correct terms (presented in order of starting date throughout the academic year, which being with fall semester):

fall semester
winter session (not "intercession" or "intersession")
spring semester
three-week summer session
eight-week summer session
six-week summer session
summer session (general reference to summer sessions)

Capitalize the following technology terms:

World Wide Web (but lowercase "web," "website," "webmaster")
PowerPoint (or the name of any software)

Lowercase the following technology terms:



The proper titles for full-time faculty are:

Nontenure track:

Lecturer Clinical Associate Professor
Visiting Lecturer Clinical Associate Professor
Adjunct Lecturer Clinical Professor

Tenure track:

Instructor Professor
Clinical Instructor Associate Professor
Visiting Instructor Assistant Professor
Adjunct Instructor Assistant Professor
  Professor Emeritus (note: both words capitalized)
  Associate Professor Emeritus
  Assistant Professor Emeritus

Whenever possible, spell out the proper title and department or area, such as:

John Doe, associate professor of management sciences

If the title comes after the person's name, it is lowercase. If it comes before the name, it is capitalized, and the title is capitalized when it is in a headline:

Associate Professor John Doe is conducting outstanding research in data-mining techniques.
Associate Professor Doe Wins NSF Grant

The same style applies to administrators:

Dean Sarah Fisher Gardial predicts enrollment for the college will peak this fall.

Sarah Fisher Gardial, dean of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, predicts increasing enrollment in her speech to the State of Iowa, Board of Regents yesterday.

Director of the Executive MBA Program Dawn Kluber regularly visits with area business leaders.

Dawn Kluber, director of the Executive MBA Program, regularly visits with area business leaders.



In a series of three or more terms, use a comma between each term:

The colors in the John Pappajohn Business Building are blue, green, coral, and slate.

The caterer set out orange juice, rolls, bagels, and ham and eggs for breakfast.

He went to the door, opened it, and went outside to the courtyard.

In introductory phrases the comma may be omitted if the sentence is understandable. But use a comma if its omission slows understanding:

During the night the winds reached 58 miles per hour.

On the street below, the demonstrators milled before the podium.

Enclose a parenthetical expression in commas:

The University president spoke to students, at the request of the Board of Regents, about the tuition increase.

Use a comma after yes or no or in direct address:

Yes, he planned to register for the course.

No, it was not too late to pay the room deposit.

Dr. Franklin, could I have a word with you?

Colons and Semicolons

The colon is most often used at the end of a sentence to introduce a list:

There were three variables in the formula: time, distance, and velocity.

It can also be used for emphasis:

He lived for one thing: to sail.

Semicolons indicate a greater separation of thought and information than a comma. It separates two clauses that are grammatically complete to form a compound sentence:

It was nearly half past five; we cannot reach town before dark.

Spielberg's movies are entertaining; they're full of action and romance.

Alumnus alumni
Alumna alumnae
Formula formulae
Curriculum curricula
Medium media

The media are eager for quotes on the latest poll results.

Faculty faculties

The faculty is ready to revise the graduate program curriculum.
(Faculty, even though it is a group, is a singular word.)

The faculties of the various departments are meeting to elect a collegewide council.

One or Two Words?

Common one-word compound modifiers:


Two-word compound modifiers:

course work
note taking
time frame
birth date
French Canadian

Use hyphens for compound modifiers such as:

well-known author
quick-witted speaker
fund-raising event

Do not use hyphens if the modifier is the adverb "very" or an adverb ending in 'ly":

a very good time
an easily remembered rule

Hyphenation depends on whether the word is used as a noun or an adjective:

Our computer is state of the art. (noun)
We have a state-of-the-art facility. (adjective)
Is the class held on campus? (noun)
Meet the Firms Night is an on-campus event. (adjective)
Many students work part time. (noun)
Dan is a part-time student employee. (adjective)


Spell out numbers below 10, but use numbers for percentages and ages.

Spell out numbers that begin a sentence, centuries, round numbers, and indefinite expressions:

hundreds of men
the early seventies
the nineteenth century

Spell out fractions standing alone or followed by "of a" or "of an":

one-half inch
three-fourths of a pie

Use numerals for years, decimals, percentages, and fractions that would be awkward if spelled out:

53 B.C.
12 percent return
3.42 grade-point average
8 1/2 x 11-inch bond

Dollar amounts, especially large ones, should be written for ease of reading. Each of these examples is correct:

General Electric donated $4 million to the scholarship fund.
General Electric donated 3.86 million dollars to the scholarship fund.
General Electric donated $392,675,231 to the scholarship fund.


Dec. 11, not December 11
July 15, not July 15th
Noon, not 12:00 p.m.
$5, not $5.00
7 p.m., not 7:00 p.m.


Use the Right Voice: Second Person, Active Verb, Present Tense

Promotional writing should be direct and personal. Address your audience as if you were talking across a table:

We welcome you to visit campus.

If the style of writing is strictly informational, third-person voice is acceptable:

Students sign up for group advising sessions two weeks before the semester starts.

Use verbs in the present tense. Writing in the future or past tense weakens your writing:

Learn the basics and apply your talents to advance.

instead of: You will learn the basics and be able to apply your talents to advance.

and instead of: You learned the basics and you applied your talents to advance.

Avoid passive writing! Action verbs bring the subject to life and keep your reader interested.