09/05/2017 President Bounds’ statement on DACA
President Bounds’ statement on DACA

September 5, 2017

Today’s announcement changing the rules on DACA creates significant uncertainty for the hundreds of thousands of young people who have benefited from this program – including students at the University of Nebraska. These youth are hard-working, productive, valued members of our university community. They are exactly the kind of talented workers our economy needs.

The chancellors and I stand firmly in support of our DACA students and are mobilizing whatever resources we can provide to ensure their well-being. Our message to them, as to all University of Nebraska students, is clear: They are welcome here, they are important members of our community, and we are proud of their courage and commitment to their education. We ask Congress to act quickly to remove the uncertainty for these young people who are working hard to pursue the American dream.

Hank M. Bounds, Ph.D.
President, University of Nebraska

Date Recipient
Call for Nominations: Faculty Excellence Awards

September 22, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

One of the great privileges of our jobs is recognizing your exceptional work in advancing the University of Nebraska’s missions of teaching, research and service. Great faculty are the lifeblood of any university, and we’re fortunate to have some of the very best serving across our campuses.

Each year the University of Nebraska presents up to six faculty members and one department or unit with the President’s Faculty Excellence Awards, our most prestigious honors for success in the classroom, laboratory and community. Nominations are being accepted now for these university-wide awards. We encourage you to take this opportunity to nominate a colleague whose work merits public recognition for the significant impact it has had on students, the university and the state.

“We encourage you to take this opportunity to nominate a colleague whose work merits public recognition for the significant impact it has had on students, the university and the state.”

Faculty winners are awarded $10,000 each, a presidential medallion and an engraved plaque. The departmental winner receives $25,000 to support its instructional mission. All winners, who are chosen by panels of their peers, are honored at a luncheon in the spring hosted by the two of us and attended by senior leaders and colleagues from across the university.

Nomination criteria, instructions and information on past winners are available at www.nebraska.edu/faculty-excellence.

Brief descriptions of the awards and their nomination deadlines follow.

  • Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award (OTICA): Recognizes individual faculty members who have demonstrated meritorious and sustained records of excellence and creativity in teaching. Nominations due November 1, 2017.
  • Outstanding Research and Creative Activity (ORCA) Award: Recognizes individual faculty members for outstanding research or creative activity of national or international significance. Nominations due November 15, 2017.
  • Innovation, Development and Engagement Award (IDEA): Recognizes faculty members who have extended their academic expertise beyond the boundaries of the university in ways that have enriched the broader community. Nominations due November 1, 2017.
  • University-wide Departmental Teaching Award (UDTA): Recognizes a department or unit within the university that has made a unique and significant contribution to the teaching efforts of the university and which has outstanding esprit de corps in its dedication to the education of students at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level. Nominations due November 1, 2017.

Please note that we are also accepting applications and nominations for the university’s highest honors for entrepreneurship. The Peter Kiewit Student Entrepreneurial Award and Walter Scott Entrepreneurial Business Award recognize students and businesses with ties to the university that are using technology to expand entrepreneurship in our state. If you know of a student or business worthy of recognition, or if you have contacts in your network who can help spread the word, please encourage them to explore information about these President’s Excellence Awards here.

Thank you for joining with us to recognize excellence at the University of Nebraska. We are honored to work among such talented colleagues.


Hank M. Bounds, Ph.D.
President, University of Nebraska

Susan M. Fritz, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost, University of Nebraska

11/10/2017 President’s Op-Ed: University research serving those who serve us
President’s Op-Ed: University research serving those who serve us

Nov. 10, 2017

By Hank Bounds
President, University of Nebraska

This Veterans Day, I’m reflecting on the many things that make our country special.

At the top of the list are the men and women who have fought to defend our freedoms – some of them making the ultimate sacrifice to protect the ideals set forth by our Founding Fathers.

We can’t thank our veterans enough. It’s our privilege and responsibility to give back however we can to the men and women who have served our country.

One of the ways we can do that is through research and education that protects the United States and our soldiers from those who would do us harm. Nebraskans can be proud that in this area, their university is leading the way.

I recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to visit some of the nation’s top defense organizations and explore opportunities for continued partnership. From my conversations, it’s clear that the work being done at the University of Nebraska to keep our warfighters and citizens safe – whether from biological, chemical, nuclear, cyber or other kinds of threats – has caught the attention of experts in the nation’s Capital. They’re increasingly turning to our faculty to do the kind of research that will save lives on the battlefield.

We’re in elite company. The University of Nebraska’s National Strategic Research Institute, a five-year-old partnership with our neighbors at USSTRATCOM, is one of only 13 such centers in the country to conduct research directly for the Department of Defense. That means our military partners are depending on University of Nebraska expertise to quickly yield innovations that will help combat the very real threats we face to our national security.

That’s an incredible point of pride for Nebraska, one that is possible because of the support of our partners and the talents of our faculty. For me, it’s humbling to serve alongside faculty whose work has this kind of impact. Here are just a few examples:

  • Our pathologists are working to develop vaccines for infectious diseases like anthrax. The work of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in treating Ebola patients has already garnered international attention and is one reason we were recently selected to host a global infectious disease training center.
  • We’re using social media to understand the psychology of groups like ISIS to gain an edge in the fight against terrorism.
  • Our physicists are developing lasers that can detect nuclear materials hidden within more than a foot of steel.
  • Our engineers are designing better roads and traffic control devices that will help protect U.S. military bases around the world.
  • Research by our food scientists will result in faster, more effective responses to outbreaks of foodborne illness among military personnel.

In all, well over 100 University of Nebraska faculty and students have been engaged in the work of the National Strategic Research Institute since its founding. What’s most exciting to me is that our work is just beginning. We have an opportunity to grow our defense research efforts significantly – doing even more to support the mission of USSTRATCOM, the Department of Defense and the warfighters who put their lives on the line to defend us.

Our goal is for University of Nebraska research to help more of our men and women in uniform come home safely. This is among the most important work of our university. And it’s exactly the kind of work Nebraska’s public university should be doing – bringing our resources to bear to serve citizens and address the urgent challenges facing our state and world.

To Nebraska’s veterans and their families, including the University of Nebraska students, faculty and staff who have served, thank you. We are honored to support you.

10/26/2017 Leadership statement on Title IX guidance
Leadership statement on Title IX guidance

Statement of NU President Hank Bounds, UNMC & UNO Chancellor Dr. Jeffrey Gold, UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen and UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green:

“The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority. University of Nebraska policy makes clear that sexual misconduct in all forms is unacceptable and that we will support members of our community who are impacted by this behavior. We are reviewing the new interim guidance on Title IX carefully. In the meantime, we’re going to continue to take action to prevent and eliminate sexual misconduct across our campuses, and to address allegations in a manner that upholds the rights of all individuals involved.”

01/05/2018 President’s Op-Ed: Looking toward continued growth and opportunity in 2018
President’s Op-Ed: Looking toward continued growth and opportunity in 2018

January 5, 2018

By Hank Bounds
President, University of Nebraska

A new year is a time for us to reflect on the progress we’ve made, look ahead and recommit ourselves to our goals.

With thousands of talented students and faculty returning to campus, and important initiatives underway across our University and state that will grow Nebraska for the future, I’m filled with gratitude and anticipation for what 2018 will bring.

The past year was a period of remarkable transformation for our University.

There were challenges, yes – and those aren’t going away. Chief among them is the difficult reality that we are dealing with budget cuts at a time when the role of our public University in growing our state’s economy and quality of life has never been more important. We understand the state’s fiscal situation, but I will continue to advocate for a strong, affordable University that serves all of Nebraska and changes lives here and around the world.

Amid challenges, there was also success, and there was opportunity. There were inspiring stories of impact and partnership that showed me Nebraskans have their eyes on the horizon.

“I hear every day from Nebraskans who are convinced there’s never been a more important time to join together on a plan for our state’s future.”

We celebrated a record-high enrollment – 53,000 future nurses and doctors, farmers and ranchers, teachers and entrepreneurs across our four campuses. That wouldn’t be possible without strong partnerships with the state and private sector that help keep our tuition affordable and the support of students and parents who believe in the power of a University education.

We produced another 11,000 graduates for the workforce – talent on which Nebraska companies rely and who will someday create jobs and businesses that we can’t even envision yet.

We completed the boldest public-private partnership in Nebraska history, the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, a shared venture between the University, private donors, Legislature and Governor, city, county and people of Nebraska. This facility will transform cancer care and research for the 1 of every 2 Nebraskans who will be diagnosed at some point in their lives. The images of the cancer center’s first patients – like a woman named Helen, an adenoid cystic carcinoma patient who got up at 3:30 a.m. to drive from her home near Falls City to receive treatment – are ones I won’t soon forget.

We continued to lead the way in research that matters to Nebraska and the world. Our faculty’s work in water and agriculture, powered by partnerships with farmers and ranchers across our state, is helping to feed a growing global population that will require twice as much food by 2050. The work our faculty are doing to keep our warfighters safe is meeting the needs of our partners at USSTRATCOM and the Department of Defense. And those are just a few examples.

What keeps me up at night is that we are facing fiscal challenges during a period of such momentum. We’re in the process now of cutting our spending by $30 million, a rethinking of the way we do business that has yielded efficiencies that we can be proud of. But we will not close our shortfall without impacting academic programs and losing jobs. And the cuts would be more significant if we had not already raised tuition this year and next. Further cuts would only deepen the impact, limiting our ability to educate the future workforce, offer a wide breadth of programs and have a statewide presence.

The good news is that I hear every day from Nebraskans who are convinced there’s never been a more important time to join together on a plan for our state’s future. They believe, as I do, that we must grow our way out of the current challenges, and that their University plays a vital role.

We’re going to spend 2018 engaging Nebraskans in that conversation. That’s what I’m excited about in this new year.

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