December 2011
December 2011
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Board of Regents

Bob Whitehouse
District 4

Jim McClurg
Vice Chair
District 5

Tim Clare
District 1

Howard Hawks
District 2

Chuck Hassebrook
District 3

Kent Schroeder
District 6

Bob Phares
District 7

Randolph Ferlic
District 8

Lane Carr

Jordan Gonzales

Elizabeth O’Connor

Jeremy Peterson

Carmen Maurer
Corporation Secretary

James B. Milliken

A report from the December 2011 meeting of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

Board of Regents hears update on UNL’s master plan

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will need to update its physical master plan to factor in development of Innovation Campus, UNL’s ambitious growth goals and other campus progress, Chancellor Harvey Perlman told the Board of Regents during its Dec. 8 meeting.

UNL’s 10-year plan was adopted in 2006. Since then, the university has acquired the land for Innovation Campus, the Antelope Valley project has nearly been completed, development of the Lincoln arena has gotten underway, and the NU Foundation has acquired property at 14th Street and Military Avenue.

Add the fact that 33 projects have been completed on City and East campuses – including renovation of the Whittier building, Jorgensen Hall, the Voelte-Keegan Nanoscience Metrology Facility, Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, Knoll Residence Hall, Ken Morrison Life Sciences Research Center, International Quilt Study Center and others – and the UNL master plan has become outdated, Perlman said. UNL also has announced ambitious goals for growth in enrollment, faculty and research, and its master plan should take those goals into account, Perlman said.

Nanoscience-Metrology-webThe Voelte-Keegan Nanoscience Metrology Facility, one of the most recently completed projects at UNL.

For example, the scale of buildings at UNL should be bigger, he said, noting Big Ten campuses have significantly larger buildings than does UNL. The campus likely also should be more dense, perhaps with less green space. And UNL may need to consider a new student housing complex on East Campus, Perlman said.

Perlman said UNL will soon issue a request for proposals to identify a planning consultant to assist with an update of UNL’s master plan.

NU President James B. Milliken said all chancellors will provide updates to the Board at the halfway points of their 10-year master plans – essentially “mid-term reports” that allow the chancellors to talk with regents about what progress has been made and what changes might need to happen for the remaining five years of the plans.

View the UNK, UNO and UNMC 10-year plans on the web.

UNMC College of Public Health growing to serve Nebraska

Ayman-El-Mohandes-webAyman El-Mohandes, dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center

The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health has enjoyed significant growth since it was established in 2007 and is now focused on advancing even further to serve Nebraskans, Dean Ayman El-Mohandes told the Board of Regents.

The college has grown its faculty ranks while maintaining diversity, El-Mohandes said. Enrollment also has grown from 98 in 2009-10 to 174 this year, and the college has increased its course offerings as it continues to prepare students for careers in a high-demand field.

Looking forward, El-Mohandes said the college’s priority areas for development include:

  • Rural and agricultural health, to target a need in rural Nebraska for increased occupational safety.
  • Public health training and leadership, to address an aging public health workforce in the state which will demand highly trained employees for the future.
  • Obesity reduction through a public health systems approach. El-Mohandes pointed out that obesity costs $450 billion a year in the U.S., most of which is borne by businesses and employers.

Regents approve final phase of UNMC energy savings plan

The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s goal to reduce energy consumption by 25 percent in five years – which could yield millions of dollars in savings annually – is within reach after the Board of Regents approved a project plan for the campus on Dec. 8.

The Board’s approval of the plan means UNMC is now positioned to fully implement its energy savings plan, which was adopted in 2008. In this final phase, UNMC will improve energy management systems in the Durham Research Centers, Eppley Science Hall, the Lied Transplant Center, and the Medical Science Building.

The upgrades are projected to save $1.2 million per year, meaning the $6 million price tag for the project will be offset quickly.

All NU campuses are committed reducing energy costs in order to preserve resources especially as costs rise.

News briefs

During its December meeting, the Board of Regents:

  • Approved a new Ph.D. in exercise science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
  • Approved a new Ph.D. in biostatistics at UNMC.
  • Approved the budget for replacement of the roof at the Animal Science Complex at UNL.
  • Read a resolution expressing gratitude for Jan Thayer’s 14 years of service on the Board of Directors of The Nebraska Medical Center.
  • Recognized outgoing UNMC Regent Jeremy Peterson and thanked him for his service on the Board.

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