Board of Regents Meeting Highlights: October 29, 2004

The following items of interest are on the agenda of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents for the September 10 meeting:

Committee Meetings: Two committees of the Board of Regents will meet prior to its regular October meeting, beginning at 9:00 a.m.:

The Business Affairs Committee will hear a report on the university’s plans for physical facilities, including a concept called “LB 1100-2” which would call for legislation allowing the issuance of bonds for repair and renovation of facilities (a similar concept was created by LB 1100 in the 1998 session of the Legislature).

The Academic Affairs Committee will discuss two items: 1) the academic advising services provided to students on the four university campuses, and 2) the status of endowed professorships, which use private-donor funds to supplement the normal salaries of distinguished professors.

Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling (Agenda Item XI-A-1). The Board will be asked to approve establishment of this center, which would be a joint venture between the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Center would be initiated using a recent $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. It would bring together faculty with expertise in such diverse fields as dentistry, cancer and biochemistry, to study the broad area of cellular signal transduction, which is essential to understanding the biology of cancer. The center would also collaborate with Creighton University.

Center for Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine (Agenda Item XI-A02). The Board will be asked to approve establishment of this center, which would facilitate the research efforts of scientists studying innovative approaches to the delivery of drugs within the human body. Nanotechnology is the most rapidly developing approach for drug and gene delivery and is revolutionizing this area of research. The center would coordinate the work of faculty in the UNMC’s Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine and UNL’s College of Engineering and Technology.

Center for Research in Leukemia and Lymphoma (Agenda Item XI-A-3). The Board will be asked to approve establishment of this center, which would provide an enhanced environment for increased interaction among basic scientists and clinical scientists working in the area of hematological malignancies. Over the past 20 years, UNMC has developed an international reputation in transplantation for leukemia and lymphoma and in recent years has emphasized the movement of basic research findings into clinical practice.

School as Lender Program for UNL (Agenda Item XI-B-3). The Board will be asked to approve the institution of this program to serve graduate and professional students at UNL, which would require agreements with NELNET, Inc., National Educational Loan Network, Inc., and Union Bank and Trust Company. In addition to providing low-interest loans to graduate and professional students, the program would generate funds which could be used for scholarships for other students.

Research Center of Excellence II (Agenda Item XI-B-7). The Board will be asked to approve a program statement for a second research center adjacent to the recently completed Durham Research Center at UNMC. Already recognized as the principal site for biomedical research in Nebraska, UNMC’s strategic objectives include increasing its annual funded research level to $100 million (it is currently $68 million). Due to UNMC’s success in recruiting new faculty, the Durham building’s lab space is already filled to capacity, and more state-of-the-art research space is needed. The project cost for the new facility would be $74 million, which would be paid using a combination of state, federal, and other funds.

Please note: The agenda for the Board of Regents meeting is posted on the University of Nebraska website, www.nebraska.edu.

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