Institutional Background and Culture
UNL, chartered by the Nebraska Legislature in 1869, is the flagship campus of the University of Nebraska system; it serves as both the Land-Grant and comprehensive public research university of the state of Nebraska. UNL works cooperatively with the three other campuses and central administration to provide for its student body and all Nebraskans the widest array of disciplines, areas of expertise, and specialized facilities of any institution within the state.
UNL is one of four universities of the University of Nebraska system and works cooperatively with the three other campuses—the University of Nebraska at Kearney, a predominantly undergraduate campus; the University of Nebraska at Omaha, housing both undergraduate and graduate programs; and health professions training and biomedical research is located at the University of Nebraska Medical Center located in Omaha and Lincoln, as well as other campuses across the state—and central administration to provide for its student body and all Nebraskans the widest array of disciplines, areas of expertise, and specialized facilities of any institution within the state.
UNL is listed in the Carnegie Classification system as a research university with very high research activity, is one of the nation's leading public teaching institutions, and a research leader with a wide array of grant-funded projects aimed at broadening knowledge in the sciences and humanities. The university is a member of the Big Ten conference, the Big Ten Academic Alliance, and was fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 2017.
Always a place of high ambition, UNL was the first university west of the Mississippi to establish a graduate college (in 1896) and today is one of the top American universities in the number of doctoral degrees granted annually. The University of Nebraska boasts 22 Rhodes Scholars and three Nobel laureates among its alumni. In 2018, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln ranked No. 61 among 129 top public national universities and No. 129 among 301 national universities, both public and private, in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings. Nebraska also was recognized as No. 95 among 145 national universities designated as best value schools. In addition, UNL has been recognized as one of the nation’s best universities in serving veterans and military members; in 2018 Military Times ranked Nebraska as 25th best in the nation. Nebraska also was recognized as No. 95 among 145 national universities designated as best value schools and as one of just twenty public universities as a “Best Buy School” by the 2018 Fiske Guide to Colleges.
Nebraska’s College of Business rose to 44 in rankings among all business schools and 26th for public institutions; its College of Engineering jumped to 80th. Additionally, Nebraska’s online education programs were recognized in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best Online Programs listing, with several ranked among the best in the nation and within the Big Ten. The University’s online Bachelor of Science in applied science and a bachelor’s in early childhood education in a mobile society ranked in the top 10 percent of all programs — 35th among 357 institutions — and third among Big Ten universities. Among online graduate programs evaluated by U.S. News, Nebraska ranked 42nd (second in the Big Ten) for the Online Master of Business Administration and 29th for the Online Master of Engineering Management. Nebraska’s Online Graduate Education programs for teachers and school administrators ranked 12th (second in the Big Ten).
Colleges and University Libraries
Nearly 26,000 students matriculate through UNL's nine colleges: Architecture, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, Engineering, Hixson-Lied Fine and Performing Arts, Journalism and Mass Communications, and Law. UNL offers 175 undergraduate majors, 71 master's degree programs, 46 doctoral programs leading to the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Education and Doctor of Musical Arts. Seven professional degree programs and two educational specialist programs are available.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries is the only comprehensive research library in Nebraska, providing a wide range of scholarly and research resources in all formats. The Libraries’ mission is to ensure that the UNL campus and Nebraskans have access to an organized collection of information resources, to provide the expertise needed to use information resources and services effectively, and to preserve knowledge for future generations. The UNL Libraries serve the entire University community, visiting scholars and countless other students and researchers by seamlessly blending traditional services and learning spaces with today’s digital services and technological innovations.
In 2016, UNL Libraries opened the Adele Hall Learning Commons, after a $10 million renovation that re-envisioned the student learning experience. The C.Y. Thompson Library on UNL’s East Campus is undergoing similar renovation and will reopen in 2020. UNL's Digital Commons features 100,000 full text items supplied by Nebraska faculty, staff and students, and it surpassed the 50-million download mark in September 2018. In a survey of other leading online repositories managed by other universities, the total downloads from Digital Commons ranked as the most in the U.S.
Excellence in Undergraduate Education
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a research-extensive institution with an extraordinary focus on undergraduate education. UNL’s undergraduates learn from faculty who create new knowledge, who are leading scientists, scholars and creative artists, and who care about students' success. In fall 2009, UNL launched Achievement-Centered Education (ACE), a re-imagined general education undergraduate curriculum. ACE is built on student learning outcomes that answer the fundamental question, "What should all undergraduate students - irrespective of their majors and career aspirations - know or be able to do upon graduation?"
Several signature programs exemplify the University’s commitment to undergraduate success. The Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences Program (UCARE) connects faculty with undergraduate students who work collaboratively on research and creative projects that advance new knowledge. This paid opportunity for students culminates in an annual Research Fair where students present their work. The University Honors Program, with more than 2,000 students across all undergraduate colleges, provides an intense intellectual experience for top students in a major research university setting. The Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management develops leaders in information technology and business globalization while fostering professional skills in leadership, communications and collaboration. UNL is regularly named a top research institution whose students are awarded Fulbright scholarships (in 2019, UNL was tied at 27th for Fulbright awardees), and UNL undergraduates consistently succeed in prestigious national scholarship competitions such as Goldwater and other honors.
A new commitment to ensuring success for First Generation Students has earned national acclaim and earned Nebraska membership in the inaugural cohort of First Forward Institutions by the national Center for First-Generation Student Success.
UNL’s undergraduate six-year graduation rate is 68.9 percent, just shy of our institutional goal of 70 percent. Initiatives such as the new First Gen program and other programs coming on line and led by the Executive Vice Chancellor focus on developing enriching curricular and co-curricular opportunities and eliminating institutional barriers to degree attainment. We have implemented numerous first-year programs that support students’ social and academic transition to the university.
Over the past six years UNL’s annual tuition increases have been well below the national norm. The university remains, together with Iowa, the best tuition value in the Big Ten, and UNL students have 23% less student debt than the national average.
A significant step to increasing access is the new Husker Scholars Program, enabled by $5 million in annual scholarship support from Husker Athletics for students not competing in intercollegiate athletics. Husker Scholars is providing support to 3,068 of students under five new scholarship programs. 93% of these students are from Nebraska, 40% are first-generation, and 65% have identified high financial need.
Research and Economic Development
UNL researchers achieved a record $308 million in total research expenditures for the 2018 fiscal year, a key growth indicator that reflects advancements in agriculture, education, materials research and virology — all high-priority research areas. This represented a 2 percent increase over the previous year’s record of $302 million. Over the past decade, Nebraska has achieved a 25 percent increase in total research expenditures. The university’s goal is to approach $450 million in total research expenditures by 2025.
The university received $265 million in externally sponsored awards in fiscal year 2018. Of that, $171 million was sponsored by federal agencies, a 12 percent increase from the previous fiscal year and a 49 percent increase over the past decade.
The university’s top sources for federal funding include the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
More information is available at: http://research.unl.edu/
Nebraska Innovation Campus
Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC) is connecting the talents of experts, companies and the university to create a unique culture of innovation. NIC is a campus designed to facilitate new and in-depth partnerships between the University of Nebraska and private sector businesses. NIC is adjacent to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and strategically provides access to research faculty, facilities and students. NIC welcomes companies of all sizes, creating a culture filled with a mix of startups, medium sized companies and larger companies. Currently home to over 45 companies, NIC offers office, wet/dry lab, high bay, pilot plant and greenhouse space. Nebraska Innovation Studio, the state’s largest makerspace, calls NIC home. Innovation Studio is a membership based space that allows creators of all sorts to innovation, collaborate, and fabricate. The Food Innovation Center is home to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Food Science and Technology. Additional organizations including Spreetail, Quantified Ag, The Mill Coffee & Bistro, and Virtual Incision have a presence at NIC.
UNL is located in a vibrant and safe city of 287,000 people that has many of the cultural and entertainment benefits of a much larger city, with the feel of a friendly Midwestern community. Lincoln is the state capital and most Nebraska state agencies and offices are located here, as are several United States Government agencies. Dominant industries are education, government, health care, banking and insurance, and rail and truck transport. Lincoln also has a growing technology sector and was recently featured in national news as the “Silicon Prairie.” Agriculture and manufacturing are also key employers. The state government and the University of Nebraska are both large contributors to the local economy and constitute approximately a quarter of the city's economy. Lincoln’s unemployment rate is 2.1 percent.
Lincoln boasts a highly educated workforce that is attractive to business expansion and new business development. The median age in Lincoln is 32.8. The West Haymarket project, which has developed since 2014 has spurred rapid growth associated with several large organizations, including Hudl, a technology firm started by graduates of UNL’s Jeffrey S. Raikes School, and Olsson, an engineering and architecture firm. The University’s partnership with the city and private groups in redeveloping a former railyard into a sports and concert arena has sparked renewed interest in housing, retail and other activities within walking distance of the city campus.
With the most parkland per capita in the nation, an extensive (and growing) bike trail network, many diverse employment opportunities, and a low cost of living, Lincoln is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the Midwest, yet still boasts an easy average commute time of 18 minutes door to door. The median home value in Lincoln is $182,800. Lincoln home values have gone up 7.0% over the past year.
The airport is located 10 minutes from downtown, with a much larger airport located in Omaha, 50 miles away. Lincoln lies adjacent to Interstate 80, which crosses the entirety of Nebraska.
Lincoln’s cultural offerings are robust and varied; many are associated with the University, including a professional regional symphony orchestra, the many touring artists appearing at UNL's Lied Center for Performing Arts, jazz clubs, professional theatre, chamber music concert series, independent film, modern dance, and active church choirs. UNL's Glenn Korff School of Music and UNL's Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film alone present more than 300 performances annually. The city boasts architecture by I.M. Pei and Bertram Goodhue, and is home to UNL's Sheldon Museum of Art, designed by Philip Johnson and housing an extensive and world-renowned American art collection. The university's International Quilt Study Center and Museum, designed by Robert A.M. Stern, houses the largest publicly held collection of art and historic quilts in the world.
Restaurants run the gamut of American and ethnic cuisine, there are many small independent coffee houses, and the spring brings to the city multiple farmers markets and their bounty of organic produce.
The Lincoln Public Schools are among the best in the nation and include several high school focus programs in Arts and Humanities, Business, Technology, and Science. The latter focus school operates at Lincoln's Children's Zoo. The district has opened a dedicated Career Academy to offer students experiences in trades and occupations. Lincoln High School, the city’s oldest public high school is the home to an International Baccalaureate Program, and all of the high schools offer advanced placement courses. Lincoln also hosts several parochial school systems.
In addition to UNL. Nebraska Wesleyan University, Union College, Southeast Community College and Purdue Global offer higher education opportunities in the city.
The Position of
Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
The Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is the academic leader for the campus with the mission of achieving excellence across all parameters. The EVCAA reports directly to the Chancellor. Working with the Academic Deans, the Executive Vice Chancellor will assure pursuit of excellence through oversight of undergraduate teaching and learning; student affairs; diversity and inclusion; graduate mentoring; faculty development, promotion and tenure; and by developing innovative academic initiatives that will be recognized as unique signature strengths.
The UNL academic deans, other than those in IANR, report directly to the Executive Vice Chancellor. Those deans represent the College of Architecture; the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Business; the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts; the College of Education and Human Sciences; the College of Engineering; the College of Journalism and Mass Communications; the College of Law; Graduate Studies; and University Libraries. The Executive Vice Chancellor works in cooperation with the Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources who has oversight of the academic deans in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the Agricultural Research Division, and Nebraska Extension. The Executive Vice Chancellor is responsible for the administration, coordination, and development of general policies and functions applicable to academic programs.
Other entities overseen by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor include the Office of Student Affairs; Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Academic Services and Enrollment Management (Office of Admissions, Office of the University Registrar, Scholarships and Financial Aid); Career Services; Education Abroad; Exploratory & Pre-Professional Advising Center; First-Year Experience & Transition Programs; International Student & Scholar Office; Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science & Management; Nebraska Educational Television; Online and Distance Education; Public Policy Center; Undergraduate Education Programs; and the University Honors Program.
The new Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will join UNL at a pivotal moment in the institutions’ history. On the occasion of its sesquicentennial, Chancellor Ronnie Green announced the university’s 25-year vision (“N150 Vision”) and a team is developing the first five-year (N2025) strategic plan, to be launched in early 2020 to further elevate the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to even greater national stature. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to provide additional insight, vision, and leadership that will allow UNL to take full advantage of exciting future opportunities:
- The University is pursuing an aggressive agenda to become nationally preeminent and a distinctive Big Ten University by 2025. Specific goals of this agenda include increasing enrollment, growing research expenditures, enhancing student retention and graduation rates, increasing the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty, and increasing the number of faculty receiving national recognition and awards for their research and creative activity. The next Executive Vice Chancellor will play a critical role in achieving these goals and in making strategic decisions about resources associated with success.
The state’s most-recent biennial budget, approved by the Legislature and Governor in May 2019 increases funding for the entire University of Nebraska each of the next two academic years, first 3%, then 3.7%.
- The University of Nebraska Foundation’s most recent $1.2 billion capital campaign (ended 2014) resulted in over $1.8 billion raised. Priorities for that campaign included scholarship support for undergraduates, study abroad scholarships, and graduate fellowships; support for endowed professorships, research professorships and chairs; support for targeted and identified academic and research programs; and support for campus facilities and infrastructure. A two-year initiative focused on broad support for students concluded in 2017 with $217 million given for scholarships, academic programs and student facilities. Planning for the next major campaign is underway. Examples of programs or buildings created or supported by private giving include Howard L. Hawks Hall (College of Business), the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, Jeffrey S. Raikes School, Voelte-Keegan Nanoscience Research Center, Ken Morrison Life Sciences Research Center, Donald Othmer Hall (College of Engineering), Dinsdale Family Learning Commons, Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons, and numerous other programs.
- UNL enjoys strong public support from the citizens of the state. Nebraskans value higher education and recognize that education is the key to a strong workforce and a vibrant economy. Nebraskans view UNL as "their Land–Grant University" and are vested in its success. The "Big Red" phenomenon helps drive alumni loyalty but is not the sole factor. Big Red lifts Nebraska's visibility nationally and allows UNL to compete both athletically and academically. Nebraska athletes have earned more Academic All-American awards and NCAA Top Eight Awards than any other Division I institution.
- Several signature programs exemplify this commitment to undergraduate success. The Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences Program (UCARE) connects faculty and students who work collaboratively on independent study projects that advance new knowledge. The Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management develops leaders for this era of expanding information technology and business globalization. Students are selected for this innovative and highly selective program based on high academic achievement, outstanding leadership experience, demonstrated interest in computer science and business, and career goals. The program provides an education balanced in technology and management while developing professional skills in leadership, communications and collaboration. The University Honors Program hosts honors forum talks to complement the 25-year-old E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues, which brings world leaders to campus on a regular basis.
- UNL's enrollment in the past three years has been at historically high levels. The recently concluded academic year enrolled 25,820 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The previous two graduating classes have been the largest in the university’s 150 year history, bringing the total number of degrees granted to more than 290,000.
- The first-year class that enrolled in Fall 2018 had one of the strongest academic profiles in University history. The class enters with an average ACT score of 25.4, matching the all-time high set in 2014. Overall, enrollment has grown by 7.1 percent since 2011. Out-of-state students now comprise a third of the student body. The university has enrolled the most diverse student body in its history with 3,772 students of color, a 1.4 percent increase from last fall. Students of color now comprise 15.6 percent of the student body.
- Fall 2018 Sixth Day Census showed 20,830 undergraduate students; 4,426 graduate students; and 564 professional students. Professional students enroll in programs in architecture, education and human sciences, law, plant health, and veterinary medicine. UNL recorded 322,623 student credit hours.
- Lead and direct the University's academic enterprise. The Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is the academic leader for the campus with the mission of achieving excellence across all parameters. In collaboration with the Academic Deans, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, the EVCAA will assure pursuit of excellence through oversight of undergraduate teaching and learning; creative activities and pursuits; graduate mentoring; faculty development, promotion and tenure; resource allocation; strategic planning; and by developing innovative academic initiatives that will be recognized as unique signature strengths.
- Assure we attain our strategic vision of being a distinctive Big Ten research university in the nation. The EVCAA will accelerate UNL’s course toward fulfillment of established university goals, which presents our ambitious vision for a vigorous scholarly community.
- Foster academic collaboration both within UNL and external to the university. The EVCAA will lead UNL’s involvement in the Big Ten Academic Alliance and, together with the IANR Vice Chancellor/NU Vice President, will lead efforts to ensure that the academic enterprise is well-integrated into the Nebraska Innovation Campus.
- Lead our long-range and strategic planning efforts in conjunction with the University’s N2025 Strategic Plan. The Executive Vice Chancellor will lead an effective and relevant strategic planning process in the colleges, academic units, and the division of student affairs, to ensure these efforts help the campus to attain its vision and the University of Nebraska System achieve its goals as set out by the President and Board of Regents.
- Champion the university’s efforts for systemic improvement in diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion are central to UNL’s mission and its pursuit of excellence. The EVCAA will be both a shepherd and champion of these efforts to continually improve the university.
- Increase student, faculty and staff diversity. The Executive Vice Chancellor will demonstrate a devotion and deep commitment to creating strategies and actively working toward improving the diversity of the faculty and student body.
- Maintain focus on student achievement and success. The EVCAA will lead initiatives that improve the quality of UNL’s undergraduate and graduate student body; oversee and improve enrollment management best practices, and continue to refine the Achievement-Centered Education curriculum.
- Increase focus on faculty achievement, development and success. The Executive Vice Chancellor will facilitate the ability of the faculty to raise their international reputation and prominence by promoting a culture of high expectations, achievement, and high-impact engagement; advocating for a strong tenure-line faculty; fostering the integration of teaching and research; and working to sustain high morale by recognizing and honoring excellence.
- Maintain commitment to Globalization and International Programming. The EVCAA will improve and expand study abroad and international partnerships; encourage the appropriate inclusion of international components in the undergraduate and graduate curriculum; enhance UNL as a welcoming community for international scholars; and encourage UNL faculty to apply for international opportunities such as Fulbright or other exchange programs.
- Foster a culture that embraces the values of shared governance, collegiality, and transparency with an attitude of respect, dignity and consensus building.
- Allocate resources to support academic priorities. The Executive Vice Chancellor will strategically manage resources to achieve ambitious research and education agendas, faculty hiring plans, and infrastructure improvements.
- Be a public advocate for the university's goals, objectives and priorities. The EVCAA will serve as an effective advocate for UNL to internal and external constituencies within the framework of overall university goals and priorities, and promote the accomplishments of faculty, students, and programs locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.