Skip Navigation

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Nebraska Notables

A Culture of Learning

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a recognized leader among major American research universities in centering attention on the quality of teaching and the learning environment. It was a pioneer in developing quality teaching through support of the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for Improvement of Post Secondary Education in the early 1990s. UNL is the lead institution in a Pew Charitable Trust grant for a four-year project in peer review of teaching.

Teaching and learning occur off-campus as well. Extended education opportunities are a growing part of our teaching efforts. Part of our engagement with the state is the ability to offer life-long learning opportunities to citizens who do not live near a campus.

COLLEGES AND ACADEMIC PROGRAMS at UNL include Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Architecture, Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering & Technology, Fine & Performing Arts, General Studies, Human Resources & Family Sciences, Journalism & Mass Communications, Nursing, Public Affairs & Community Service, and Teachers College.


In 1997, the CARNEGIE TEACHING ACADEMY OF TEACHER-SCHOLARS named two UNL teachers among 122 teacher-scholars nationwide. In September 1998 the Department of Mathematics and Statistics received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring because of its success in mentoring women graduate students.

NEW HOME FOR TEACHERS COLLEGE A new link between Henzlik Hall and Mabel Lee Hall is part of an $11 million construction project that will centralize the location for Teachers College on the UNL campus. The building will include new classrooms, office space for Educational Psychology and Educational Administration Departments and their faculty, a new home for the Buros Institute of Mental Measurements and the Educational Psychology Clinic.

TOPS IN EDUCATION In 1999 U.S. News & World Report ranked the Teachers College school psychology program third in the nation, and its vocational education program ranked seventh. TC is also in the top 20 in elementary education and speech language pathology. More than 30 percent of Nebraska's schoolteachers have a degree from UNL. The percentage is more than double that for administrators.

GENEROUS SUPPORTERS The university ranked ninth among all university and college foundations in the United States in fund raising during fiscal 1998-99. The University of Nebraska Foundation received $218.7 million during that period. The total includes the largest gift ever received by the university - $130 million from the estate of alumna Mildred Topp Othmer.

THE UNIVERSITY LEARNING COMMUNITIES include 15 distinct residential communities that reflect the interests of the individual students, staff, and faculty who belong to it. Freshmen entering these communities take at least two classes together, share co-curricular activities, and maintain a faculty­student connection. The goal of all learning communities, in addition to high academic standards, is to encourage students to establish firm roots at UNL by fostering familiarity and friendship among their peers in both academic and social settings .The retention rate in the learning communities is high, often exceeding 90 percent. One example is the Freshmen Learning Community, an academic support program launched in the fall of 1995 to bring together first-year students who learn and live together to promote academic success.

GOOD DESIGN, INSIDE AND OUT Architectural education has been part of campus life at the University of Nebraska since 1894, and it has grown into one of the nation's top programs, internationally recognized for its work in architectural and interior design as well as community and regional planning. The Interior Design Program was recently listed among top 10 programs that best prepare students for large-firm design work by the International Interior Design Association's Large Firm Roundtable. The college has also produced several national student leaders. In the past 15 years four UNL students have served as national president of the American Institute of Architecture Students.

One of UNL's newest learning communities, the RAIKES SCHOOL OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT is an innovative residential honors program in computer science and business management that provides students with an integrated living and learning environment while strengthening existing programs in computer science, engineering and management. The program's innovative curriculum blends instruction in technology and information management with education in business management. The first master's-level students were admitted to the program for the fall 1999 semester, and undergraduate students began classes in the fall of 2000. The Esther L. Kauffman Center is the academic and residential home of the Raikes School.

THE FACULTY Approximately 1,500 tenured or tenure-track faculty members, more than two-thirds of whom hold doctorates, teach classes at UNL.

TOP J SCHOOL Students in UNL's nationally recognized College of Journalism and Mass Communications consistently place among the top schools in the nation in the Hearst Foundation's Journalism Awards Program. In the 1990s UNL students have consistently placed in the top 10 in the competition.

INTERNATIONAL ATMOSPHERE There were 1,525 international students and scholars at UNL for the fall semester of 1999, representing 111 countries. The six nations represented with the largest numbers of students and scholars included: China, 252; Malaysia, 160; India, 133; South Korea, 107; Vietnam, 68; and Turkey, 57.

RHODES SCHOLARS Jeremy Vetter, who graduated in 1997 with six majors and a perfect 4.0 GPA, became UNL's 22nd Rhodes Scholar.

INNOVATIONS IN BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURE Working with the private sector, UNL was the first land-grant university in the nation in the late 1980s to offer an interdisciplinary major in agriculture and business and created the nation's first franchise studies program.

LEWIS AND CLARK JOURNALS For two decades, Gary E. Moulton, professor of history and editor of the Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, worked on a new edition of the journals of the expedition, the first since Reuben Gold Thwaites' edition in 1904-05. After Moulton completed the new 12-volume edition of the journals, he produced a companion volume, a "Herbarium of the Lewis and Clark Expedition." Published in 1999. The journals of Lewis and Clark make up seven (Volumes 2-8) of the 10 volumes devoted to journals of the expedition. The other volumes are the journals of enlisted men in the explorers' company.

THE LAST WORD IN ART Art For 76 years, Art Through the Ages has been the leading textbook for students in the field of art history. Christin Mamiya, professor of art history, has co-authored the 11th edition of this esteemed art history textbook, which has just recently been published by Harcourt College Publishers. Mamiya's work included not only writing the chapters, but selecting images and working with photo editors to secure photos/transparencies and permissions, as well as reviewing transparencies for color accuracy, editing four sequential stages of page proofs and providing input on design and production issues. She also provided input for all ancillaries, such as the Instructors' Manual, pronunciation guide, website and slide sets. "The scope of the text itself is about as comprehensive as you can get," says Mamiya. "Covering art and history from prehistory to the present. The scope of the publication project was even more overwhelming. This book has more illustrations (1,400) and a greater percentage of those in color than any other art history textbook."

FIRST IN THE SPACE RACE The College of Human Resources and Family Sciences offered the first master's program via satellite from a land-grant institution in 1994.

GOOD BUSINESS The College of Business Administration was rated one of the Top 25 Best Business Schools for Entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur Magazine in 1996, and its undergraduate entrepreneurship program was rated best in the nation by the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. CBA's Management Department, ranked in top 50 nationally, has been headquarters for the Pan-Pacific Business Association since 1984. The department has a worldwide reputation for its diverse programs in such countries as Albania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Macedonia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia and Tajikistan. The program in Albania has been the model economics education program in the entire Central/Eastern European region. CBA is also a founding member of the MBA Roundtable, an independent academic organization whose mission is to support member schools in their efforts to keep their programs current, challenging and relevant. The MBA program was named one of the 13 most efficient programs in the country by the Journal of Economics Education.

A "CLASSROOM" OF 76,000 STUDENTS was led by Physics Professor Tim Gay in the fall of 1999 when he presented a series of 45-second physics lessons to Nebraska football fans via Huskervision, the football stadium's giant video monitors. Gay used examples from football clips to explain such things as projectile motion and conservation of momentum. His unique lessons were featured on ABC World News Tonight

TOPS IN MATH Three mathematics students were among 45 nationwide awarded National Science Foundation graduate fellowships in 1999, the most fellowships awarded to students from one institution except Harvard University.

COLLEGE OF LAW The College of Law ranks among top law schools in the country in the percentage of students passing their state's bar exam on the first try. Known for outstanding student leadership, the College's moot court, trial advocacy and client counseling teams consistently place among the top teams in the country in trial competition. According to the Princeton Review, "few law schools of its size can match the educational resources" of the UNL College of Law. "In a part of the country where higher education is dominated by state-supported schools, the University of Nebraska is one of the finest."

FETCHING FACTS In 1971 Nebraska became one of the first states in the nation to develop a computerized statutory retrieval system for use by the legislature as the result of efforts by the Law College faculty.

WHITMAN ARCHIVE UNL is home to the electronic text site of the Walt Whitman Archives. This web-based site contains numerous editions of Whitman's body of work, published in varying forms under the collective name Leaves of Grass. It also contains all the reviews of that work that were published during the lifetime of the poet, as well as all known photographs of him.

AN ENCYCLOPEDIC ADVENTURE What do Bonnie and Clyde, kd lang, Prairie Provinces Water Law and Louise Pound have in common? They are a few of the latest completed entries in The Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, an ambitious work in progress by UNL's Center for Great Plains Studies. There will be nearly 1,400 entries when the Encyclopedia is finished in 2003, according to David Wishart, UNL geographer and editor of the Encyclopedia. The Encyclopedia will be the only comprehensive work of its kind on the Great Plains.