Board of Regents
James B. Milliken
During its October and November meetings, the Board:
Report from the University of Nebraska Board of Regents: October/November 2012
Regents approve program statement, budget for UNMC cancer research tower
The University of Nebraska Board of Regents has approved plans for a $110 million cancer research tower at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, paving the way for a critical component of UNMC’s larger cancer center project that aims to improve health care in the state, create high-paying jobs and enhance the university’s reputation in cancer treatment and research.The UNMC campus. The planned cancer research tower is north of the Durham Research Center.
The research tower is being funded with $50 million in state funds approved by the Governor and Legislature earlier this year, plus $60 million in private funds. Construction is scheduled to begin in August 2013 and be completed in April 2016.The 252,000-square foot, multi-level research tower will feature:
Construction of the research tower will position UNMC to significantly expand its research activities. In the past four years, UNMC’s research funding from external sources has increased by 39 percent, to nearly $90 million – keeping UNMC on track to achieve its goal of $200 million in funded research. Given that UNMC’s current laboratory space is nearing capacity, additional space will be critical to continued funding growth.
The overall $370 million cancer center project also includes a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic, a hospital tower with 108 beds dedicated to oncology patients, and an ambulatory care clinic dedicated to non-oncology specialties. The cancer center will create thousands of quality jobs in Nebraska and position UNMC to achieve Comprehensive Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute, an honor held by only about 40 institutions in the country. Most importantly, the cancer center will help UNMC continue to provide outstanding care to the thousands of Nebraskans across the state battling cancer.
The cancer center was one component of the university’s Building a Healthier Nebraska legislative initiative. The initiative also included an expansion at the University of Nebraska at Kearney for UNMC nursing and allied health programs, a new Veterinary Diagnostic Center at the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources – both of which also received state support this year – and a new Lincoln division of the UNMC College of Nursing, which did not receive state funding this year but remains the university’s highest capital priority in the Legislature.
Plans for new UNO arena underway
The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s plans to build a new arena moved a step forward after the Board of Regents authorized President James B. Milliken to enter into a letter of intent with developers for construction.Artist’s rendering of the arena
The proposed 7,500-seat arena would be located between 66th and 68th streets south of Center Street, and would be used for by the UNO hockey, men’s and women’s basketball, and volleyball programs, as well as for other university and community events such as commencements and concerts.
In a presentation to the Board, UNO Chancellor John Christensen and Athletic Director Trev Alberts said the arena has the potential to be “transformative” for the university. Not only would it establish a home for UNO athletics, it could enhance the student experience at UNO and help the campus’ recruitment efforts as it seeks to grow enrollment to 20,000.
The arena is projected to cost $76.3 million. A significant share of that – about $35 million – is expected to come from private donors, with developer financing and City of Omaha and other funds also expected to contribute. City of Omaha funds will be sought primarily for infrastructure costs, such as roads, bridges and sewers.
Regents approve new Rural Futures Institute
The Board of Regents approved the creation of the Rural Futures Institute, a university-wide, multidisciplinary initiative that will address challenges and issues impacting rural regions in Nebraska and beyond. The institute will leverage the talents and resources of the university’s four campuses and partners across the state to create a vibrant, competitive rural environment in Nebraska, in other states and around the world. Faculty from agriculture and natural resources, rural health and education, law, community planning and other disciplines will be involved.
Ultimately, the Rural Futures Institute aims to become a global leader in supporting rural growth and development through entrepreneurship and innovation.
The university held its inaugural Rural Futures Conference in May; nearly 500 people attended. The 2013 Rural Futures Conference will be held Nov. 3-5, 2013, in Lincoln.
Enrollment holds steady above 50,000; international student enrollment reaches record high
Enrollment at the University of Nebraska’s four campuses plus the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture held steady this fall, decreasing slightly to 50,178, according to an annual enrollment report to the Board.
UNL and UNO have goals to grow enrollment by about 5,000 each in the coming years. In order to achieve its growth goals, the university will need to help increase the college-going rate in Nebraska by expanding access through programs like Collegebound Nebraska; attract more nonresident students, including international students; and increase online enrollment through NU’s Online Worldwide.
Success in international student enrollment is a highlight this year, with a record 3,475 students from more than 130 countries enrolled on the university’s campuses. That represents a 10 percent increase over last year and keeps NU on pace to meet its goal of doubling international student enrollment, to 6,000, by the end of the decade as part of its overall strategy for global engagement.
To help welcome new international students and stress the importance of global engagement to the university and the state, President James B. Milliken and Gov. Dave Heineman have co-hosted international student events this fall in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney.Other highlights of the Board’s enrollment report: