University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds said today that he has removed consideration of a merger of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Architecture and the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts from the June 12 Board of Regents agenda. A related presentation from Chancellor Harvey Perlman during the Board’s Academic Affairs Committee also has been removed.
“The Board of Regents, campus leadership, faculty, alumni, private sector stakeholders and I all share a commitment to making sure our College of Architecture – the only such college in Nebraska – is strong, viable and positioned for long-term success in serving the needs of students and the state,” Bounds said. “Upon consultation with these groups, it has become clear to me that the proposed merger currently lacks sufficient support to be successful. A number of key constituents continue to have serious reservations which threaten the viability of a combined college of arts and architecture.
“I have decided, after careful consideration, that it is best not to bring the proposal to the Board at this time. I will work closely with the chancellor, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and other internal and external stakeholders to determine the best path forward.”
Bounds emphasized the university’s ongoing commitment to strengthening the university’s architecture programs through key objectives that have been established for the college. These include creation of an advisory council for architecture that will provide guidance on enrollment, visibility, program relevancy, workforce development and other matters; growing enrollment; developing innovative and cross-disciplinary programs that meet student interests and workforce needs; strengthening relevant research and creative partnerships; expanding opportunities for faculty to collaborate within the university and with industry leaders; and increasing private philanthropy to the college.
The Board’s June agenda has also been updated to include an item authorizing the president, in consultation with the Executive Committee, to approve a ground lease with Tetrad Property Group to provide a mixed-use housing facility at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The facility would include 400 to 450 beds of student housing and about 14,000 square feet of academic space.
The full, updated agenda for the June Board meeting is available here.