Football vs. Northern Illinois
Dr. Rodney Bennett talks about his first home game as chancellor, a new grant for research collaboration between UNL and UNMC that could help protect U.S. troops and undergraduate research opportunities.
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[00:00:01.260]and the Huskies of Northern Illinois tonight.
[00:00:05.520]And before we get into the rest of our pre-game,
[00:00:07.770]a chance to sit down as we do each and every week
[00:00:09.570]with the chancellor from the University of Nebraska Lincoln,
[00:00:11.490]Rodney Bennett, who is about to experience
[00:00:14.220]his first home football game.
[00:00:15.720]Are you excited for this?
Go Big Red! Go Big Red.
[00:00:19.290]We are so excited about tonight,
[00:00:21.150]and we're so excited about our first victory
[00:00:23.670]of this season's football season.
[00:00:25.950]And so I could not be just more on cloud nine
[00:00:29.970]to get to experience all of this firsthand.
[00:00:32.490]I've heard a lot about it.
[00:00:34.020]I've been here before in my former institution,
[00:00:37.170]came to Nebraska and played the Huskers,
[00:00:39.570]but the first time as the sitting chancellor.
[00:00:42.090]So I am the number one fan in the stadium tonight for sure.
[00:00:46.530]Soak it all in, just soak it all in.
[00:00:48.480]And the weather's gonna be fantastic.
[00:00:50.130]I love this time of year.
[00:00:51.540]A major, and I mean major research grant announcement
[00:00:54.900]that came out this week,
[00:00:55.800]it's a bit of a collaboration, chancellor,
[00:00:57.630]between UNL and and our medical partner UNMC.
[00:01:01.320]Well, one of the things that's really gonna be important
[00:01:03.660]for the university going forward
[00:01:05.430]is to have more collaborations with UNMC.
[00:01:09.810]I know your listeners have heard both President Carter
[00:01:12.990]and me talk about regaining membership in the AAU.
[00:01:17.850]And one of the things that we think will help us
[00:01:19.890]to do that is more partnerships and collaborations
[00:01:22.740]with our colleagues up in Omaha.
[00:01:25.800]So we are very excited about this new opportunity,
[00:01:30.090]and there will be many, many more opportunities to come.
[00:01:34.230]You know, life changing research is a part
[00:01:36.660]of any major institution and it certainly happens here
[00:01:39.840]at UNL every day.
[00:01:40.710]You and I even visited a little bit about this
[00:01:42.660]a week or so ago.
[00:01:44.220]Is it unique for graduates and undergraduates here at UNL
[00:01:47.430]to get involved in some of this research?
[00:01:49.260]You know, we really build the whole brand.
[00:01:51.810]I know some people may not like for me
[00:01:53.430]to reference it that way, of what it means to be at an R1
[00:01:57.360]flagship land grant institution by having an opportunity
[00:02:01.920]for undergraduates to engage in undergraduate research.
[00:02:05.280]We hope that that will spark an interest in them
[00:02:07.530]that they may not have otherwise known was there,
[00:02:10.320]which leads to graduate school, a master's degree,
[00:02:12.810]and then on to a terminal degree.
[00:02:15.090]And perhaps, you know,
[00:02:16.020]there'll be faculty members with us,
[00:02:17.670]or they'll go on to start companies,
[00:02:19.260]or they'll be able to do things
[00:02:21.420]that really elevate the citizenry
[00:02:23.700]of the state of Nebraska and beyond.
[00:02:26.640]One of the things that is really important to us
[00:02:29.160]as a land grant institution
[00:02:31.710]is to take the things that we do here
[00:02:33.840]at the university and take it across the state
[00:02:36.900]so that the taxpayers are benefiting
[00:02:40.320]from what the state's university is engaged in.
[00:02:43.830]A lot of times we think about that from the agriculture
[00:02:46.680]and natural resource perspective,
[00:02:48.270]and it is most certainly that.
[00:02:50.820]But there are so many revolutionary,
[00:02:53.070]groundbreaking research discoveries and innovations
[00:02:57.210]that take place on our campus every day
[00:02:59.010]that I believe are really improving the lives of Nebraskans
[00:03:03.510]in every field of human endeavor.
[00:03:05.820]How much do you try to encourage your faculty members
[00:03:08.220]to get those students involved
[00:03:10.050]in some of the projects that they're working on?
[00:03:12.030]I think it's an ongoing conversation that we have,
[00:03:14.490]but part of what it means to be at an institution
[00:03:17.970]like Nebraska, an R1 flagship, a land grant,
[00:03:22.080]is inherent in just sort of naturally doing that,
[00:03:26.160]naturally being excited about research,
[00:03:28.680]naturally being excited about how we challenge students
[00:03:32.520]in new and different ways.
[00:03:34.710]And so I have not really had to push and prod, as it were,
[00:03:40.890]faculty at this level to do it as much
[00:03:43.800]as maybe some other institutions
[00:03:45.570]who don't have the designations that we have
[00:03:48.150]might have to do.
[00:03:49.710]How important is it to you
[00:03:51.810]to get students as soon as they get on campus
[00:03:54.420]to kind of get them involved in these things?
[00:03:55.970]It is just not juniors and seniors that benefit,
[00:03:58.950]but to try to get the freshmen
[00:04:00.750]kind of getting going into their academic careers.
[00:04:03.810]Well, you know, I think we get one opportunity
[00:04:05.910]to make a first good impression.
[00:04:09.570]And so I think to the extent that we can
[00:04:12.030]right out of the gate expose them
[00:04:15.090]to the vast amount of things that are here,
[00:04:18.870]I think it connects them in ways
[00:04:21.030]that endures them to the institution
[00:04:23.820]for not only their time as students here,
[00:04:26.190]but really after they graduate
[00:04:27.660]and sort of move on with their lives.
[00:04:29.970]And so what we really try to do
[00:04:32.190]from the recruitment perspective,
[00:04:34.800]or the recruitment timeframe,
[00:04:36.480]in junior high school and beyond
[00:04:38.790]is make sure that they are aware
[00:04:40.590]of what's available for them here,
[00:04:42.630]how to get connected, how to use the resources,
[00:04:45.930]how to connect with members of the faculty,
[00:04:48.236]how to develop relationships with the staff.
[00:04:51.510]And what we know is that the single greatest influence
[00:04:55.200]on student success is the faculty member.
[00:04:58.560]The faculty member can speak life or defeat into a student
[00:05:02.580]by what they say or don't say
[00:05:04.440]at the podium in front of the class.
[00:05:06.480]And we're very fortunate here at UNL
[00:05:09.090]to have committed faculty who understand that responsibility
[00:05:13.530]who really embrace what it means to be a faculty member,
[00:05:17.070]and really who have dedicated their lives
[00:05:19.080]to inspiring young people to really go for it, you know,
[00:05:22.410]to challenge themselves, and as we say,
[00:05:24.360]to do really big things, and to do really hard things.
[00:05:28.440]And I think that was one of the things
[00:05:29.820]that really drew me to the University of Nebraska
[00:05:33.240]is to be in a community,
[00:05:35.520]in an environment where that was valued.
[00:05:37.680]Fantastic. Thank you for sharing that with us.
[00:05:39.420]Always enjoy our visits.
[00:05:41.310]Enjoy the game today
[00:05:42.420]and I'll look forward to our visit next week.
[00:05:43.920]There we go, thank you Greg, and go Big Red!
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