History and mission
University of Nebraska Role and Mission Statement
The University of Nebraska is one University comprised of four campuses: the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Teaching, scholarly research and creative activity, and statewide outreach are at the heart of the work and aspirations of the entire University. Each campus has a unique role and mission which should be recognized, enhanced and developed.
Under the State Constitution, the University of Nebraska is governed by a Board of Regents. The President is the chief executive officer of the University and reports directly to the Board. He or she is principally responsible for implementing the Board’s policies, and exercises such executive powers as necessary for the proper administration and operation of the University. The President operates primarily through the campus chancellors and the other vice presidents.
The President, assisted by the Central Administration staff, supports and enhances campus strengths to best serve Nebraska’s higher education needs. The President and the Central Administration staff provide educational leadership and direction to the University of Nebraska. As chief executive officer of the largest higher education institution in the State, the President also provides educational leadership for the State of Nebraska and the Nation.
A major responsibility of the Central Administration is to develop, monitor and encourage the role and mission of each campus. The President and the Central Administration staff, under the policy directives of the Board of Regents, promote and develop long- and short-term strategic plans, and, where necessary, improve and enhance educational, research, and outreach opportunities through the assignment and reassignment of program responsibilities and resources among the campuses.
The planning process should establish program priorities which provide each campus with diverse academic programs while striving to avoid unnecessary duplication among the campuses. Through the University-wide Graduate College, the Central Administration coordinates the development and administration of graduate programs of the University.
Where appropriate, the resources of the four campuses should be linked in cooperative efforts. Also, the University should encourage and support regional and national programs with other institutions of higher education. Similarly, the University should encourage cooperative and exchange programs between the University and educational institutions abroad.
The President is assisted by the Central Administration staff in such essential areas as academic administration, administrative systems, capital construction and facilities management, finance and auditing, personnel, risk management, legal affairs, and public and legislative affairs. To maximize the benefit of resources available to the institution, the University system should realize economies that may accrue from scale of operations whenever possible. The division of responsibility between the Central Administration and the campuses frees the latter to focus on their role and mission of teaching, research, service, and achieving high quality.
The President and the Central Administration staff provide a single focus and voice for the University as a statewide institution, and they insure its accountability to the public. This requires communication of the State’s need to the campuses through the Chancellors, and the communication of campus contributions and potential to the leadership and citizens of the State. The President and the officers of the Central Administration are the principal spokespersons for the University in the Legislature and with other political bodies, and are primarily responsible for interpreting and implementing statutes and regulations, and responding to official requests. As far as possible, Central Administration should seek to shield the campuses from unwanted or inappropriate intervention.
The University’s system of governance and coordination of effort should bring the Governor, the Legislature and the citizens of Nebraska a clear presentation of the priorities of the State’s needs in education, research and creative activity, and service, and strategies to respond to those needs for the benefit of Nebraskans.
Approved by the Board of Regents 05-10-91
University of Nebraska at Kearney Mission
The University of Nebraska at Kearney, a part of the University of Nebraska, is a comprehensive university located in Central Nebraska and serving students from throughout the state. Through its educational programs, research and creative activities, and public service, the University of Nebraska at Kearney contributes to the social, cultural, and economic development of the state, but particularly Greater Nebraska. The central location of the University of Nebraska at Kearney creates a unique opportunity for the institution to provide access to a broad range of educational and cultural experiences for Greater Nebraska and to assist its people in developing an understanding of the state, the nation, and the world in which they live.
UNK’s mission is accomplished through the Colleges of Natural and Social Sciences, Fine Arts and Humanities, Business and Technology, Education, the Expanded Campus Programs, and the University-wide Graduate College.
UNK strives to be an institution of choice, committed to a quality educational experience for each student pursuing an undergraduate education. Central to this goal is an extensive General Studies Program which contributes significantly to strong liberal arts and professional degrees that allow for the interaction of students with outstanding faculty in an environment conducive to interactive learning. UNK is committed to the recruitment of both minority students and culturally and economically disadvantages students who might otherwise be denied educational opportunities.
UNK strives to be at the forefront in the formation and implementation of public education policy. The institutional mission also includes selected graduate programs that complement those especially strong undergraduate programs. Graduate programs in education through the Specialist degree and the MBA degree present continuing educational opportunities to rural Nebraskans and have a significant impact on the region.
Incorporation into the University of Nebraska acknowledges the distinctive research function of UNK, which is intended to support graduate and undergraduate programs, the teaching emphasis, and the faculty’s scholarly development.
Public service and programs offered in cooperation with other institutions of higher education also comprise an important aspect of the mission of the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers baccalaureate degrees in the arts and sciences, in business and technology, in nursing, and in education, with a broad range of majors. Masters degree programs in education and business are offered and additional masters degree programs may be offered in the future. In addition, UNK offers the Educational Specialist degree in the areas of Educational Administration, School Counseling, and School Psychology. In the future, the University of Nebraska at Kearney anticipates the opportunity to better serve Greater Nebraska by participating in doctoral degrees administered by other components of the University.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney is committed to research and scholarship designed to enhance its educational program. Recognizing that teaching and scholarship are inseparable, UNK aims to provide an environment which facilitates the recruitment of faculty committed to the advancement, integration, application, and presentation of knowledge.
PUBLIC SERVICE AND COOPERATIVE PROGRAMS
The University of Nebraska at Kearney has a long tradition of service. This service function will continue to be an integral part of the UNK mission as opportunities are provided to the people of the state and region.
UNK’s resources and expertise provide leadership to assist with the solution of social, cultural, educational, and economic problems. Cooperative programs with social services, criminal justice systems, and health agencies, clinics and consultants help to address the community and health needs of Nebraska citizens. Cultural opportunities are offered through programs in science, the humanities, the visual and performing arts, national and international exchange programs, the Museum of Nebraska Art, and other creative activities. The College of Education, through its various outreach programs, serves the needs of educational systems. The Nebraska Business Development Center, operated in cooperation with the University of Nebraska at Omaha, directly assists Nebraska’s small business. The Center for Rural Economic Development applies the unique expertise of the faculty and of other agencies and institutions to the economic programs of rural communities.
The entrance of the University of Nebraska at Kearney into the University of Nebraska presents an opportunity for cooperation through which the citizens of the state can be better served.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney enters the University to complement, enhance, and extend quality educational opportunities for citizens of the state and is committed to cooperation with all institutions of higher education to meet this end.
Approved by the Board of Regents 05-10-91
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Mission
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, chartered by the Legislature in 1869, is that part of the University of Nebraska system which serves as both the land-grant and the comprehensive public University for the State of Nebraska. Those responsible for its origins recognized the value of combining the breadth of a comprehensive University with the professional and outreach orientation of the land-grant University, thus establishing a campus which has evolved to become the flagship campus of the University of Nebraska. UNL works cooperatively with the other three 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.
Through its three primary missions of teaching, research, and service, UNL is the state’s primary intellectual center providing leadership throughout the state through quality education and the generation of new knowledge. UNL’s graduates and its faculty and staff are major contributors to the economic and cultural development of the state. UNL attracts a high percentage of the most academically talented Nebraskans and the graduates of the University form a significant portion of the business, cultural, and professional resources of the State. The quality of primary, secondary, and other post-secondary educational programs in the state depends in part on the resources of UNL for curricular development, teacher training, professional advancement, and enrichment activities involving the University’s faculty, museums, galleries, libraries, and other facilities. UNL provides for the people of the state unique opportunities to fulfill their highest ambitions and aspirations thereby helping the state retain its most talented youth, attract talented young people from elsewhere, and address the educational needs of the non-traditional learner.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been recognized by the Legislature as the primary research and doctoral degree granting institution in the state for fields outside the health professions. Through its service and outreach efforts, the University extends its educational responsibilities directly to the people of Nebraska on a statewide basis. Many of UNL’s teaching, research, and service activities have an international dimension in order to provide its students and the state a significant global perspective.
THE MISSIONS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN
The role of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as the primary intellectual and cultural resource for the State is fulfilled through the three missions of the University: teaching, research, and service. UNL pursues its missions through the Colleges of Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education and Human Sciences, Engineering, Hixon Lied College of Fine and Peforming Arts, Journalism and Mass Communications, Law, the University-wide Graduate College, and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources which includes the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the Agricultural Research Division, the Cooperative Extension Division, and the Conservation and Survey Division. Special units with distinct missions include the University Libraries, Extended Education and Outreach, International Affairs, the Lied Center for Performing Arts, the Bureau of Business Research, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, the Sheldon Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden, the University of Nebraska State Museum, the University of Nebraska Press, the Water Center, the Nebraska Forest Service, the Nebraska State-wide Arboretum, and Intercollegiate Athletics.
To capitalize on the breadth of programs and the multidisciplinary resources available at UNL, a number of Centers exist to marshal faculty from a variety of disciplines to focus teaching and research on specific societal issues and to provide technical assistance for business and industry in order to enhance their ability to compete in world markets. Additionally, interdisciplinary programs promote integration of new perspectives and insights into the instructional research and service activities.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln promotes respect for and understanding of cultural diversity in all aspects of society. It strives for a culturally diverse student body, faculty, and staff reflecting the multicultural nature of Nebraska and the nation. UNL brings international and multicultural dimensions to its programs through the involvement of its faculty in international activities, a student body that includes students from throughout the world, exchange agreements with other universities abroad involving both students and faculty, and the incorporation of international components in a variety of courses and curricula.
Teaching, research, and service take on a distinctive character at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln because of its status as a comprehensive land-grant university. These traits permit opportunities for the integration of multiple disciplines providing students more complete and sophisticated programs of study. Its land-grant tradition ensures a commitment to the special character of the State and its people.
The faculty is responsible for the curricular content of the various programs and pursues new knowledge and truths within a structure that assures academic freedom in its intellectual endeavors. The curricula are designed to foster critical thinking, the re-examination of accepted truths, a respect for different perspectives including an appreciation of the multiethnic character of the nation, and a curiosity that leads to life-long learning. Additionally, an environment exists whereby students can develop aesthetic values and human relationships including tolerance for differing viewpoints.
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 extracurricular 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.
Approved by the Board of Regents 05-10-91, edited January, 2012.
University of Nebraska at Omaha Mission
The University of Nebraska at Omaha, as part of the University of Nebraska, is a comprehensive university sited in Nebraska’s largest metropolitan area. Its distinguished faculty is drawn from the nation’s leading graduate institutions. UNO exists for the purpose of providing appropriate educational opportunities, discovering and disseminating knowledge through research and teaching, and offering public service to the citizens of the State, particularly the residents of the Omaha metropolitan area. Through these traditional, interdependent, and mutually-reinforcing functions, the faculty of the University of Nebraska at Omaha enrich the lives of students; advance the frontiers of knowledge; and contribute to the social, cultural, international and economic development of the community, State, and region.
UNO’s mission is accomplished through the faculties of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration; Communication, Fine Arts and Media; Education, Information Science and Technology; Public Affairs and Community Service; and the University-wide Graduate College.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha is committed to the following broad priorities in fulfilling its mission:
UNO offers a broad range of bachelor’s programs, a diverse array of master’s degree programs, one specialist’s program, and doctoral programs in criminology and criminal justice; educational administration; exercise science; information technology; psychology; and public administration. UNO exercises a statewide responsibility in the areas of criminal justice, social work, public administration, and gerontology. The campus also plays a key role in public affairs research and small business development in Nebraska. In expanding doctoral study, UNO emphasizes areas in which the campus has a statewide responsibility, as well as cooperative programs with UNL and/or UNMC in additional academic areas to address otherwise unmet needs in the Omaha metropolitan area. UNO is committed to broadening educational participation for those under-represented groups who do not yet fully enjoy the promise of higher education and the wellsprings of opportunity that it brings.
RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP
The faculty of the University of Nebraska at Omaha share the obligation of all university faculties to participate in the creation, reorganization, and application of knowledge. Indeed, scholarly research is a sine qua non of graduate-level programs. Research and creative activity have been accorded a greater priority at UNO in recent years, and this emphasis will increase as UNO develops further doctoral programs.
As the only comprehensive public university located in the State’s largest metropolitan area, UNO has a special responsibility to use its resources and expertise to provide leadership in solving problems of the community and supporting its social, cultural, and economic advancement. UNO’s capacity to engage in public service derives from its instructional and research programs and resources; these, in turn, are enhanced by involvement with the community on issues of mutual concern including, where appropriate, the delivery of its programs through Learning Centers.
Since its inception in 1908, the University of Nebraska at Omaha has forged a continuing partnership with the community. That partnership has focused on providing affordable, accessible instructional programs of high quality that are designed to meet the diverse needs of both traditional and nontraditional students. Through that partnership, UNO has enhanced the social and cultural life of the metropolitan area and State, and it has partnered worked with various organizations and individuals to address community problems and stimulate economic development. Throughout its history, UNO has been firmly anchored to its community, building strong ties with business, education, government, arts, and civic organizations. Those linkages will continue to grow and new ones will be formed as the campus anticipates and energetically addresses the changing needs of the metropolitan area, State, and region and its growing global participations.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha continues to develop as a pacesetting comprehensive metropolitan university, committed to a standard of excellence in its teaching, research, public service activities. Working cooperatively with other campuses of the University of Nebraska, UNO strives to anticipate and respond creatively to the emerging needs of the 21st century and beyond. It works to promote the economic vitality of the community and the State; it enhances its international programs and presence; and it continues to instill in its students a lifelong commitment to learning while preparing them for leadership roles in a constantly changing society.
Approved by the Board of Regents 05-10-91, edited January, 2012.
University of Nebraska Medical Center Mission
The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), a major unit of the University of Nebraska, serves the State through its programs in health professions education, research, patient care and community service.
This mission is accomplished through the eight major units: the College of Dentistry; the College of Medicine; the College of Nursing; the College of Pharmacy; the College of Public Health; the School of Allied Health Professions; the Munroe-Meyer Rehabilitation Institute; and the Eugene C. Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases. Additionally, the Office of Graduate Studies oversees a variety of Masters and Ph.D. programs under the auspices of the University-wide Graduate College.
The health professions programs of the University of Nebraska Medical Center have a major responsibility for educating dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, public health professionals and allied health professionals in Nebraska. Its programs encompass both the basic and clinical sciences and are designed to provide to students, fellows, residents and practitioners, the knowledge, skills and attitudes essential to practice in their chosen fields. Successful completion of a course of instruction leads to the award of a certificate, degree, or qualification for licensure or certification by an external accreditation body or may prepare students to progress to a higher level of education in a pertinent discipline. Special emphasis is placed on education and training of physicians in primary care, and to programs that benefit health care delivery in rural areas, and minority groups throughout the state.
In addition, research-oriented educational activities leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree are conducted through departmental, interdepartmental and college programs. Students who complete these advanced studies will be prepared to pursue careers in research and teaching.
In order to assess the need for programmatic adjustments and to address health manpower needs throughout Nebraska, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in cooperation with the state health planning agencies, closely monitors the demand for practicing health professionals in the state and changes in the number of individuals seeking admissions to health professions training programs.
UNMC provides leadership for other campuses of the University and other post-secondary institutions in Nebraska on matters related to the education of health care personnel and health education for the public.
RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP
Research is an essential component of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and adds to the quality of both the educational and the patient care programs. Participation in biomedical and other health-related research provides the foundation for the graduate degree and post-doctoral programs. Research contributes to the health of all mankind, provides an opportunity for the development of solutions to health problems and creates new products and jobs to support the economy of Nebraska.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center is the only public facility in Nebraska which possesses the faculty expertise, library, laboratory, computer facilities and diverse patient population essential for a broad-based program in health related research.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center, in response to the health care needs of the state, is committed to: (1) direct patient care; (2) public health education; and (3) other forms of technical and consultation services to the professions, the public, industry and to governmental and other agencies at local, regional, national and international levels.
In partnership with the Nebraska Medical Center and the UNMC-Physicians Clinics, UNMC provides direct care to patients including a broad range of preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative services to residents from every part of Nebraska and surrounding areas. As an academic health science center, the Medical Center serves as a referral center for the state and in some highly specialized areas for the nation and provides high quality patient care in an environment conducive to clinical instruction and research. A sufficient patient base must be sustained to afford the appropriate level of supervised clinical instruction.
The UNMC has a leading role in continuing education and should expand these efforts by developing innovative techniques and using the public media for providing educational programs to health professionals and to the general public. It places special emphasis on public service programs designed to address health problems of particular importance to the State of Nebraska.
UNMC, as a unique resource to the people of the State of Nebraska, provides exemplary programs of education, patient care, research and public service.
Approved by the Board of Regents 05-10-91, edited January, 2012.
History & Mission
The University of Nebraska was founded on February 15, 1869, less than two years after Nebraska became the nation's 37th state. The original goal of this new land-grant university was, “To afford the inhabitants of this state with the means of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the various branches of literature, science, and the arts.” This goal has stood the test of time, inspiring the university's dedication to the education of students, research in a broad range of disciplines, and service to the state's citizens.
The University of Nebraska is the state's only public university. It became the first institution west of the Mississippi River to offer graduate education in 1903. Founded in Lincoln, the university included a medical center in Omaha beginning in 1902.
The University was reorganized under a 1968 act of the Nebraska Legislature. The legislation provided for the addition of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (formerly the municipal University of Omaha) and designated the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center as separate campuses. In 1991, the University of Nebraska at Kearney (formerly Kearney State College) became a campus of the university. The university also includes many research, extension, and service facilities statewide.