Harvey Perlman, Chancellor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
One of our deans recently commented that he could think of no public university in the last decade that has made as much progress as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Of course we are all a little leery of anything deans might say. Whatever comparisons might show, we should all be proud of what we have accomplished but we should also recognize we are not yet where we could be. The challenges ahead are clear. We will have to work harder at enrollment as the number of Nebraska high school graduates declines. We will need to be both more active and more creative in our research agenda as federal research funding shrinks. We will need to be more flexible and creative in finding ways to fund our efforts in all of these areas. Ultimately, we need to continue to focus on our priorities and to make the hard decisions that are necessary to advance the university.
I continue to believe I have one of the best jobs in higher education. I am blessed with a team of administrative colleagues who work well together, work hard on the university's behalf, and do not complain when I get credit for their efforts. Our college deans are providing real collaborative leadership as the intersections between disciplines and colleges continue to blur. And, of course, nothing good happens at any university unless the faculty and the staff that support them make it so. Each one of you should have enormous pride, as I do, in what together we have accomplished. And each of us should be energized and engaged to pursue the opportunities that lie ahead.
As I conclude, I want to thank you for coming, knowing that some of our colleagues are already in line for the free food. In thinking of what I might urge you to tell them, I was reminded of what Pancho Villa said as he lay on his death bed. He said: "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something important."