UNK FYI: Much to look forward to in 2019

UNK FYI: Much to look forward to in 2019


Welcome to 2019, everyone. It’s good to be back. We have an exciting semester ahead of us and I know you’re as eager as I am to focus on our good work of sharing our knowledge with our students, helping them to grow intellectually, socially, and getting them successfully onto the next stage of their lives. During fall of 2018, we saw
a lot of heavy equipment and dirt being moved, and heard machinery actively digging, building, all those things that happen. Those activities continue this semester, so once again, I’m gonna
ask you for your patience on the outcomes for tomorrow and not to let those
construction messes today bother us too much. Soon we will have a new
entry into Warner Hall. It will provide us with a more
accessible building entrance that will enhance pedestrian safety and give us a more attractive
main entrance into campus. This project will continue
to unfold in tandem with the Nebraska Department of
Transportation improvements that’ll start this summer. Work is progressing on
the new STEM building. I’m really grateful for
the faculty and staff who’ve collaborated on
the building layout, have moved or will be moving
to temporary new spaces, and in preparation to vacate Otto Olsen. Both the STEM building and our new LaVonne Plambeck Early
Childhood Education Center are transformational for greater Nebraska. When we heard the
children’s voices singing at the groundbreaking, promising together we
can change the world, it was really pretty humbling
and it’s a great reminder that we’re really here
for future generations. Recently we were pleasantly
surprised to learn of an incredibly generous gift from the William and Ruth
Scott Family Foundation to fund 40 scholarships for a Teachers Scholars Academy at UNK. Some of those students who will be joining the Teachers Scholars Academy would not have been able to go to college or become teachers
without this assistance. And you and I know UNK
indeed is the best place for Teachers Scholars. We have much to look forward to in 2019. Vice Chancellor Bicak and a faculty-led search committees are in
the midst of interviewing and selecting finalists for the deans of the College of Arts and Sciences, Business and Technology,
and Graduate Studies. Additionally, I’ve announced
that a search committee is beginning the process to identify and recommend to me finalists
for campus interviews to select our next Athletic Director. This semester, expect to
see continuing conversations about revenue and credit hour production for our own campus in light of the ongoing budget reduction activity. Many of you have worked
with our colleagues from across the state on
budget response teams, and some of this work isn’t done. Know that I, President
Bounds, the chancellors and our legislate teams are
watching proposed legislation and the revenue forecast,
and budget and tax conversations very closely. Your advocacy for the university will continue to be very important. Not in just answering senators’
request for questions, but talking to them, your
friends and neighbors and family about the importance of
a well-funded university. The work of the university,
our students, and alumni do improve the state, and that
just cannot be overlooked. One area that we continue to prioritize as a strategic investment
is enrollment management. A sure way to improve
our financial position is by increasing enrollment
and credit hour production. New staff in Recruitment and Retention, particularly transfer recruitment, and an investment in the
website and marketing we hope will have a positive
impact on our bottom line. This message today gives me
another chance to remind you that telling UNK’s
story and doing outreach to every possible student
to try to recruit them is all of our jobs. There is no reason why,
if we work together, we can’t have 1,000
new freshmen this fall. Our students continue to
consistently demonstrate how much they can make a difference in our community and in our world. It’s really inspiring to see them at work. I am very lucky to be chancellor here and have a chance to work with you to increase our impact on our students, Nebraska, our country, and our world. I hope you’ll join me
in striving to make 2019 our best year yet. And as always, go Lopers.

Danny Hutson

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