The people of Nebraska created UNL to provide its citizens with the highest quality of post-secondary education. Therefore, a fundamental mission of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is teaching. The distinctiveness of the teaching mission at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln lies in its range of undergraduate majors, the character and quality of the faculty, and the extra curricular environment. The University provides students with a wide choice of courses and career options which often expands the scope of their dreams and ambitions. The size and diversity of the University permits students to mature and to develop their own sense of self-confidence and individual responsibility. The course work is enriched by a faculty that is engaged in active research and creative activity and whose frame of reference is the national and international community of scholars.
Having created the first graduate college west of the Mississippi River, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has historically recognized graduate education to be a central and unique component of its mission. Thus, UNL has primary responsibility in the State for graduate education, especially at the doctoral and professional levels. UNL is unique in possessing the scope of programs necessary for multidisciplinary instruction at the graduate level, a faculty involved in research necessary to support graduate education, and the libraries, laboratories, computer facilities, museums, galleries, and other ancillary resources required for graduate instruction.
Basic and applied research and creative activity represent a major component of UNL's mission, a component that is recognized in Nebraska legislative statutes, and in its status as a land-grant university. The quest for new knowledge is an essential part of a research university; it helps define and attract the type of faculty necessary to provide a university education; it distinguishes the quality of the undergraduate students' classroom experience; and it is the necessary component of graduate instruction.
As part of its research mission, UNL is dedicated to the pursuit of an active research agenda producing both direct and indirect benefits to the State. The special importance of agriculture, environment, and natural resources is addressed in its research priorities. In addition, UNL conducts a high level of research and creative activities that address in specific ways the issues and problems that confront Nebraska. Through their research and creative activities, faculty at UNL interact with colleagues around the world and are part of the network of knowledge and information that so influences our society. As a consequence, the University serves as the gateway through which Nebraska participates in and shares the gains from technological and cultural developments.
The land-grant tradition creates for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln a special state-wide responsibility to serve the needs of Nebraska and its citizens. In addition, many of its service aspects extend to regional, national, and international clientele. Special units such as Extended Education and Outreach and the Cooperative Extension Division have specific responsibilities to bring the teaching and research resources of the University to a wider clientele. Through Cooperative Extension's partnership with federal, state, and county agencies, UNL has an outreach program in each county in the state. Moreover, all units of the University have a service and outreach mission.
To help accomplish this mission, UNL delivers educational services through diverse ways including telecommunications methods and as a participant in the development of regional educational centers especially in those areas where it has state-wide responsibilities. The University recognizes its obligation to extend the resources of the University beyond the campus and throughout the State. Serving the needs of Nebraska requires more than responding to the felt needs of the time. UNL must be visionary in its planning and must help the citizens of the state prepare for the future as well as deal with the present.