The University of Nebraska allocates funding for areas of research, teaching and public service that are critical to Nebraska's public health, economic development, elementary and secondary education, and access to the university.
Since FY2003 the University of Nebraska has invested $20 million for Programs of Excellence (POE) on its four campuses to 140 separate programs. The purpose of the POE funds was to support campus priorities by leveraging a good program to attain a higher level of distinction and enhanced national reputation. In 2011 the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost undertook a review of the success to date of the investments made after five years of POE support. This review was in compliance with the requirements for periodic review in the Board of Regents Strategic Framework [SF2 (b) (i)]. The review sought to answer questions about how the funds were used; what investments the campuses made; what evidence of success could be measured from external funding, publications, or other relevant criteria; the effectiveness of the leadership and the history of any difficulties; and whether the POE program has a strategic plan and remains a campus priority.
Overall the POE investment has been very successful in building programs that led to new academic programs and enhanced research. The POE investment from 2003-2008 was $15.5 million. By 2012 that investment was matched by campus investments of almost $32 million. These investments have leveraged programs which have now won nearly $530 million in external funding. Over 10,700 publications, grants, papers, and awards have been produced in POE programs. The initial investment of POE supported in full or in part 107 tenure-track faculty hires and 90 non-tenure track faculty, staff, and graduate students. The successful investment in faculty resulted in a growth of external awards and endowment gifts that today assist in the funding of 157 tenure-track faculty members and another 147 non-tenure-track faculty, staff, and graduate assistants. All but a handful of programs that received a POE investment are in place today and continue to be campus priorities.