State of the University 2017
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green delivers the annual State of the University. September 19, 2017. Read more: http://news.unl.edu/newsrooms/today/article/green-calls-for-bold-transformation-to-build-on-nebraska-s-momentum/
icon search Searchable Transcript
Toggle between list and paragraph view.
[00:00:01.464](gentle pop music)
[00:03:38.240]Well, good morning.
[00:03:41.015]And welcome to our collective community of faculty,
[00:03:45.151]of staff, students, alumni, partners,
[00:03:49.682]and indeed all of our stakeholders
[00:03:51.431]as the citizens of the state of Nebraska
[00:03:54.389]to the fabulous Lied Center for Performing Arts here
[00:03:57.261]on our main campus in Lincoln this morning.
[00:04:00.130]And I know that there are many joining us
[00:04:02.434]across our webstream that's being livecast
[00:04:05.734]out across our statewide campus this morning.
[00:04:09.318]You know, we have this opportunity once a year
[00:04:12.374]to pause, to reflect, to look at the state
[00:04:16.024]of our university, of your university.
[00:04:19.244]And to collect ourselves and think about the future,
[00:04:22.323]and think about the opportunities
[00:04:24.004]that we have lying ahead of us.
[00:04:26.726]This is kind of a particularly poignant
[00:04:29.176]State of the University Address for a lot
[00:04:30.995]of reasons that you will hear this morning.
[00:04:33.835]But none less than the fact that we actually sit this year
[00:04:38.262]on the eve, if you will, of the sesquicentennial,
[00:04:42.750]I knew I'd screw that word up,
[00:04:46.304]anniversary celebration year of our great university
[00:04:49.606]that comes up for us next year in 2018-19.
[00:04:55.629]I tell you that it is indeed a real privilege
[00:04:58.816]and honor for me to serve as the 20th chancellor
[00:05:01.347]of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
[00:05:04.254]And I say that as an alumnus.
[00:05:08.035]I say that as a parent of four former
[00:05:10.252]and current Husker students.
[00:05:12.803]I say that as a spouse of a devoted,
[00:05:15.213]committed, and passionate alumna.
[00:05:17.926]And I say that as indeed being a citizen
[00:05:21.561]of the great state of Nebraska
[00:05:23.228]and a taxpayer here in this state.
[00:05:27.025]And each and every day, I want you to know
[00:05:30.324]that I get up in the morning recognizing the challenge
[00:05:33.542]and the opportunity that we have
[00:05:35.966]every day in meeting our mission.
[00:05:38.388]And what an obligation and a responsibility that is
[00:05:42.080]for all of us as we move forward.
[00:05:45.993]Now, I want to take you back, if you will, a year
[00:05:50.915]to when we were having this conversation last September.
[00:05:54.854]And we were talking about the great momentum
[00:05:57.567]that the university has been experiencing
[00:06:00.471]for a number of years in our immediate past
[00:06:03.479]and that we're experiencing today.
[00:06:06.235]And we talked a lot about what the opportunities
[00:06:08.883]are ahead of us for growth,
[00:06:12.316]for growth and enrollment,
[00:06:14.508]for growth and student matriculation and success,
[00:06:18.272]for looking for innovative and new ways
[00:06:21.162]for fiscal management that will allow us
[00:06:23.109]to devote more and more of our resources
[00:06:25.223]to our core academic mission.
[00:06:27.803]And indeed, looking forward how we can
[00:06:30.831]even grow further our academic distinction.
[00:06:34.313]Not only in the Big Ten Academic Alliance,
[00:06:37.673]but nationally and internationally around the world.
[00:06:41.370]And you might also remember that we talked
[00:06:44.120]about maybe there are efforts
[00:06:45.825]and ways that we might be able
[00:06:47.526]to collaborate at a greater level
[00:06:49.628]with the NU system of institutions.
[00:06:52.561]And in particular, we pointed to
[00:06:54.001]and talked a little bit about our sister research campus
[00:06:57.375]at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
[00:07:01.295]Now, I have a lot to cover with you this morning.
[00:07:03.567]I'm gonna forewarn you of that.
[00:07:06.337]But I wanna kind of map out for you
[00:07:09.247]the road of our dialogue this morning.
[00:07:12.263]I want to first reaffirm for you the opportunity
[00:07:15.825]and the challenge of our mission in higher education,
[00:07:19.553]especially at this point in time.
[00:07:22.281]I want to talk to you about the amazing year
[00:07:24.977]that we've had this past year, that you saw a little bit
[00:07:27.977]about in that introductory video a few moments ago.
[00:07:32.403]I want us to pause a little bit
[00:07:33.805]and reflect about the current time.
[00:07:36.349]This is a transformational
[00:07:37.515]and a turbulent time that we live in.
[00:07:40.081]And those externalities are ones
[00:07:41.915]that we should be paying attention to,
[00:07:43.995]both in our immediate and our long-term future.
[00:07:48.417]And then I want to talk about some bold transformations
[00:07:51.093]that are going to be required of us
[00:07:53.523]in the immediate year that we have ahead,
[00:07:55.910]this academic year and certainly
[00:07:58.128]in the second year of our budget biennium that's coming up.
[00:08:01.899]Then I want to close the loop at the end
[00:08:04.507]by talking with you again about focusing on that mission,
[00:08:08.632]and doubling down and focusing, if you will,
[00:08:11.352]on our land-grant university mission in higher education.
[00:08:15.798]We have the awesome responsibility
[00:08:18.044]in remit of being this state's public
[00:08:21.552]comprehensive research intensive university.
[00:08:25.917]We're the largest university of higher education
[00:08:29.115]in the state of Nebraska.
[00:08:31.057]We're the largest center for creation of research,
[00:08:34.683]and discovery, and creative activity here.
[00:08:38.112]We're the home and Carnegie doctoral granting-institution
[00:08:42.086]for higher education here in our state.
[00:08:46.032]You all recognize that we cover a comprehensive set
[00:08:49.616]of disciplines here in areas of study, in research,
[00:08:52.847]in creative activity, and in discovery.
[00:08:55.607]And you also recognize that we were established
[00:08:57.839]and put here nearly 150 years ago
[00:09:01.131]under the Moral Act of 1862, establishing us
[00:09:04.657]as the people's university of the state of Nebraska.
[00:09:09.189]With that tripartite mission of excellence,
[00:09:12.533]and affordable, and accessible,
[00:09:14.974]and high-quality education for our people.
[00:09:18.738]The secondary mission that we have
[00:09:21.032]in pushing the knowledge barriers forward
[00:09:24.315]with new knowledge in research, and creative activity,
[00:09:27.045]and discovery that matters, that matters
[00:09:30.654]to our people here in this part of the world.
[00:09:34.696]And then thirdly and importantly, that outreach
[00:09:38.405]and engagement mission that we have with our place.
[00:09:42.306]The engagement with the people of Nebraska,
[00:09:45.149]with the place of Nebraska, to improve human quality
[00:09:48.671]of life here and economic wellbeing across our state.
[00:09:54.209]Now, I would wager to you that in our 149 year history,
[00:09:58.743]that tripartite mission has probably
[00:10:00.354]never been more important for the external world
[00:10:04.095]that we live in, for the place that we serve.
[00:10:08.368]Higher education has never been more needed
[00:10:10.959]for career and life success of our students.
[00:10:14.770]Nor has research, and creative activity,
[00:10:17.031]and discovery been more needed for improving human life,
[00:10:21.449]and improving our natural conditions of our environment.
[00:10:25.617]And I would also wager to you
[00:10:28.181]that there had been few times in the last 15 decades
[00:10:32.711]that have required us to pay more attention
[00:10:36.343]to translating the value of higher education,
[00:10:40.073]to understanding the benefits for the general public
[00:10:42.661]of higher education, and of the academy
[00:10:46.143]than we exist in today.
[00:10:48.641]Now, you might remember that on this same stage
[00:10:52.081]in April at the investiture ceremony,
[00:10:54.452]I called it the Grand Poobah ceremony, I'm sorry.
[00:10:57.401]But at the investiture ceremony,
[00:11:00.113]I talked about the history of our institution,
[00:11:03.478]and I referred to this advantage
[00:11:05.454]that we have geographically of being
[00:11:07.722]in the middle of everywhere and everything.
[00:11:10.312]And in fact, historically and at the present time,
[00:11:14.017]and long time into the future,
[00:11:16.068]that this institution serves as the DNA
[00:11:19.508]in so many ways of the state of Nebraska.
[00:11:23.532]I also talked about the fact
[00:11:25.732]that we're the flagship institution
[00:11:27.703]of the University of Nebraska.
[00:11:29.932]We talked about that last year, if you recall.
[00:11:33.652]And I wanna point to a little different texture of this
[00:11:36.682]this morning in thinking about the connection
[00:11:40.044]of the university to the state.
[00:11:42.818]Now, I've lived in five states during my life,
[00:11:46.457]and I can tell you that I have never been in a place
[00:11:50.586]that is as connected to its university
[00:11:53.107]on the basis of its people as Nebraska.
[00:11:56.870]And that is a virtue and a value
[00:11:58.846]that I don't think we can ever underestimate,
[00:12:02.011]that we should ever diminish, that we should seek to
[00:12:05.353]and keep connected, that sense of connectedness
[00:12:09.188]of the state to its flagship land-grant university here.
[00:12:15.831]Now, let's talk about the past year.
[00:12:18.302]We certainly recognize that we have the momentum
[00:12:20.982]of becoming a bigger institution.
[00:12:22.690]We talked a lot about that last September.
[00:12:24.940]That certainly is led by our enrollment growth
[00:12:28.152]that we have experienced the last several years.
[00:12:30.923]You'll recall that last year in the fall of 2016,
[00:12:34.151]we enrolled 25,897 students on our campus,
[00:12:38.551]surpassing the previous all-time
[00:12:40.960]enrollment record in 1982 of 25,075 students.
[00:12:47.330]And this year, in no small feat of accomplishment,
[00:12:51.868]we topped that record again at 26,079 students enrolled
[00:12:57.995]and studying with us here
[00:12:59.850]at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
[00:13:02.770]I don't need to tell you that in a year like we have had,
[00:13:07.351]to see an enrollment increase is a major accomplishment.
[00:13:11.015]And we should feel very good about that.
[00:13:12.990]We should feel very good about it,
[00:13:14.260]what it says about our university, and the trajectory,
[00:13:17.602]and the quality that the university is on.
[00:13:20.799]If you look at that historical enrollment trend
[00:13:24.103]since back in this slide of 2002 over the last 15 years,
[00:13:28.924]you will see that today we enroll more students
[00:13:32.132]from Nebraska, more students that are non-residents,
[00:13:35.503]domestic and international, than ever before.
[00:13:39.023]We have the largest freshman class in the history
[00:13:41.724]of our institution at 4,905 students.
[00:13:45.572]The most diverse freshman class
[00:13:47.682]and student body at 15% that we have ever had.
[00:13:50.945]All the while, maintaining the academic credential
[00:13:53.660]of our student body while we're growing.
[00:13:57.026]That is a phenomenal accomplishment for us.
[00:14:01.177]And as you will recall, we have talked about
[00:14:04.777]that enrollment growth moving us forward.
[00:14:06.828]I wanna do just a quick shout-out here
[00:14:08.265]before we talk a little bit about the future.
[00:14:10.889]That enrollment growth this year led
[00:14:13.038]by our College of Business, you see here
[00:14:15.489]in their new home in Hawks Hall on campus.
[00:14:18.598]15% increase in the freshman class compared
[00:14:22.017]to a year ago in our College of Business.
[00:14:24.976]Aided by enrollment gains
[00:14:26.598]in the College of Arts and Sciences,
[00:14:28.262]the College of Engineering, the College of Architecture,
[00:14:31.252]the College of Fine and Performing Arts.
[00:14:34.492]Now, you know that we have talked a lot
[00:14:37.721]about increasing our enrollment,
[00:14:39.897]and I wanna just speak to that briefly here
[00:14:42.206]to tell you the results of a task force
[00:14:44.916]that we put to work last year to look
[00:14:47.937]at our enrollment growth strategies.
[00:14:50.957]It was led by Amber Williams and Tiffany Heng-Moss,
[00:14:54.187]with a team of faculty and staff,
[00:14:56.349]who worked with outside expert consultation
[00:15:00.085]to analyze the competitive landscape,
[00:15:03.035]if you will, of higher ed, and I will tell you,
[00:15:04.786]it's never been competitive than it is today.
[00:15:08.405]To look at institutions that have grown like we aspire
[00:15:12.277]to grow, and what their experiences have been,
[00:15:16.499]and to look specifically around planned growth,
[00:15:19.077]or smart growth, in areas that we think we need
[00:15:22.114]to grow rather than randomly or generically.
[00:15:26.495]And the result of that task force's effort,
[00:15:30.467]and I'll sum it up, I'm summing it up
[00:15:32.557]in a very aggregated way here, is a little different
[00:15:35.808]than I talked to you about a year ago.
[00:15:37.451]You might remember 35,000 was the number.
[00:15:40.213]And I said, "That's an aspirational directional number.
[00:15:44.016]"We'll see what our diligence tells us."
[00:15:47.213]What our diligence has told us that a very realistic goal
[00:15:50.333]for us by 2025 is to enroll 29 to 31,000 students
[00:15:55.245]on our campus, and that an aspirational,
[00:15:58.605]and I believe achievable goal,
[00:16:00.915]is 32,500 students in that time.
[00:16:05.469]And if you remember that graph that I just showed you,
[00:16:08.631]if you look back over the last five years,
[00:16:11.483]we have actually increased our enrollment
[00:16:13.429]by nearly 2,000 students on this campus.
[00:16:16.672]We kind of forget that in thinking about
[00:16:19.778]what those opportunities that lie ahead of us are.
[00:16:23.552]I also referenced last year this number,
[00:16:25.647]and I know it's an audacious number,
[00:16:28.349]but I want to say to you today that we shouldn't view this
[00:16:30.948]as an unrealistic number, to say that we would like
[00:16:34.628]to see 80% of our students graduate in four years,
[00:16:38.571]or aspire to that, is not an unrealistic aspiration.
[00:16:43.504]But it's going to require a lot of work
[00:16:45.848]on the part of our campus and our culture.
[00:16:48.317]It's a national phenomena that we're dealing with.
[00:16:51.359]And I think we should pursue that at all haste.
[00:16:55.346]We had a second task force working last fall
[00:16:57.438]in this area of student success led
[00:16:59.235]by Amy Goodburn and Kathy Ankerson in a team,
[00:17:02.813]that looked at the ways that we continued
[00:17:05.045]to work in student support and services,
[00:17:07.917]recognizing that our student profile
[00:17:10.808]and demographic continues to change
[00:17:13.659]with more first generation students
[00:17:15.450]than we've seen in recent years,
[00:17:17.479]and certainly a more diverse demographic across the board.
[00:17:21.621]Knowing that we need to invest in these areas moving ahead.
[00:17:26.389]We've had some success.
[00:17:28.330]I was so pleased to stand in the Kimball Hall
[00:17:31.139]earlier this fall and meet over 200 new first Huskers
[00:17:35.189]enrolled in that First Gen program.
[00:17:37.499]And the First Gen faculty program now
[00:17:40.459]that our Student Success Team has implemented with over 300
[00:17:43.578]of our faculty having affiliated with this group
[00:17:47.299]to mentor our First Gen students moving forward.
[00:17:52.723]I will tell you that I think we need
[00:17:55.887]to keep this relatively simple.
[00:17:57.968]Now, I kind of tend to be a simple,
[00:17:59.205]common sense type of person.
[00:18:01.946]And we need to keep it simple in thinking
[00:18:04.346]about 15 times two times four equals 120.
[00:18:09.704]And we need to re-emphasize and make a commitment
[00:18:12.650]in the way that we mentor and we advise our students
[00:18:16.627]within their own personal boundaries
[00:18:18.907]to meet that goal on their own as we move forward.
[00:18:23.537]Now, we've had a phenomenal year of infrastructure growth.
[00:18:26.715]And I'm not going to go through
[00:18:27.816]all of these individual pictures that you see on the slide.
[00:18:31.974]But this fall, we opened more newly renovated,
[00:18:36.467]or new facilities, or upgraded facilities and aesthetics
[00:18:40.598]of our campus than we can remember in recent history.
[00:18:45.033]Everything from the $84 million largest,
[00:18:47.528]private funded building ever constructed on our campus
[00:18:51.139]in Hawks Hall, the College of Business with Hawks Hall,
[00:18:55.048]to the North Love Adele Hall Learning Commons,
[00:18:59.259]to the Law Clinic in the College of Law,
[00:19:01.891]to new dormitory and residence and dining facilities.
[00:19:05.627]You see the impact that these will have for many years
[00:19:09.264]to come, including some aesthetic additions to our campus,
[00:19:16.009]and the beauty of our campus, and the transportation
[00:19:19.205]around our campus for student services.
[00:19:22.675]We have a number of projects that are currently
[00:19:24.702]under construction and underway,
[00:19:27.155]which will add to that infrastructure
[00:19:28.928]as they come to completion in the next two years,
[00:19:31.253]including the new Student Health Center,
[00:19:33.168]and Lincoln Division of the University
[00:19:34.790]of Nebraska Medical Center on Antelope Valley,
[00:19:39.038]the completion of the Library Repository Addition,
[00:19:42.147]new energy facilities here for City Campus
[00:19:44.856]and the thermal tank construction,
[00:19:46.718]and the first building of phase two now
[00:19:49.657]under construction at Nebraska Innovation Campus.
[00:19:53.679]We have a number of projects that are under planning
[00:19:56.304]and design that have now been approved
[00:19:58.024]by the Board of Regents to move forward
[00:19:59.891]in our infrastructure.
[00:20:01.358]Anchored most heavily by the Mabel Lee Hall
[00:20:05.186]renovation project that we'll be undertaking
[00:20:08.587]in the next couple of years, and the gymnastics facility
[00:20:11.875]that is a result of that change in renovation.
[00:20:15.553]I wanna draw your attention to in this slide,
[00:20:18.369]the Memorial Mall Loop Road project,
[00:20:21.160]one that was just approved by the Board of Regents
[00:20:23.520]in their last meeting that will beautify
[00:20:26.399]that existing iconic space on our main campus
[00:20:30.008]here between the stadium and the new business building,
[00:20:33.579]beginning immediately following the completion
[00:20:36.100]of our football season this year.
[00:20:39.117]We have two projects that are up for approval
[00:20:42.571]here in the next two weeks by our Board of Regents,
[00:20:45.576]including the new home for the Carson Center
[00:20:48.390]for Emerging Media Arts in the former Nebraska Bookstore
[00:20:52.331]facility not far from here, as well
[00:20:54.832]as a complete renovation of the Nebraska East Union
[00:20:57.798]to match the new residential facilities
[00:21:00.270]there on East Campus.
[00:21:02.751]And if that wasn't enough,
[00:21:06.683]we have a number of major projects
[00:21:08.720]that are in the initial planning stages.
[00:21:11.111]Some that have funding associated with them already.
[00:21:14.258]And again, as I described Mabel Lee,
[00:21:16.427]I'll use this one to say anchored by
[00:21:19.586]the major renovation project and addition
[00:21:21.859]to our College of Engineering infrastructure
[00:21:25.184]that we hope to be deep into
[00:21:27.355]within the next couple of years.
[00:21:29.787]So, huge opportunities for us in matching that growth
[00:21:34.175]with infrastructure and improved instructional
[00:21:36.641]and resource facilities for our campus.
[00:21:40.766]One of the things that we have to celebrate this year,
[00:21:42.999]you might remember last year we were talking
[00:21:44.771]about the upcoming site visit
[00:21:46.244]of the Higher Learning Commission's accreditation team
[00:21:49.491]for our 10-year accreditation of the university.
[00:21:53.124]Laurie Bellows, and Amy Goodburn, and Renee Batman,
[00:21:56.294]and a number of our faculty, about 300 of our faculty
[00:21:59.007]and staff had worked hard for that visit.
[00:22:02.320]And I can tell you it was one
[00:22:03.718]of the best ones they said they've had.
[00:22:06.347]An absolute clean, pretty accreditation,
[00:22:09.539]if I would call it that, and result
[00:22:12.399]for us for the next 10 years.
[00:22:13.945]And they pointed to things like,
[00:22:15.617]I won't read these statements to you out of the report,
[00:22:18.729]but things like the self-reflective capacity
[00:22:21.127]of our university and strategy for looking forward,
[00:22:24.387]and thinking about the strategic planning
[00:22:26.595]that we currently are underway in doing.
[00:22:30.147]The enhancement of our student support services,
[00:22:33.566]and teaching and learning resources,
[00:22:35.169]and infrastructure that I was just talking
[00:22:36.855]to you about in even greater levels
[00:22:38.822]since the information that they had for the site visit.
[00:22:44.624]The fact that our faculty and students are focused
[00:22:46.691]on improving diversity and inclusion,
[00:22:49.231]that we'll come back and talk later this morning
[00:22:51.066]about our steps moving forward.
[00:22:53.406]And the opportunity to be committed in new ways
[00:22:56.396]to that area for enhancement of our educational enterprise.
[00:23:01.216]And this last one is just a reaffirmation
[00:23:03.208]of what we said a few minutes ago,
[00:23:05.976]where they recognized, they felt,
[00:23:09.031]it was palpable to them, the sense of commitment
[00:23:12.585]to Nebraska and Nebraska to us of the university here
[00:23:16.520]as the people's university of the state of Nebraska.
[00:23:21.267]Now, you saw the reel earlier and I'm not gonna be able
[00:23:23.616]to highlight everything that was in that reel.
[00:23:25.528]But I think it's important for us today,
[00:23:27.989]especially given some of the challenges
[00:23:29.848]that we have to confront in the coming year,
[00:23:32.158]to celebrate the accomplishments of this past year.
[00:23:34.931]It has been a phenomenal momentous year for our campus.
[00:23:39.715]If you look across the academic colleges,
[00:23:43.475]things like our College of Law being
[00:23:46.286]for the second year in a row ranked
[00:23:48.074]as the number one best value law school in the country.
[00:23:52.275]Things like our College of Business continuing
[00:23:55.633]to accelerate and jump in rankings
[00:23:58.055]in the US News and World Report rankings
[00:24:00.278]of all business colleges and schools nationally,
[00:24:03.416]now in the top 50.
[00:24:05.867]Things like for the first time,
[00:24:08.136]the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award,
[00:24:10.750]very prestigious award in this field being given
[00:24:14.502]to a group of students in a student project
[00:24:17.775]in our College of Journalism and Mass Communication,
[00:24:20.728]called the Wounds of Whiteclay.
[00:24:23.428]We should be proud of those accomplishments
[00:24:25.713]and so many others that have happened across our campus.
[00:24:29.409]A Military and Veteran Success Center,
[00:24:31.678]relatively new in our history, led by Darrell Everhart,
[00:24:35.820]now bringing us the ranking of 24th best
[00:24:38.860]in the country, Best in Vets designation.
[00:24:42.139]For now, nearly 800 students studying with us
[00:24:44.729]as undergraduates who are student veterans,
[00:24:47.140]almost 4% of our undergraduate population.
[00:24:52.286]Awards and recognitions for teaching, and instruction,
[00:24:55.574]and outreach that our faculty continue
[00:24:57.783]to receive nationally and internationally.
[00:25:00.526]And even locally here this past year,
[00:25:02.673]I would shout-out to our Department of History
[00:25:05.172]in the College of Arts and Sciences,
[00:25:07.187]named as the University of Nebraska-Wide
[00:25:09.897]Departmental Teaching Award winner this year.
[00:25:12.792]Or Professor Erin Blankenship in statistics.
[00:25:15.886]Jason Kautz in chemistry.
[00:25:17.965]Eileen Hebets in the School of Biological Sciences.
[00:25:20.937]For their teaching and outreach excellence
[00:25:23.027]in the university-wide OTICA and IDEA awards.
[00:25:31.429]We also have this little thing called Silicon Prairie
[00:25:33.883]that you hear about, and it's real, folks.
[00:25:38.382]The new business development that is happening
[00:25:40.499]in our environment here and the opportunities for that.
[00:25:43.584]I wanna point out that this university fuels that.
[00:25:47.379]This university is the fuel for that entrepreneurism.
[00:25:51.174]And this year, the university system-wide awards again,
[00:25:54.160]the Peter Kiewit Entrepreneurship Awards.
[00:25:56.645]We're recognizing two new companies that have come out
[00:25:59.805]of our students and our efforts here at this university.
[00:26:03.036]Red Thread, as you see here on this slide.
[00:26:06.277]And Bugeater Foods, I know it sounds great,
[00:26:09.471]Bugeater Foods, a developing and successful venture
[00:26:13.307]that started at our food processing center
[00:26:15.757]here at the University of Nebraska.
[00:26:19.102]Our research program, that second mission
[00:26:21.078]in our tripartite mission, hitting on all cylinders
[00:26:23.839]where this past year, we neared the $300 million
[00:26:27.974]research expenditure mark for the first time in our history.
[00:26:31.838]Almost double what it was 10 years ago.
[00:26:36.382]With activities that result in things like our faculty.
[00:26:40.720]Five members of our faculty being named
[00:26:43.101]Prestigious Fellows of the American Association
[00:26:45.080]for the Advancement of Science this past year.
[00:26:48.520]One of our alums, Rebecca Richards-Kortum,
[00:26:51.132]of our College of Arts and Sciences, being recognized
[00:26:54.084]as one of the 25 MacArthur Fellows this year,
[00:26:57.420]now a faculty member at Rice University.
[00:27:00.262]Or the Milken Institute recognizing
[00:27:03.102]that we are ranked 35th in combination
[00:27:06.396]with UNMC out of 225 institutions nationally
[00:27:11.316]in our Commercial Tech Transfer operations
[00:27:14.934]in bringing research to life, if you will, in the field.
[00:27:19.983]Our faculty continue to publish at a very high rate
[00:27:22.676]in the most prestigious journals in their fields,
[00:27:26.310]as well as get recognized nationally
[00:27:29.144]and internationally with awards.
[00:27:31.214]I would just point to two of our faculty,
[00:27:33.515]Professor Vuran in Computer Science and Engineering
[00:27:35.904]at the top 1% of citations in his field.
[00:27:39.476]Or Professor Fred Luthans, an emeritus professor
[00:27:41.831]in our Department of Management, in the top 1%
[00:27:45.167]in the web of science in all citations across all fields.
[00:27:49.585]That's indicative of our faculty and indicative
[00:27:52.220]of the quality of the work that is occurring here.
[00:27:56.716]We had some $248 million in sponsored grants
[00:27:59.912]and contracts come into the university this year.
[00:28:02.884]That's a 27% increase over the last five-year period,
[00:28:07.385]and the generation of external support for our work.
[00:28:11.492]And while I can't highlight all of them,
[00:28:13.737]I want to just point to what a few of those are.
[00:28:17.121]A $20 million EPSCoR grant at the Root and Rhizobiome
[00:28:19.820]led by Ed Cahoon and Jim Alfano.
[00:28:24.015]An $11.3 million cellular signaling
[00:28:27.249]and biomolecular communication EPSCoR grant from NSF,
[00:28:31.289]led by Jim Takacs and Concetta DiRusso.
[00:28:35.591]A Department of Transportation grant
[00:28:37.439]for the Mid-America Transportation Center,
[00:28:39.518]led by Larry Rilett in the College
[00:28:41.337]of Engineering, a $13.75 million.
[00:28:46.611]Our Center for Children, Families, and the Law
[00:28:49.929]led by Michelle Graef's team receiving a $15 million
[00:28:53.319]Department of Health and Human Services grant
[00:28:55.735]in child welfare workforce assessment research.
[00:29:00.222]Or an NSF grant recently awarded to Harkamal Walia
[00:29:04.854]in crops stress resistance work
[00:29:06.475]in our Greenhouse Innovation Center
[00:29:08.115]and Automated Plant Phenotyping Facility
[00:29:10.697]of nearly $6 million.
[00:29:14.994]Again from NSF, National Science Foundation,
[00:29:17.852]led by Ed Cahoon and Tom Clemente,
[00:29:21.552]in enhancement of sorghum for biofuel development.
[00:29:26.283]And lastly, a new graduate program being funded
[00:29:29.328]by funds from NSF, led by Craig Allen,
[00:29:33.381]director of the Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit
[00:29:35.853]in our School of Natural Resources,
[00:29:38.226]looking at vulnerable landscapes
[00:29:40.770]in AG intensive environments like Nebraska.
[00:29:45.266]There's so many more of these grants
[00:29:46.973]and contracts that we could recognize
[00:29:48.845]for our faculty during this period of time
[00:29:51.387]in our history, and we congratulate all of them.
[00:29:54.727]I was very pleased last September to announce the formation
[00:29:57.963]of the new Nebraska Food for Health Center,
[00:30:00.484]led by Professor Andy Benson in Food Science and Technology.
[00:30:04.979]Bringing together faculty from six different departments
[00:30:07.918]across our university in concert
[00:30:10.776]with collaboration at UNO and collaboration at UNMC.
[00:30:16.086]Funded by a $5 million gift
[00:30:18.006]from Jeff and Tricia Raikes Foundation in concert
[00:30:20.269]with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
[00:30:22.921]coupled with $35 million in investment
[00:30:26.079]of the university and additional philanthropy
[00:30:28.730]over the next five years.
[00:30:30.278]For the first time, bringing work together
[00:30:33.117]in the microbiome that will hook agricultural research
[00:30:37.139]with food science research with biomedical research
[00:30:40.333]to develop foods that prevent disease.
[00:30:45.559]Now, I wanna close this kind of review of the year
[00:30:49.259]by talking about that third area of our mission,
[00:30:52.595]engagement with our state and our place.
[00:30:56.965]We tend to think of that engagement being extension.
[00:31:01.381]And I'm going to speak to extension here in a moment,
[00:31:03.283]but it's much, much broader than that.
[00:31:05.866]First and foremost, we contribute directly $2 billion
[00:31:10.792]a year back into the Nebraska economy.
[00:31:14.421]That's a pretty significant engagement,
[00:31:17.144]I think you would all agree.
[00:31:19.897]And on top of that, we have this entity
[00:31:22.854]called Nebraska Extension that is listed and ranked
[00:31:26.727]as one of the top in the United States extension programs.
[00:31:30.509]And adult and youth education across a variety of areas,
[00:31:33.498]not all agriculture, community development,
[00:31:37.655]human sciences, quality of life and communities.
[00:31:41.344]The nationally leading 4H program
[00:31:43.776]amongst the very leaders in the nation in that arena.
[00:31:47.526]And an engagement, if you will,
[00:31:49.792]with all of the 93 local counties
[00:31:52.481]in our great state, across the state.
[00:31:56.471]And then I would also draw your attention to.
[00:31:58.712]I just sat down about a week ago,
[00:32:01.843]when I finally got around to writing this speech.
[00:32:06.653]I sat down a week ago and I just started writing out
[00:32:10.853]entities at the University of Nebraska
[00:32:14.181]that engage our state.
[00:32:17.654]And I got to 30 before I even stopped thinking.
[00:32:21.995]And I could list all of those off here
[00:32:23.965]for you across our campus.
[00:32:25.706]I'll just highlight a few.
[00:32:27.837]Nebraska Educational Television,
[00:32:29.499]Nebraska Public Policy Center,
[00:32:32.125]the Nebraska Center for Children, Youth, Families,
[00:32:34.685]and Schools as you see in this picture,
[00:32:37.115]the Lied Center for the Performing Arts,
[00:32:39.148]the Sheldon Museum of Art,
[00:32:41.033]the Nebraska State Museum that is so important to us,
[00:32:44.894]the Nebraska Press, the Bureau of Business Research,
[00:32:48.732]the Clifton Strengths Institute.
[00:32:50.791]I could go on and on, the Barkley Center.
[00:32:53.473]There's so many different ways
[00:32:55.265]that our university engages our state.
[00:32:58.725]The Maker Space at Nebraska Innovation Campus.
[00:33:01.193]Over 30 now public-private partnerships that exist
[00:33:04.897]in that first phase of development
[00:33:07.175]of that public-private campus for us.
[00:33:10.737]Certainly in the AG arena,
[00:33:12.326]a whole list of things that are involved.
[00:33:15.252]The Tractor Test Lab is our most famous maybe.
[00:33:18.484]The Nebraska State Climate Office,
[00:33:22.542]the National Drought Mitigation Center,
[00:33:24.641]I could list off a whole host in that arena, as well.
[00:33:28.228]It's just a way of saying to all of us
[00:33:31.405]to celebrate the fact of how connected we are to this state,
[00:33:35.206]and to celebrate the way that engagement happens
[00:33:38.124]that we can only continue to value and to grow.
[00:33:42.760]Now, before I move to some leadership changes,
[00:33:44.836]I just wanna pause here for a minute.
[00:33:47.596]Because we're gonna talk about a lot
[00:33:48.573]of people here in the next few minutes.
[00:33:50.824]And I want to just say thank you to each
[00:33:53.580]and every one of our faculty and staff.
[00:33:56.889]We're gonna talk about service awardees.
[00:33:58.748]We're gonna talk about some leadership transitions
[00:34:00.628]at the university.
[00:34:01.981]But all of our community here makes this happen every day,
[00:34:06.912]and that commitment to that mission.
[00:34:08.502]And I just want to ask you to join me
[00:34:11.177]in giving a round of applause for this past year
[00:34:13.611]that's been phenomenal for our campus,
[00:34:15.822]to all of our faculty and staff and students.
[00:34:18.022]Please join me in a round of applause.
[00:34:28.871]Now, as a segue before we talk about the year ahead,
[00:34:32.177]I want to just point to you a little bit
[00:34:34.689]of the leadership transition that has occurred
[00:34:36.647]at your university this past year.
[00:34:38.333]You'll remember we talked about that last year,
[00:34:40.744]about the fact that we had a lot
[00:34:43.072]of leadership transition ahead of us on the campus.
[00:34:46.738]And I'm very pleased with the level
[00:34:48.366]of progress we've been able to make
[00:34:50.005]in a very short period of time.
[00:34:52.329]Certainly first anchored by two newest,
[00:34:55.147]amazing academic leaders to lead our academic enterprise,
[00:34:59.397]Donde Plowman as you know joined us
[00:35:01.675]as the new duly defined executive vice chancellor
[00:35:05.336]and chief academic officer of our campus starting
[00:35:08.192]on January 1, following a huge set of accomplishments
[00:35:12.278]in her role as dean of the College of Business.
[00:35:15.184]Donde has come to that role, which is a reorganization role
[00:35:19.168]in some respects, where the Division of Student Affairs
[00:35:22.147]now reports to that position.
[00:35:24.206]The Office of Research and Economic Development
[00:35:26.485]now reports to that position that has made
[00:35:28.680]very rapid progress in developing that role into more
[00:35:32.120]of a contemporary provost type role like our Big Ten peers.
[00:35:37.273]She quickly has assembled her leadership team
[00:35:39.987]of a high energy and quality group of people,
[00:35:42.496]some who were there before and slightly changed roles,
[00:35:46.607]others who have joined that team now
[00:35:49.294]in these last eight months, including Amy Goodburn,
[00:35:52.934]now a senior associate vice chancellor
[00:35:55.097]and dean of Undergraduate Studies.
[00:35:57.857]Judy Walker, associate vice chancellor for Faculty Affairs,
[00:36:01.450]now permanently appointed in that position.
[00:36:04.778]Sonia Feigenbaum, who you met last year
[00:36:07.744]for the first time, she was brand new at that time
[00:36:10.786]as our new associate vice chancellor
[00:36:13.514]for International Engagement and Global Strategies,
[00:36:16.216]and also serving as our senior international officer
[00:36:19.226]for the university.
[00:36:20.938]James Volkmer, recent appointment
[00:36:23.469]as assistant vice chancellor
[00:36:25.109]in Budget Planning and Analytics for the EBC office.
[00:36:28.789]Amber Williams, one of the people largely responsible
[00:36:32.171]for some of the data I showed you earlier today
[00:36:34.432]on enrollment, now our assistant vice chancellor
[00:36:37.515]and director of Academic Services and Enrollment Management.
[00:36:40.675]And Renee Batman continues in her role
[00:36:43.406]as assistant vice chancellor
[00:36:44.686]and chief administrative officer for the EBC office.
[00:36:49.038]We also were very pleased at the same time
[00:36:52.426]to attract our new Harlan Vice Chancellor
[00:36:54.802]of the Institute of AG and Natural Resources
[00:36:57.278]and Vice President of AG and Natural Resources
[00:36:59.489]for the system, Dr. Mike Boehm.
[00:37:02.557]Mike joined us from the Ohio State University
[00:37:05.070]where he previously served as vice provost
[00:37:07.577]for the campus there.
[00:37:09.244]Background in plant pathology.
[00:37:11.113]He now tells me he's been updating this
[00:37:12.902]about every three days.
[00:37:14.748]He now tells me he has visited 76 of the counties
[00:37:18.292]in our statewide campus in his first series of months
[00:37:22.359]with us, joining a dynamic leadership team,
[00:37:24.964]I can tell you that from experience,
[00:37:26.902]in the institute to lead that critically important part
[00:37:30.200]of our university forward into the future.
[00:37:33.862]Steve Goddard deserves a huge amount of appreciation
[00:37:37.644]from us for seamlessly stepping in and leading the office
[00:37:42.152]of Research and Economic Development
[00:37:44.094]following our loss of Prem Paul last year.
[00:37:47.767]And I'm very pleased to announce to you today
[00:37:50.424]that there is a national search already underway
[00:37:54.014]to find the next permanent VCRED for that position
[00:37:59.038]led by the search committee chaired
[00:38:00.556]by Professors David Sellmyer and Deb Hamernik
[00:38:04.131]with the intent that we will bring that new person
[00:38:06.715]into our team around the first of the calendar year.
[00:38:10.976]So, we look forward to that.
[00:38:13.073]We will have a little different structure associated
[00:38:15.875]with that position in that the research remit
[00:38:18.688]of the position will report to Dr. Plowman.
[00:38:21.824]The economic development remitted the position
[00:38:24.918]will report to me in the chancellor's role.
[00:38:29.290]You're all aware that we had a huge loss this summer
[00:38:33.210]with the loss of our friend and colleague, Dr. Juan Franco.
[00:38:36.759]It was a shock to all of us when he passed away
[00:38:40.587]just briefly ago in July of this year.
[00:38:44.456]You know that he was underway in transition back
[00:38:47.056]to the faculty in his home college
[00:38:48.858]at the College of Education and Human Sciences
[00:38:51.258]at the time of his death.
[00:38:53.373]So, I ask you to keep Elisa, his widow,
[00:38:56.840]and his family in your highest thoughts.
[00:38:59.628]They're actually on campus this week.
[00:39:02.170]We're hosting a celebration of Dr. Franco's life
[00:39:04.954]on Thursday afternoon, linked to homecoming week
[00:39:07.634]that he was so critically a part of.
[00:39:09.990]And we'd ask you to join us if you would at 3:30
[00:39:12.989]on Thursday in the Wick Alumni Center to celebrate his life.
[00:39:18.192]Laurie Bellows, so ably stepped in July 1st
[00:39:21.944]as the interim vice chancellor of Student Affairs
[00:39:24.453]to lead some reorganization of that division,
[00:39:27.144]focused very heavily this year in a revision
[00:39:30.304]and a renovation of the Student Conduct Code
[00:39:33.824]in Judicial Affairs, assisted by Professor John Lenich
[00:39:37.432]of the College of Law.
[00:39:39.300]And a new program that you may have seen a little bit
[00:39:41.501]about in the press recently related to Greek Affairs
[00:39:44.558]and a revitalization of the Greek program
[00:39:46.800]across our campus, which by the way,
[00:39:49.470]is, I think, a nationally leading type of approach.
[00:39:54.437]We've had several interim appointments in our dean ranks
[00:39:57.962]as Laurie moved to vice chancellor for Student Affairs.
[00:40:01.602]The associate vice chancellor
[00:40:04.042]and dean of Graduate Studies position was open,
[00:40:07.781]we filled that with Dr. Tim Carr stepping up
[00:40:10.592]to leadership, former chair of
[00:40:12.341]the Nutrition and Health Sciences Department
[00:40:14.842]in an interim role there.
[00:40:17.181]We were very pleased after a year
[00:40:19.189]of stellar interim performance
[00:40:20.864]as the interim College of Law dean,
[00:40:24.436]that Richard Moberly has now
[00:40:26.213]been appointed permanent dean of our College of Law,
[00:40:29.261]and is elevating our stature there through his leadership.
[00:40:33.322]Two of our long-serving deans, our longest serving,
[00:40:36.744]Steve Waller in CASNR, and Marjorie Kostelnik
[00:40:39.793]in the College of Education and Human Sciences,
[00:40:42.019]have transitioned to new roles.
[00:40:44.229]Marjorie I'll talk a little bit about later this morning.
[00:40:47.240]Steve is now the director of the Center
[00:40:49.158]for Grasslands Studies in the Institute
[00:40:51.138]of AG and Natural Resources.
[00:40:52.800]And in interim roles there, Beth Doll once again,
[00:40:56.250]has stepped up to be the interim leader of CEHS.
[00:40:59.827]And Tiffany Heng-Moss is serving
[00:41:01.388]as the interim dean of CASNR.
[00:41:03.349]In both of those cases, we expect searches in 2018
[00:41:07.312]to fill the permanent deanships for those two colleges.
[00:41:11.770]And then lastly, Kathy Farrell stepped
[00:41:14.042]into the interim leadership as the dean
[00:41:16.453]of our College of Business when Donde moved in January,
[00:41:20.533]and has done a stellar job there for us,
[00:41:22.669]former chair of the Department of Finance in the college.
[00:41:25.942]And I'm very pleased now that Donde has a search underway
[00:41:29.389]to name the next permanent dean of the College of Business,
[00:41:32.180]international search for that position.
[00:41:35.695]Now, Chris, start making your way to the stage.
[00:41:39.919]I wanna recognize one leadership transition here
[00:41:43.560]amongst a large group.
[00:41:46.696]For those of you that have served in administrative roles,
[00:41:50.991]or you've led a team, there are certain people
[00:41:53.872]in your team that you don't wanna ever hear utter the words,
[00:41:56.717]retire or leave or change positions.
[00:42:02.023]And for me that person at the top of that list
[00:42:06.064]is our friend, Chris Jackson, who has served
[00:42:09.434]for the last 17 years as our vice chancellor
[00:42:13.333]of Business and Finance for this university.
[00:42:16.562]We toyed today with whether to get her a rose
[00:42:20.141]for every year of her 17 years of service,
[00:42:22.598]which is what we chose to do, Chris,
[00:42:25.078]or whether to get her a rose for every million dollars
[00:42:27.388]she's cut from the university budget.
[00:42:31.355]But we didn't think that we'd be able to get her,
[00:42:33.325]to be able to carry them all out.
[00:42:35.592]But I know you know and appreciate the job that this lady
[00:42:40.012]has done for our university over the last 17 years.
[00:42:43.893]She's retiring at the end of this year,
[00:42:45.373]please give her a round of applause.
[00:42:56.522]Thank you, thank you.
[00:43:12.277]And as you know, our tradition here has been
[00:43:14.441]that we recognize service awardees
[00:43:16.224]for five-year increments of service.
[00:43:18.816]So, as you were coming into the auditorium today,
[00:43:21.517]you saw names scroll across the screen
[00:43:23.760]for our five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35,
[00:43:27.018]and 40 year service awardees.
[00:43:29.778]That we have now instituted out in units
[00:43:32.827]the recognition of those employees
[00:43:34.715]in a more intimate environment.
[00:43:37.147]Like we did last year, we want to recognize a small group
[00:43:40.997]of our longest serving leaders of our campus.
[00:43:44.408]So, I would welcome Professor Rick Alloway to the stage
[00:43:47.717]to recognize our 45 and 50-year service awardees.
[00:43:52.891]Thank you, Chancellor, my pleasure
[00:43:54.163]to be with you this morning
[00:43:55.205]to announce our service award recipients
[00:43:57.085]at these levels of service beginning
[00:43:58.600]with our 45-year service awards.
[00:44:01.099]First, Hollis Anderson, presently with Procurement Services
[00:44:04.697]and has also served in Scientific Stores.
[00:44:16.768]Next this morning, Flora Espinosa,
[00:44:18.640]who's in housing with Cather-Pound Food Service.
[00:44:25.691]Hi, Flora, thank you so very much.
[00:44:32.386]Thank you, appreciate everything you're doing.
[00:44:36.088]Michael Farrell, presently
[00:44:37.337]in AG Leadership, Education and Communication,
[00:44:39.520]who's also served in television, English, and journalism.
[00:44:51.610]Joseph Kitsmiller, also with University Television.
[00:44:58.290]Congratulations to you.
[00:44:59.306]I think they're gonna get a picture right here.
[00:45:01.515]Thank you so much for your service.
[00:45:04.250]Dr. William Seiler, presently
[00:45:05.970]in Communication Studies has also served
[00:45:07.989]in the Division of Continuing Studies.
[00:45:18.240]Dr. David Sellmyer with the Nebraska Center for Materials
[00:45:21.290]in Nanoscience and Physics and Astronomy.
[00:45:32.746]Those 45-year recipients not able
[00:45:34.683]to attend today's event include Ellen Heil
[00:45:37.120]with the West Central Research and Extension Center,
[00:45:39.645]Kathryn Klundt with the Eastern Nebraska Research
[00:45:42.174]and Extension Center, Brent Sampson
[00:45:44.688]of Biological Systems Engineering, and Daniel M. Schaaf
[00:45:48.656]of West Central Research and Extension Center.
[00:45:51.152]Please congratulate all of our 45-year recipients.
[00:46:02.189]We now honor our longest serving employees celebrating
[00:46:05.506]50 years of service to the university.
[00:46:08.397]Able to be with us today include Dr. Larry J. Walklin.
[00:46:12.013]Dr. Walklin was hired in September of 1967,
[00:46:15.472]recently announced his retirement
[00:46:16.989]from the College of Journalism
[00:46:18.293]and Mass Communications in Broadcasting.
[00:46:30.117]Our 50-year recipients unable to be
[00:46:31.645]with us today include Craig J. Eckhardt
[00:46:34.301]who retired in May of this year and served
[00:46:36.125]in Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy,
[00:46:38.565]and F. Gregory Hayden in the Department of Economics.
[00:46:41.832]Let's give a round of applause to all
[00:46:43.448]of our service award recipients.
[00:46:53.645]Thank you very much, Rick.
[00:46:54.602]Now, I've got a little bit of remaining time
[00:46:56.184]with you and we're gonna try to get out
[00:46:57.929]right at the top of the hour.
[00:47:00.323]I wanna use the remaining time with you
[00:47:02.088]to talk about this year that we have ahead.
[00:47:05.002]Both some of the challenges and opportunities
[00:47:07.224]that we have and some of the bold transformations
[00:47:10.206]that we're going to need to undertake
[00:47:12.637]for our campus as we move forward.
[00:47:15.528]And we talked about we're approaching 150.
[00:47:18.720]So, in February of 2019, we'll celebrate that milepost.
[00:47:23.487]But I will tell you that certainly there are some challenges
[00:47:27.288]that we need to address that lie ahead
[00:47:30.792]of us in reaching that milestone.
[00:47:34.492]I wanna talk a little bit about
[00:47:35.705]just the external environment here for a moment.
[00:47:40.036]We happen to exist in very transformational times.
[00:47:44.094]Some might call them turbulent times globally,
[00:47:47.553]and what we have that happens around us on a daily basis.
[00:47:51.953]We certainly are aware that state and federal resources,
[00:47:56.427]even in the out years ahead of us, don't look
[00:47:59.753]like they're increasing but are in the opposite direction.
[00:48:04.782]We certainly know that our funding portfolio
[00:48:07.622]in higher education continues to change and evolve,
[00:48:11.720]somewhat from that change in state and federal levels
[00:48:15.444]of support that are out there for us.
[00:48:19.324]We also are aware that the political environment
[00:48:23.112]is one that is quite divisive
[00:48:25.356]and is super-charged, as I would call it,
[00:48:29.136]at the president, at the present time.
[00:48:33.101]No pun intended there, none.
[00:48:37.612]That's like when Ellen Weissinger was at graduation
[00:48:41.156]and she said something about funeral,
[00:48:42.374]those of you that were there at that particular service.
[00:48:46.966]We have a turbulent external environment.
[00:48:50.732]I would also point to you that there is a national trend
[00:48:53.921]that we're experiencing here at our university
[00:48:57.012]of concern about mental health and wellness of our students.
[00:49:01.753]And that those same students are concerned about cost.
[00:49:05.684]They're concerned about their
[00:49:07.153]economic wellbeing in the future.
[00:49:09.764]They're concerned about the amount of debt
[00:49:11.902]that they will leave their education with in the future.
[00:49:16.441]I'll also tell you that there's concern
[00:49:18.052]about our leadership role in the US,
[00:49:21.507]especially in the world of science and technology.
[00:49:24.966]I just returned from a meeting in Europe,
[00:49:27.206]where I was continually questioned
[00:49:29.500]about whether we were going to assume a leadership role
[00:49:33.108]in science in our country in the future.
[00:49:36.446]All of these are externalities
[00:49:39.246]that give us pause to think, and give us pause
[00:49:42.257]to think about our values and our mission,
[00:49:45.468]and think about the way that we deliver
[00:49:47.169]that mission every day to our student body
[00:49:49.980]in our broad clientele.
[00:49:52.940]And I will tell you that I think some of those
[00:49:55.688]that we'll discuss in more detail this morning requires
[00:49:58.579]to think somewhat boldly, especially on the fiscal side
[00:50:02.187]that we have immediately ahead of us.
[00:50:05.616]You're all aware, painfully aware I suppose,
[00:50:09.939]of the fact that our state fiscal situation
[00:50:12.928]is much different than it was a year ago,
[00:50:16.736]much worse than we anticipated it would be a year ago.
[00:50:21.587]State tax receipts and revenues are down
[00:50:24.708]from the economies situation, as well as some tax reform
[00:50:27.792]in the state, resulting in a very difficult process
[00:50:31.867]for our state legislature this past year
[00:50:34.589]as they struggled with how to balance the budget
[00:50:37.230]for our state and its fiscal resources
[00:50:40.310]over the current biennium that we started July 1st.
[00:50:44.698]And as you know, coming out of that budget setting session,
[00:50:49.360]our state legislature ended up reducing
[00:50:52.334]the state appropriation of the University of Nebraska
[00:50:55.560]by roughly $12 million over the biennium.
[00:50:59.195]Now, in and of itself, that doesn't sound too bad.
[00:51:04.294]But when you consider the fact that no new salary dollars,
[00:51:09.264]or benefits dollars, or additional cost dollars
[00:51:13.291]are available in that sense,
[00:51:15.446]that number quickly for the university system
[00:51:17.918]ends up to be the $49 million figure across our campuses
[00:51:22.686]that you've heard President Bounds talk
[00:51:24.715]about these last few months.
[00:51:27.570]And as our Board of Regents, following the state budget
[00:51:32.203]being set, went into their deliberations about how
[00:51:35.523]to set the budget for the University of Nebraska system,
[00:51:39.478]they balanced that somewhat by increasing tuition this year
[00:51:44.059]in our current year by 5.4% across the board
[00:51:48.247]with an initial parameter set of 3.2% additional increase
[00:51:53.865]in tuition next year, starting on July 1st.
[00:51:58.777]And when you consider the salary and benefits piece
[00:52:01.414]that I talked about earlier, and that 1.75% level
[00:52:05.763]that we funded this year in our salary exercise,
[00:52:09.872]and some additional costs we know that we have,
[00:52:13.432]the net result to us here on the flagship campus
[00:52:18.880]is a budget deficit that we're facing
[00:52:20.771]in this two-year period totaling $17 million.
[00:52:25.531]That's after our enrollment and after the tuition increase,
[00:52:30.711]resulting in $6 million deficit for us
[00:52:34.056]in the current fiscal year that started July 1st,
[00:52:37.236]and an additional $11 million deficit
[00:52:40.219]that we'll need to fill in the next fiscal year
[00:52:42.888]of the biennium starting next July.
[00:52:46.968]Now, I met with the administrative leadership
[00:52:48.846]of our campus on September the 6th,
[00:52:51.304]and talked them through the basic budget framework
[00:52:54.504]that we're facing here, and kind of the approach
[00:52:56.944]that we plan to take over the next several months
[00:53:00.166]to address this budget arena.
[00:53:04.056]A big piece of that, as you have heard discussed
[00:53:07.395]in the press, is a different approach than we've had before
[00:53:11.373]for the university, where starting actually two years ago,
[00:53:17.113]we started talking at the central administration level
[00:53:19.776]of the university about ways that we might be able
[00:53:22.902]to transform business operations
[00:53:25.051]and services across the university system
[00:53:28.210]in ways that we might be able to devote
[00:53:30.131]more dollars back to the academic enterprise.
[00:53:33.500]And you might remember that coming out of some
[00:53:36.731]of those early discussions was an effort
[00:53:39.352]and initiative we called OneIT that our own CIO
[00:53:43.814]and Vice Chancellor Mark Askren has been asked
[00:53:46.704]to lead in a dual role with the university system
[00:53:49.800]as vice president and chief information officer
[00:53:52.774]for the university system that started
[00:53:55.686]a year ago, this past July.
[00:53:59.155]This effort was one that President Bounds then went to,
[00:54:04.176]if you will, to help us think about this budget shortfall
[00:54:08.075]that we have ahead of us now.
[00:54:10.755]And in January, he commissioned 10 teams,
[00:54:15.267]commonly referred to in our vernacular
[00:54:17.316]as Budget Response Teams, looking at various areas
[00:54:21.768]of business operations and services across our campuses
[00:54:25.690]in ways that we might be able
[00:54:27.077]to gain budget efficiencies in those areas.
[00:54:30.520]And as you'll see on this slide, there are 10 of them,
[00:54:34.258]spanning everything from human resources,
[00:54:36.789]led by Bruce Currin, who you saw on stage
[00:54:38.749]just a moment ago, from our HR unit,
[00:54:42.010]to facilities management and planning,
[00:54:44.122]to communication marketing and PR,
[00:54:45.885]to procurement, printing and copying.
[00:54:47.966]You see the list here in front of you,
[00:54:50.498]spanning the majority, if you will,
[00:54:53.797]of business service operations across the campuses.
[00:54:58.084]Those teams were asked to identify,
[00:55:00.700]with some targets given to them,
[00:55:03.185]efficiencies that we might be able to gain,
[00:55:06.153]from everything from consolidation and streamlining,
[00:55:08.561]and different policies related to some things
[00:55:11.891]across our systems, to see if we could recoup some
[00:55:15.262]of these dollars through that process.
[00:55:18.462]They worked through January, February, and March,
[00:55:21.766]reported to a steering committee that was assigned
[00:55:24.073]to review the recommendations that they brought forward.
[00:55:27.985]That steering committee then recommended
[00:55:29.835]to the president's council, which is the chancellors
[00:55:32.251]and President Bounds, a set of recommendations
[00:55:35.793]to consider out of this process,
[00:55:38.254]moving forward over the next several years.
[00:55:41.505]We accepted and recommended 72 of those
[00:55:45.993]to move forward in this process.
[00:55:47.905]Sounds like a large number over those 10 different areas
[00:55:50.963]of business services that are there.
[00:55:54.283]And out of those 72 recommendations,
[00:55:57.835]there was something just over $30 million
[00:56:00.957]in expected efficiencies to be gained
[00:56:03.209]from that process in the system,
[00:56:06.419]with $22 million identified that we believe can
[00:56:09.829]be achieved by the end of this biennium,
[00:56:12.737]that we can implement to have in place by June 30, 2019.
[00:56:19.081]Marjorie Kostelnik, who I mentioned earlier,
[00:56:21.929]our long-time dean of the College of Education
[00:56:23.950]and Human Sciences, was asked by President Bounds
[00:56:27.151]to become a senior associate on his staff
[00:56:29.763]starting July 1st to help lead this effort
[00:56:33.174]around budget efficiencies moving forward
[00:56:35.911]through the biennial period.
[00:56:38.082]I'm very pleased that Marjorie stepped up
[00:56:40.213]to that leadership role to help us
[00:56:42.516]through the next two years.
[00:56:46.298]Our allocation of that, so now the flagship campus again,
[00:56:51.578]out of that 22 million, we have roughly $11 million,
[00:56:55.302]just slightly over to recoup out
[00:56:57.895]of that budget efficiency process.
[00:57:00.446]Now, here's what's different about that.
[00:57:02.761]I said this is different than what we've done before.
[00:57:05.807]Before, if we had a budget deficit,
[00:57:07.786]we knew what our budget deficit was
[00:57:09.595]and our campus dealt with it.
[00:57:11.770]This is different in that these dollars have been taken
[00:57:15.430]now out of the equation at the central administration level.
[00:57:19.231]So, these are now moving into implementation level.
[00:57:22.303]You heard some of that in early August
[00:57:24.905]with the first appointment of Bruce Currin,
[00:57:26.636]and Maggie Witt, and Mark Miller
[00:57:28.982]in areas of human resources and procurement,
[00:57:31.919]and facilities management and planning
[00:57:34.119]to lead that at the central level,
[00:57:36.119]while continuing to lead our effort here
[00:57:38.329]on the flagship campus in all three of those areas, as well.
[00:57:42.848]Last week, there was a release of a website
[00:57:45.987]from central administration talking more generally
[00:57:48.399]about what some of these recommendations are.
[00:57:51.689]What I commit to you and our leadership commits to you
[00:57:55.641]is that as we move through this process,
[00:57:58.652]we will communicate transparently with you
[00:58:01.831]about how this change will happen,
[00:58:04.672]and what it will mean for all of us across the campus.
[00:58:07.892]But I wanna make sure you understand
[00:58:10.560]that it's transformation that we see good light of
[00:58:13.151]on the other end of the tunnel,
[00:58:15.519]but we fully recognize that the next two years are going
[00:58:18.996]to be challenging as we work our way through that process
[00:58:22.979]to get to the other side of this new kind of model
[00:58:26.780]of shared services across the system.
[00:58:30.412]Remembering back to that $17 million deficit
[00:58:32.791]that I started with for our campus,
[00:58:35.508]that leaves about $6 million over the course
[00:58:38.649]of the biennium that we still have to address
[00:58:41.641]through our normal programmatic kind of process,
[00:58:45.495]that I instituted beginning on the 6th
[00:58:49.133]with our academic planning committee.
[00:58:51.407]I will be visiting with them at some length
[00:58:53.737]in greater detail tomorrow to walk them
[00:58:57.110]through this budget framework as we begin that process.
[00:59:01.261]With the ultimate goal that we identify by the beginning
[00:59:06.620]of spring semester kind of timeframe,
[00:59:09.780]a total of $8.5 million in programmatic reductions
[00:59:15.286]to give us some level of strategic investment capacity.
[00:59:19.517]So, that additional $2.5 million is roughly 1%
[00:59:23.788]of our state appropriated budget of $254 million.
[00:59:28.257]So, I want to in advance just say right out front,
[00:59:31.748]I saw him come in earlier, I saw him in the audience,
[00:59:34.079]Ken Bloom, our professor of physics,
[00:59:36.936]who is the current chair of the Academic Planning Committee.
[00:59:40.707]His team of faculty and students who serve
[00:59:43.352]on that committee, they have a huge amount
[00:59:45.455]of work ahead of them in working with us
[00:59:48.201]to identify how to move forward in this process.
[00:59:51.353]And I just want to thank them for representing you
[00:59:54.699]in that process here moving forward.
[00:59:58.828]Now, let's talk about a few initiatives
[01:00:00.473]that I'm very excited about.
[01:00:03.353]One, is that fiscal management, innovation
[01:00:06.342]of fiscal management area that I mentioned
[01:00:08.182]at the beginning of our talk today.
[01:00:11.111]And you'll remember us talking about,
[01:00:13.102]what's the budget model for our university?
[01:00:15.821]And should we be thinking about revising it,
[01:00:17.969]thinking differently perhaps of the way
[01:00:20.443]that that fiscal allocation happens?
[01:00:22.409]We mentioned that in our talk last year.
[01:00:24.820]We had a 3rd task force that worked last fall,
[01:00:28.227]in addition to the student success area
[01:00:30.134]and the student enrollment area,
[01:00:32.763]on budget model, where they analyzed
[01:00:34.963]and looked at differing budget models
[01:00:36.923]across higher education, including our peers
[01:00:40.694]in our cohort group, both in the Big Ten and regionally.
[01:00:45.470]And they came back and recommended,
[01:00:47.254]Chris Jackson and Donde Plowman led that group,
[01:00:50.276]came back and recommended that
[01:00:52.190]we consider moving toward what I'll call
[01:00:54.129]a hybrid responsibility-centered management,
[01:00:57.785]or revenue-based management, kind of model.
[01:01:02.196]And so, Chris, in her final months with us
[01:01:05.608]is working in leading a group in modeling that
[01:01:08.449]across various scenarios in our campus
[01:01:11.078]to help us as we think forward
[01:01:13.528]with the budget setting process in the future.
[01:01:17.926]I also will be soon announcing a new task force,
[01:01:22.577]faculty led, that I'm going to ask to look
[01:01:25.715]at our academic organizational effectiveness
[01:01:28.013]in one particular area.
[01:01:31.058]This is an area that's been studied on our campus
[01:01:33.025]for a long time over the last decade and a half.
[01:01:37.035]It's an area of huge investment of our campus,
[01:01:40.331]the area of the life sciences.
[01:01:43.043]And I'll be asking this group to look very hard
[01:01:46.263]at whether we are strategically positioned
[01:01:49.454]in all the ways that we could be in the life sciences
[01:01:53.275]around the way that we're organizationally structured.
[01:01:58.488]Vice Chancellors Plowman and Boehm
[01:02:01.214]will add ex officio help to that group as we look
[01:02:05.574]at those areas over the course of the next several months.
[01:02:11.313]I also am very excited that we have a number
[01:02:15.451]of initiatives in the student enrollment and success area
[01:02:19.350]that we'll be rolling out in the coming year,
[01:02:21.796]that we've been studying for some time.
[01:02:24.484]A revamp and refresh, if you will,
[01:02:28.086]of our scholarships and financial aid
[01:02:29.867]and remissions policies, helped significantly
[01:02:33.638]by the new $5 million fund from athletics
[01:02:36.982]to fund the Huskers Scholarship Program.
[01:02:41.422]Considering ways for us to grow and revamp
[01:02:44.531]and build our honors program
[01:02:47.012]into a thematically-based type honors program
[01:02:50.574]in the future and growing it significantly.
[01:02:53.598]Consideration of the expansion of Raikes School,
[01:02:55.942]that the Raikes School is currently engaged in
[01:02:58.251]and moving forward for that elite program on our campus.
[01:03:03.198]I'm very pleased that Rona Halualani
[01:03:05.654]of Halualani and Associates has now provided her report,
[01:03:08.966]18 months in the works for us, around a mapping
[01:03:12.366]of diversity and inclusion for our campus.
[01:03:15.571]She reported out her results to the senior leadership
[01:03:18.390]of the campus in late August, then to the deans
[01:03:22.035]here recently in the academic leadership,
[01:03:25.395]and today the website goes live with that report
[01:03:28.934]for the entire campus here at diversity.unl.edu.
[01:03:34.671]The diversity council that has worked
[01:03:36.440]with this through the process was able to respond
[01:03:39.980]and give us feedback on the report immediately.
[01:03:43.766]And in a nutshell, I will just tell you what it says.
[01:03:46.833]It says we do a lot, it's not well coordinated,
[01:03:51.025]it's not strategic.
[01:03:52.984]There needs to be a strategic plan
[01:03:55.018]around this area for our campus, and there needs
[01:03:57.487]to be very visible senior leadership on our campus
[01:04:01.447]for an Office of Diversity and Inclusion excellence.
[01:04:04.829]And we have decided to move forward with that,
[01:04:07.611]and to move forward to build that office
[01:04:09.811]and to seek that leadership for our campus
[01:04:12.563]in the immediate future lying ahead.
[01:04:15.267]Rona will be here on the 25th, next week,
[01:04:18.707]in forums for our campus to discuss her findings
[01:04:21.969]and her group's findings in this area for us.
[01:04:24.617]And I would encourage you to participate in that process.
[01:04:28.675]And then lastly, we have this 150th anniversary coming up,
[01:04:33.531]and it only happens one in 150 years.
[01:04:38.361]So, we wanna figure out how to celebrate that year
[01:04:41.339]coming up beginning the start of next academic year.
[01:04:44.796]And I'm so pleased that Associate Vice Chancellor
[01:04:47.273]of ORED, Mike Zeleny and emeritus Professor
[01:04:52.153]and former Director of our Communications and Marketing,
[01:04:54.745]Meg Lauerman, have agreed to step up
[01:04:57.238]and co-lead this committee to plan that year for us ahead.
[01:05:02.808]They'll be appointing a steering committee,
[01:05:04.516]and a faculty advisory, and staff committee,
[01:05:07.106]and a student committee, and an external alumni committee
[01:05:10.169]to participate in that with us as we celebrate our 150th
[01:05:14.766]in even a grander style than our state
[01:05:17.182]has done well this past year.
[01:05:19.790]So, we look forward to that.
[01:05:22.489]Now, I wanna close just by focusing us back really quickly.
[01:05:27.826]I told you early in the roadmap
[01:05:29.227]that I was gonna come back and reaffirm mission.
[01:05:32.985]And I said in that introductory set of remarks
[01:05:36.862]that there's never been a more important time
[01:05:38.650]for that mission for us as the people's university.
[01:05:42.419]And I believe that with every ounce of my being.
[01:05:46.716]I believe that higher education has never been more needed.
[01:05:50.442]And I believe that the research that we do
[01:05:52.356]has never been more critical to our future.
[01:05:56.269]And I believe that the connection
[01:05:57.798]to our state has never been more important.
[01:06:01.377]And it's never been more important for us,
[01:06:04.226]even when we disagree, to have civil discourse
[01:06:09.095]and respect and dignity for all involved in our campus.
[01:06:14.780]And I'll prevail on you and ask you as a community
[01:06:19.323]to assure that we do that every day,
[01:06:21.926]and that we deliver on our mission,
[01:06:24.305]upholding academic freedom, upholding freedom of speech,
[01:06:28.606]and doing it in a way that we're proud of
[01:06:31.523]here at the University of Nebraska,
[01:06:33.966]and delivering on our mission.
[01:06:36.337]You know, I kind of grew up on this song called
[01:06:38.939]Dear Old Nebraska U from the day I met my wife.
[01:06:43.219]And there's a little line in the ditty,
[01:06:45.750]you know it, there is no place like Nebraska, yada yada.
[01:06:48.729]I'm not gonna sing for you, trust me.
[01:06:51.631]But there's a little line in there that says,
[01:06:54.170]"We'll all stick together through all kinds of weather."
[01:06:58.123]And not to be too hokey about it,
[01:07:00.923]but that line's important to us today
[01:07:03.747]as we forge forward to keep the momentum
[01:07:06.645]that this university has, and to be where we want to be
[01:07:10.801]in 2025 and fulfilling that mission
[01:07:13.803]as we enter our next 150 years.
[01:07:17.112]This is the mission that we have.
[01:07:20.100]This is the picture for Pinnacle Bank Arena
[01:07:22.233]last May, just a few months ago,
[01:07:24.798]in that record setting graduation that we had.
[01:07:28.724]We turned these young people into the world
[01:07:31.730]and onto their next path from the quality
[01:07:34.210]of education that they received here from our faculty.
[01:07:37.825]That's our mission.
[01:07:39.347]That's who we are at Nebraska.
[01:07:42.472]And I'll just close with the same closing
[01:07:45.126]that I used at the investiture in April.
[01:07:49.153]This is a quote that you may not pay
[01:07:52.174]as much attention to it as you walk by it,
[01:07:54.915]but it's on our beloved memorial stadium.
[01:07:57.630]And it's attributed to one of the most famous Nebraskans
[01:08:01.171]of all time, William Jennings Bryan.
[01:08:04.493]And it says that destiny is not a matter of chance,
[01:08:07.993]it's a matter of choice.
[01:08:10.317]We have important choices to make in the next year.
[01:08:13.885]I'm counting on all of you to help us to do that.
[01:08:17.635]I'm counting on all of you to have a remarkable year ahead
[01:08:20.505]of you in your own programs, in your own fields.
[01:08:24.315]And I can't thank you enough for the opportunity
[01:08:27.233]to serve as your chancellor.
[01:08:28.918]Go Big Red.
Log in to post comments