Legislative Relations
Date Recipient
01/30/2013 Federal Government Relations
The University of Nebraska is actively engaged in federal budget, appropriations, and policy issues related to higher education. The federal government relations team, with representatives from all university campuses, communicates with Nebraska's Congressional delegation on policy matters. The team also works with colleagues at other universities, and participates in national higher education associations including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Association of American Medical Colleges, National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, The Science Coalition, and other organizations that represent higher education to national policymakers.

Staff
Matt Hammons
Director of Federal Government Relations
Phone: (402) 472-7120
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Related links
Resources and current Congressional legislation by keyword or bill number
02/04/2013 Impact of NU Research
Research conducted at the University of Nebraska has a significant impact on the state’s economy. Our research focuses on areas of importance to people in Nebraska and throughout the world, including:
  • alternative energy and energy conservation
  • water management
  • agricultural productivity and profitability
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • AIDS/HIV
  • neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases
  • obesity and other public health issues
  • early childhood education and intervention
  • new strategies to increase the interest of Nebraska K-12 students in science and math, including robotics.

These are just a few of the areas in which university research is strengthening the state's economy by spawning new businesses and attracting companies that want to grow in a technology-rich, innovation-focused environment.
  • The University of Nebraska is among the top 30 public universities in R&D expenditures according to the National Science Foundation, with more than $330 million in expenditures in 2006. Expenditures include federal, state, industry and institutional funds.
  • In 2007-08, the University of Nebraska was awarded more than $178 million in competitive research grants from federal, state and industry sources.
  • According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 31 jobs are created in Nebraska for every $1 million of academic R&D. Thus, University of Nebraska research and development activity supports more than 10,000 Nebraska jobs.
  • Nearly half of our nation’s basic research is conducted by research universities; it is the source of innovation, technological leadership, medical breakthroughs and economic development.
  • Students at the University of Nebraska have unprecedented opportunities to participate in research, even as undergraduates. This allows them to work alongside top faculty and gives them a significant edge in the workplace.
01/30/2013 State Governmental Relations

The University of Nebraska’s state governmental relations office works to build productive relationships with the state legislature, governor and other policy makers to increase understanding of the university’s role in Nebraska’s economic future. The director and representatives of each campus work with government leaders to secure appropriate financial support to further the university’s mission as the state’s only public university.

A network of university "ambassadors" actively assists in information and advocacy efforts. Ambassadors are volunteers from across the state and beyond who share a commitment to higher education and to the University of Nebraska. The network keeps alumni, parents, donors and friends informed of important issues, including budget and legislative issues. You can be as involved as you wish. We'll provide information in simple language that you can share with others as your time and interest permit. The program is informal, with mailings or contact as needed and occasional gatherings to share progress and hear your concerns and ideas. You'll also find information and updates on this web site.

To learn how you can help the university remain successful in building academic excellence, fill out the form below or contact Ron Withem at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Become an ambassador

Related links
University of Nebraska legislative information web site
Nebraska Legislature


President’s Advisory Council (PAC)

The University of Nebraska President’s Advisory Council (PAC) is an invitation-only group who serves in an advisory capacity to the University of Nebraska president.

PAC members are not just advisors; they are also ambassadors and advocates. There are around 100 members of the council representing Nebraska’s 49 legislative districts. Members come from communities across the state and have varied backgrounds and experiences, but they share an interest in the University and its impact on our state.

Members serve a three-year term and meet with the President twice a year in the spring and fall to discuss current issues, learn about key University initiatives, and offer advice. The spring meeting occurs during the legislative session, and includes state senators. In addition to the two annual meetings, PAC members receive updates from the President throughout the year via mail and email. Along with providing advice, members also serve as ambassadors and advocates for the University of Nebraska in their home communities and to their state policymakers.

More information on the President's Advisory Council (PAC)

02/04/2013 Public Opinion Research
In 2003 and 2007, the University of Nebraska conducted research asking Nebraskans a series of questions about the importance of the university and the role it plays. Following are some of the key findings comparing the 2003 and 2007 results.

















02/04/2013 College of Nursing - Lincoln capital request
Two Urgent Issues

The Lincoln Division of the UNMC College of Nursing has had long-standing facility inadequacies resulting in large numbers of qualified applicants turned away each year.

Meanwhile, Nebraska’s nursing shortage widens just as the overall acuity of medical care increases and a growing population of elderly requires more care. Nebraska’s 2008 R.N. shortage of 9 percent is expected to grow to 20 percent by 2020, with rural areas hardest hit. A nationwide faculty shortage is a principal reason behind the U.S. nursing shortage. Not only are teachers in short supply, many are also approaching retirement age.

UNMC College of Nursing – Lincoln Division
  • Initiated in 1974
  • 32 faculty, 6 staff
  • Admitting student GPA – 3.6 - 3.7
  • Up to 60% of qualified BSN applicants turned away annually
  • Division preferred by largest percent of BSN applicants due to its collegiate environment
  • Total annual enrollment approximately 250 (currently 195 BSN, 62 MSN, 4 PhD)
  • Graduates per year: 85 BSN, 15 MSN, 2-4 PhD; majority employed in Lincoln area
  • Master’s and PhD graduates become the future faculty workforce for Lincoln area nursing colleges
  • Annual budget: $2,599,947 with 93% from state general funds and the remainder from research and faculty nursing practices
  • Annual projected enrollment with a new facility: 341 students (an increase of 23%)

Lincoln Facilities
  • The College is currently housed in leased space in downtown Lincoln.
  • The current facilities lack adequate space for classrooms and conference rooms, computer labs and faculty offices.
  • Half of the Lincoln faculty are PhD-prepared and active researchers, bringing in NIH and other grants agency dollars (and new employees) to the region. Research activities are limited by space limitations.
  • The building is on a mixed usage block occupied by bars, retail, and other businesses with pedestrian traffic not compatible with a college mission. This commercial environment draws frequent objections from parents, especially NU alumni, who want their sons and daughters to experience traditional college campus life. Student safety is a concern.

Q: What would be different in a new building?

A: A new building increases space for teaching, research, and administration; space will be configured to maximize the functional relationships between and among faculty, students, teaching space, and research space. The five existing classrooms will be replaced with six classrooms and six seminar rooms sized to accommodate varying course enrollments, resulting in better space utilization.

Expanded enrollment is the focus, allowing the Lincoln Division to accept more qualified applicants, an annual projected increase of 64 more students. Expansion will especially focus on the Lincoln area’s greatest need, which is for masters and doctorally prepared nurses to take roles in advanced clinical specialization and as educators in the area’s nursing education programs. An increase of 16 more master’s graduates and 8 more PhD graduates is projected with a new facility.

Better faculty offices and improved research space will aid in national recruitment of new faculty.

Q: Where will the new facility be located?

A: The planned site for the new building is on the East Campus at UNL situated north of the UNMC College of Dentistry and east of the Maxwell Arboretum. Dean Tilden of Nursing and Dean Reinhardt of Dentistry seek to realize efficiencies by the co-location of the two buildings, i.e. the availability of classrooms and auditoriums in each building for booking by the other College; the use of the nursing clinical skills labs for teaching medical skills such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation to dental students; and co-use of instructional and communication technology and IT personnel.

Q: Are adequate clinical sites available in the Lincoln Area?

A: Across the country, clinical sites for training are being replaced by high-technology clinical simulation labs, and we will do the same. We anticipate that by the time the full enrollment growth model is reached (2020), 50% of the clinical training will be in the labs of this facility, thus substantially reducing the demand on patients and clinical sites. Meanwhile, we enjoy collegial cooperation with other nursing programs in the area in negotiating use of clinical sites.

11/03/2014 President’s Advisory Council (PAC) Information

The University of Nebraska President’s Advisory Council (PAC) is an invitation-only group who serves in an advisory capacity to the University of Nebraska president. Below is more information for and about members of this group.

PAC Member Roster

PAC Fall Meeting Material

02/04/2013 Nebraska's Nursing Shortage
The long and short of it. Huge waves of aging Baby Boomers will dramatically increase demand for nurses, pushing the already serious shortage of nurses to crisis stage in the years ahead. To address this critical need in Nebraska, it is imperative to educate more nurses.
  • 3,838 — Projected Nebraska nursing shortage in 2020
  • 808,000 — Projected U.S. nursing shortage in 2020
Nebraska's North region has one of the state's most significant shortages of registered nurses.




Perception vs. reality.
Many people think there’s a nursing shortage because people don’t want to go into nursing as a career. In fact, interest far exceeds capacity to educate. In Nebraska and throughout the U.S., qualified applicants are turned away because of insufficient faculty, facilities and resources.

The nursing pipeline squeeze: faculty.
The nationwide faculty shortage is a principal reason behind the U.S. nursing shortage. Teachers are in short supply, and many are nearing retirement age.
53 — Average age of nursing faculty at the UNMC College of Nursing.
54 — Average age of nursing faculty in the U.S.

The double downside for Nebraska’s communities.
The nursing shortage affects Nebraska border to border. No city or region is spared, and the penalty is most severe in small towns and rural areas. Lack of care impedes not just physical health but also economic health — the ability of communities to draw and hold residents and the businesses that employ them.

The University of Nebraska is working to address these shortages.
Three projects are planned to address shortages of nurses and nursing faculty.
  • Norfolk Division, College of Nursing: This new facility, developed cooperatively with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Northeast Community College and regional hospitals, will provide six levels of nursing education, from certified nursing assistant to Ph.D. in nursing.
  • The facility will serve approximately 118 nursing graduates per year: 50 associate degree, 48 bachelor’s degree, and 20 graduate-level students.
  • A regional fund-raising campaign is under way; more than $10 million has been raised toward the $12.9 million cost of this new 35,000-sq.-ft. facility located on the NECC campus. It is tentatively set to open in 2010.
  • Lincoln Division, College of Nursing: A new facility is planned on the East Campus of UNL to replace current rental facilities, which are inadequate in size and quality. This is the University’s highest priority for capital funding.
  • The Lincoln Division currently turns away more than 60 percent of qualified applicants. The new facility will allow an annual projected increase of 64 more students, with an emphasis on masters and doctorally prepared nurses to take roles in advanced clinical specialization and as educators in the area’s nursing education programs.
  • Omaha Division, College of Nursing: A new facility, made possible with private support, will add 60 percent more space for teaching and research. Capacity will expand over a 10-year period.
  • By 2020, an additional 265 students will be enrolled (an overall 69% increase), with the largest growth in master’s and PhD students who will be future faculty and clinical and administrative leaders. 84 additional graduates will enter the workforce annually.
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