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

Date Headline
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

04/13/2015 President’s Monthly Op-Ed: Dream with me about a stronger University of Nebraska
Dream with me about a stronger University of Nebraska

July 13, 2015

By Hank Bounds
President, University of Nebraska

This week I am honored and humbled to begin my service as the seventh president of the University of Nebraska. The opportunity to lead one of America’s great universities truly is one of a lifetime and I am excited to build on our rich history of serving as a catalyst for change in the lives of people in Nebraska and around the world.

I will spend my initial days as president traveling the state – meeting many of you, spending time in your communities, learning from you and listening to your ideas about how we can work together to create an even stronger university.

Because I do believe we can be stronger. One of the things that attracted me to Nebraska was its excellent educational system, from K-12 through college, that provides people with opportunities to build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. But we have more work to do, and Nebraska’s only public university needs to help lead the way. At a time when quality education has never been more important, I am convinced that our state – and the world – need the University of Nebraska to be a giant in higher education, doing more than ever to transform the lives of students and the people it serves.

I invite you to dream with me about what that means. About how we can be a giant in making sure college is within reach for all Nebraskans, in helping more students get across the finish line on time and with less debt, in working with policymakers and the private sector to create jobs, in putting our resources to work to help feed the world. I think we can be all these things and more, if we dream big and work hard.

I have experienced firsthand the transformative power of higher education. Growing up on a farm in rural Mississippi, with limited family resources, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to even go to college, much less become president of a leading university. But my military service helped pave the way and I was fortunate to receive excellent postsecondary education at both the community college and university levels. That education in turn opened the door for me to begin my career, first as a high school principal, then superintendent, state superintendent and, until a few weeks ago, as commissioner of higher education in Mississippi.

My fundamental commitment throughout my professional life has been to try to impact students’ lives in the way education changed my own life. Today, with two young children of my own, I am more sharply focused on that goal than ever.

My wife Susie and I, our son Will and daughter Caroline are excited to call Nebraska home. We are already in awe of this state, its caring and committed citizens, and its great university system, enriching the lives of people from Scottsbluff to Nebraska City, Valentine to McCook. I look forward to learning much more about Nebraska in the weeks and months ahead and to working with you to shape the next era for the University of Nebraska. I truly believe the best days for our university and our state are ahead of us. I can’t wait to get started.

04/01/2015 President-Designate Bounds’ statement on Chancellor Harvey Perlman’s decision to step down

President-Designate Bounds’ statement on Chancellor Harvey Perlman’s decision to step down

“The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a much different institution today than when Chancellor Perlman took over. He has built UNL into one of the nation’s top research universities, a Big Ten school that is a destination for talented students and faculty. His leadership on bold initiatives like Innovation Campus will benefit Nebraskans for years to come. Throughout his tenure, he has maintained a focus on the priorities that shape UNL’s land-grant mission: quality education, research and outreach to the state.

“Harvey has given nearly 40 years of service to this university at all levels of leadership, starting as a faculty member, and now he is coming full circle. He has discussed his desire to return to the faculty with me several times so I knew this day was coming. We are fortunate that he was willing to delay his decision until a new president had been selected to ensure greater leadership stability at the university. He has been a transformational leader at UNL and a great colleague and friend to me, and I thank him for his lengthy and dedicated service to Nebraska.”

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