04/11/2016 At installation, University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds lays out agenda for success
At installation, University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds lays out agenda for success

Almost a year to the day after he took office as the seventh president of the University of Nebraska, Hank Bounds marked his formal installation by outlining an ambitious agenda for making NU one of the leading institutions in the country.

Before hundreds of guests today at Kimball Recital Hall on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, including family members, friends, members of the Board of Regents and university colleagues, students, community members, Gov. Pete Ricketts and other policymakers, Bounds described to Nebraskans four broad “cornerstones” for success that he said will separate the university from the rest of the higher education world.

"If we focus on our priorities, then I believe we have an opportunity to define a new era in the history of the university."

The cornerstones are informed by Bounds’ extensive travels across the state over the past year, beginning with a 1,500-mile road trip that included stops in 20 communities during his first week as president; visits to each NU campus and research and extension facility; meetings with numerous students, faculty and staff; and conversations with Nebraskans about their goals for their university.

“When I interviewed for this job, I said that the University of Nebraska had the potential to be a giant in higher education,” Bounds said during his address, part of a traditional ceremony in the academic world to celebrate a new era of leadership. “I said then – and I am even more convinced now – that we can be one of America’s great universities…

“Being a giant doesn’t mean we can be everything. Nor will becoming a giant be easy, particularly when you consider that we are operating in the most competitive higher education environment of our lifetimes. But if we focus on our priorities, then I believe we have an opportunity to define a new era in the history of the university.”

Bounds’ cornerstones – which he said engage every Nebraskan in some way – are:

1. The University of Nebraska will be the best place in the nation to be a student.

For example, Bounds said NU must:

  • Ensure affordable access for all Nebraska students, particularly those who have historically been underrepresented in higher education.
  • Provide outstanding advising, intrusively so when necessary, so that students stay on the path to graduation and earn their degree and enter the workforce sooner.
  • Maintain the “gold standard” of education, providing students with the skills they need to be successful in today’s rapidly changing job market.
  • Ensure the safety and well-being of all students, including increasing diversity and cultivating an environment free of discrimination, harassment and violence.
2. The University of Nebraska will transform lives through research and innovation.

NU has an opportunity to play a global leadership role in areas including the sustainable use of water for agriculture, early childhood education and care, cancer research and care, national security and defense, rural development, engineering and information technology, the arts and humanities and others.

To build its reputation and maximize the impact of its research on Nebraskans and people around the world, Bounds said, the university must invest in talent and facilities, and foster a culture of innovation where risk-taking is encouraged, where the path from the lab to the marketplace is clear, and where interdisciplinary and cross-campus collaboration is the norm.

3. The University of Nebraska will work hand-in-hand with partners to achieve shared goals.

Nebraskans have widely shared goals for excellent education, economic growth and quality of life. Bounds reaffirmed the university’s commitment to working alongside partners at the Capitol, in the business community, in K-12 and other higher education institutions, and in the philanthropic community to advance the state’s priorities.

4. The University of Nebraska will win with people.

Noting that none of his goals will be achievable without the university’s talented faculty and staff, Bounds said NU must work to compensate employees competitively, create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all, and provide employees with the tools they need to do their jobs successfully.

“We live in the heart of the greatest nation the world has ever known – a nation that is great in large part because early leaders recognized the value of education,” Bounds said. “Today other nations are catching up. We have to maintain our competitive advantage, and the University of Nebraska must play a part. The federal government has to invest. The state of Nebraska has to invest. We have to serve our students effectively. We have to hold hands with our partners. And the University of Nebraska must be a giant in the places that our state and nation need us to be.”

Friday’s ceremony, hosted by the NU Board of Regents, also included remarks from Board Chairman Kent Schroeder, who said the university must rise to the challenge of differentiating itself in an environment of rapidly changing demographics, economic factors, technology, increasing competition for talent, and student and parent expectations.

“Our mission to serve the state and its people has perhaps never been more relevant or important,” Schroeder said. “The University of Nebraska, like other institutions of higher learning, is increasingly called upon to lead the way in sustaining our state’s economic competitiveness, in providing an educated workforce, in ensuring excellent health care and quality of life, and in addressing the most urgent problems facing the world today.”

Rodney Bennett, a friend and former colleague of Bounds who is president of the University of Southern Mississippi, delivered a keynote address. Bennett, the first black president of a predominantly white higher education institution in Mississippi, noted Bounds’ focus on student success and said Bounds “leads with a sense of urgency.”

Additionally, the following Nebraskans provided greetings to Bounds on behalf of key constituencies of the university:

  • Pete Ricketts
  • Jeffrey Gold, M.D., chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Sam Meisels, founding executive director of NU’s Buffett Early Childhood Institute
  • Evan Calhoun, student body president at the University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Susan Sheridan, George Holmes University Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Katrina Brooks, assistant director of the Thompson Learning Community at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Matt Blomstedt, Nebraska commissioner of education

Bounds became NU president on April 13, 2015. Previously he was commissioner of higher education in his native Mississippi.

Nebraskans are encouraged to share their comments the installation ceremony and the cornerstones Bounds outlined by using #HankBounds16 on social media.

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04/11/2016 New “Commit to Complete” campaign focused on timely degree completion
New “Commit to Complete” campaign focused on timely degree completion

University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds announced today a new initiative aimed at ensuring students have the tools they need to complete their degree on time so they can enter the workforce sooner and with as little debt as possible.

The “Commit to Complete” campaign provides students, parents and advisors with a four-step plan focused on timely degree completion. The university is providing campaign information to admissions offices and new student enrollment advisors across the campuses, as well students, educators, community leaders and other stakeholders across the state. Details and downloadable materials, including a video, flyer and posters, are available at www.CommitToComplete.com.

"Nebraskans rightfully want to see us focused on helping our students earn their degree as quickly as possible so they can minimize the costs of their education and start their careers sooner."

“One of the most common questions I hear as I travel across the state and talk with Nebraskans – whether students or parents, policymakers or business leaders – is, ‘What is the University of Nebraska doing to make sure students are crossing the finish line successfully?’” Bounds said. “Nebraskans rightfully want to see us focused on helping our students earn their degree as quickly as possible so they can minimize the costs of their education and start their careers sooner. Commit to Complete is one more strategy we’re putting in place to improve student success at the University of Nebraska.”

Bounds noted that in just a few short years, more than 70 percent of all jobs in Nebraska will require higher education. For the university to continue to fulfill its responsibility to meet Nebraska’s workforce needs – today about 1 in 7 working-age Nebraskans holds an NU degree – the university must not only attract more students, but ensure those students stay on the path to timely graduation.

Improving graduation rates is a strategic goal of the Board of Regents. Timely postsecondary degree completion also is a widely shared goal of Nebraska’s leaders in education, government and business because of its importance in sustaining a competitive economy and highly skilled workforce in the state.

The university already provides students and families an excellent education at a tremendous value, with tuition and fees across the campuses at least 25 percent below the peer averages. NU students, on average, graduate with similar or smaller debt loads than do students at peer institutions. Bounds said students can take full advantage of NU’s value by graduating sooner, thus minimizing their debt. For example, a fifth year of college can add about 20 percent to the cost of a bachelor’s degree.

Commit to Complete asks students to follow a basic four-step plan over the course of their college career:

  1. Visit their advisor to develop a college completion plan that fits their unique needs.

  2. Make a plan, including a course schedule for each year of school. A course load of 30 credit hours per year – either 15 credit hours each academic semester, or 12 hours per semester supplemented by summer coursework – is the recommended approach to graduating in four years. Lighter course loads may be more appropriate for the many students who are balancing work, family, military or other responsibilities; the key is that students should work with their advisors to develop a plan that works for them.

  3. Stay on track. Students should continue to meet with their advisor at least once a semester, choose an academic major by their third semester in school, and participate in internships, networking or other activities that align with their area of interest, for example.

  4. Graduate sooner, joining the 10,000 students annually who graduate from one of NU’s campuses ready to enter the workforce.

Commit to Complete supplements other strategies the university has put in place to improve graduation rates and time to degree. In 2011, the Board of Regents capped most baccalaureate degrees at 120 hours, ensuring that most students who take 30 credit hours per year can graduate in four years. Each NU campus also supports students through learning communities that provide students in the same academic programs opportunities to live and take courses together; early intervention initiatives for at-risk students; strengthened academic advising; and other efforts.


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04/11/2016 University of Nebraska to celebrate installation of President Hank Bounds April 15
University of Nebraska to celebrate installation of President Hank Bounds
April 15

Nebraskans are invited to help celebrate the formal installation of University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds this Friday, April 15 – almost a year to the day after Bounds became NU’s seventh president.

Friday’s events provide an opportunity for Bounds to reflect on his first year as president and lay out his goals moving forward. Bounds, who came to Nebraska after serving as commissioner of higher education in his native Mississippi, began his tenure at NU on April 13, 2015.

"I'm convinced we can do even more on behalf of the state and world. I'm excited to share with Nebraskans how I think we can do that."

“Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to and learn from Nebraskans about their hopes and dreams for their university,” Bounds said. “My travels across the state and conversations with constituents have confirmed for me that the people of Nebraska care deeply about the university. With their support, we have been successful in advancing our goals for affordability and competitiveness. I’m convinced we can do even more on behalf of the state and world. I’m excited to share with Nebraskans how I think we can do that.”

Installation events will begin with a ceremony at 10 a.m. at Kimball Recital Hall, 1113 R St. on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. The ceremony – formally known in the academic world as an “investiture” – will include a speech from Bounds; remarks from University of Southern Mississippi President Dr. Rodney Bennett, a friend and former colleague of Bounds’; and greetings from a range of NU constituents, including Gov. Pete Ricketts and representatives of the faculty, staff, administration and students of the university.

Limited seating is available at Kimball Hall. Members of the university community or public who wish to attend in person are asked to RSVP here. Overflow seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, 313 N. 13th St.

The ceremony also will be broadcast live and streamed live online via Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, KLPR radio in Kearney, KRNU radio in Lincoln and KVNO radio in Omaha. Full details on live broadcast and streaming opportunities are available here.

An open-house reception will immediately follow the ceremony at the Van Brunt Visitors Center, 313 N. 13th St. in Lincoln. All members of the university community and public are welcome.

Throughout the week and following Friday’s installation, Nebraskans are invited to share memories and photos from Bounds’ first year, well-wishes and thoughts on the ceremony by using #HankBounds16 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Media Contact
Melissa Lee
Director of Communication

402-472-7127 (office)
402-580-3297 (cell)
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04/11/2016 “Our Students, Our Future” initiative to raise $200 million in support of NU students
“Our Students, Our Future” initiative to raise $200 million in support of NU students

Increased access and success for current and future students is the focus of a two-year, $200 million fundraising initiative announced today by the University of Nebraska and University of Nebraska Foundation.

The “Our Students, Our Future” initiative, which will conclude at the end of 2017, will provide direct support for university students through need- and merit-based scholarships that will make their college education more affordable; support for programs that improve student outcomes, particularly among traditionally underrepresented students; improvements to facilities that will enhance the learning experience; and other student-focused priorities.

Our Students, Our Future seeks to not only advance the university’s highest priority of affordable excellence, but also position the university to attract more students in support of its goals to significantly grow enrollment and produce more graduates for Nebraska’s workforce.

“I’ve been fortunate to experience firsthand the transformative power of higher education. My goal is for the University of Nebraska to be accessible to every student who wants to change their life in the same way education changed mine,” said NU President Hank Bounds. “The university is doing great things to advance the Board of Regents’ priority of affordable excellence. Yet we know unmet need remains. With support from generous alumni and friends, Our Students, Our Future will help us become a giant in higher education, doing even more to ensure affordability and success for our students – the future leaders of Nebraska.”

Bounds noted that because of stable support from the state, the university has been able to keep tuition and fees across the campuses at least 25 percent below the peer averages. More than half of all NU undergraduates receive financial aid. Still, most NU students – including 77 percent of UNK undergraduates, 72 percent of UNO undergraduates and 62 percent of UNL undergraduates – apply for need-based financial aid, demonstrating that need remains high. To help ensure that the university remains accessible for students and families, and to be successful in growing enrollment, which this year reached a 22-year high, the university must maintain its focus on supporting students, Bounds said.

Our Students, Our Future seeks gifts that will increase both immediate, expendable funds available for student scholarships, as well as permanently endowed scholarship funds that will enable the university to support many generations of students. In addition, the initiative seeks funding for university programs focused on helping students stay in school and complete their degree, as well as support for learning facilities that meet student interests and enhance the learning experience.

“Past and current support from University of Nebraska alumni and friends has been nothing short of phenomenal, and that generosity has helped position our university to meet the needs of our state and citizens,” said Brian Hastings, president and CEO of the University of Nebraska Foundation. “Our Students, Our Future will build on that momentum through strategic, targeted investments in our students that will ensure affordable access to an excellent education, aid the university’s enrollment growth objectives, assist with student completion and success initiatives, and enhance the learning environment and student experience.”

Objectives of Our Students, Our Future include:

  • Learning communities at UNO and UNK, which allow students in the same academic programs to live and study together, improving their chances of success.

  • Campus support services for military and veteran students at UNO, which is currently ranked as the most military-friendly university in the country.

  • UNO’s Strauss Performing Arts Center, where expanded classroom and performance space is needed to meet the needs of the growing number of music majors on campus.

  • Scholarships for students enrolled in programs of emphasis at UNK, including health care, business, education, math, engineering and science, as well as the Honors Program, which attracts top student talent.

  • The Nebraska Legends scholarship program at UNL, which helps attract students within and beyond Nebraska, and scholarships for the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management, which draws top students with computer science and interdisciplinary business knowledge.

  • Renovation at UNL’s Love Library to create a learning commons area that will provide a space for student use 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and creation of a commons area on East Campus that will create collaborative community space for student and faculty interaction. Plans include renovation at the Nebraska East Union and Food Industry Complex/Filley Hall, as well as a new plaza, student housing and renovation of the C.Y. Thompson Library.

  • UNMC’s Interdisciplinary Experiential Center for Enduring Learning (iEXCEL), a “virtual reality” education center that will allow students to learn and test their skills in a life-like environment.

  • Programs at UNMC that expose high school and undergraduate students to opportunities in health care, thus creating a stronger pipeline of future health workers, as well as scholarship programs for rural, low-income and other underserved students.

  • Scholarships for graduate students at UNMC, for whom fellowships and stipends are a key tool for recruitment and retention.

“The focus of programs and initiatives on each campus may be unique, but the end goal is the same: a direct impact on our students and an enhancement of their University of Nebraska experience,” Hastings said.

Any gift made to the University of Nebraska Foundation in support of a student scholarship fund or student-oriented program before the end of 2017 will count toward the $200 million goal. To learn more about Our Students, Our Future, or to give online, visit nufoundation.org/ourstudentsourfuture.

Our Students, Our Future comes on the heels of the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, a nine-year comprehensive fundraising campaign that ended Dec. 31, 2014, after raising more than $1.8 billion for the University of Nebraska. Student support was among the highest priorities of the campaign, and donors contributed more than $273 million for scholarships, fellowships and other forms of student support. Our Students, Our Future will build on that momentum, expanding affordable access even further for students and families.

About the University of Nebraska Foundation
The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that has raised private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 79 years. During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, donors provided the university with $258.1 million for scholarships, academic programs, medical and other research, faculty support and facilities. Our Students, Our Future is the foundation’s current initiative to secure broad support for students. For more information, visit nufoundation.org.


Media Contact
Melissa Lee
Director of Communication

402-472-7127 (office)
402-580-3297 (cell)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
04/06/2016 Advancement CRM Newsletter

Below are past newsletters pertaining to the Advancement CRM project.

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