May 27, 2020
Dear UNL Faculty and Staff,
I am thrilled that we are continuing to advance the important work of identifying the “Grand Challenges” for our university. Even as we chart our path forward to fall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important we not lose sight of taking the necessary next steps to pursue our long-term vision for the future.
As you may recall, we began this process in February when we announced our N2025 Strategic Plan. The second and third aims called for us to prioritize our research; aligning at least 50 percent of our strategic investments within a suite of the “Grand Challenges.” In order to have these priorities truly reflect our campus, your input and participation is critical to the success of this effort.
Next week, the Office of Research and Economic Development will begin facilitating the process through a series of workshops, and I encourage you to register and participate.
Times are listed in central daylight time. Most sessions will be recorded for later viewing, and some allow for asynchronous participation to accommodate scheduling constraints.
- June 5, 3-4 p.m.: Kick-off event open to faculty, staff and students.
- June 9, 1-2 p.m.: Establish the context for grand challenges that Nebraska is poised to solve and identify relevant publications, resources and data collections. Open to faculty, staff and students.
- June 12, 1-3 p.m.: Microlab led by Knowinnovation to generate options for grand challenges themes. Participation will involve time in virtual breakout rooms to capture ideas and reconvening as a group to capture broad ideas. Open to faculty, staff and students.
- June 26, 1-3 p.m.: Evaluate theme ideas against the evaluation criteria established by the online survey and identify a preliminary list of grand challenges. Participants may generate brief overview documents and other materials to aid in selection. Open to faculty, staff and students.
- Mid-July: Two-day virtual writing workshop to outline, draft and review descriptions of the identified grand challenges. Participation will include selected faculty, staff and administrators.
By recognizing how our combined strengths and expertise can be leveraged to solve our greatest problems, UNL can have an even greater impact on our community, country and world. Thank you for helping to shape our research priorities and pursue the aims of our N2025 Strategic Plan.
Ronnie D. Green, Ph.D.