December 21, 2014

Final finalist makes pitch for University of Nebraska presidency

index_big[1]The last of four finalists for the presidency of the University of Nebraska wrapped up a four day visit this week.  Dr. Sally Rockey is currently the deputy director for extramural research for the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Rockey’s visit this week included open forums at each NU campus, meetings with key university constituents and a public interview with the Board of Regents.  One of many priorities revolves around the student.

Dr. Rockey says, “When you talk about students we often talk about students with an “s”.  Really we can talk about the student and precision education which means how do we really, for that student, get that right access to right content, at the right time, for the right value.  And we can think about what the student wants and develop programs around what the student needs.”

The other finalists that visited Nebraska earlier include Dr. George Ross, president of Central Michigan University. Dr. Hank Bounds, commissioner of higher education for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning and Dr. Michael Martin, chancellor of the Colorado State University System.

Nebraska students return from long-distance exchange program

thERS4MHV5Now, this is an exchange program.

Three Nebraska high school students have returned after traveling to Taiwan.

York High School Senior Grant Suddarth says they experienced lots of differences between the United States and Taiwan.

“The biggest take away I got was how welcoming and sincere and hospitable the citizens of Taiwan were,” Suddarth tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate WNAX. “You’d think that we’d be coming into a foreign country and we wouldn’t be quite accepted or looked at a little strangely and stuff, but it was like I was a celebrity while we were there.”

The students participated in an exchange program between the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the National Taichung Agricultural Senior High School.

Suddarth, along with Collin Thompson from Eustis and Jacob Wilkins from Ainsworth, toured local farms, toured research facilities, and enjoyed sightseeing.

Suddarth says the agriculture practiced in Taiwan surprised him.

“They grow different crops, such as ginger, pineapples, tea. And, also, their culture is a little different,” according to Suddarth. “The food, not much the same. They do have American food like McDonalds over in Taiwan, but the food that they gave us most of the time was a lot different; rice at most every meal.”

The three will make a presentation on their trip during the 2015 Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute in Lincoln, where they first learned of the exchange program.

Jerry Oster, WNAX, contributed to this story.

N-U president candidate wraps up visit

Dr. Michael Martin wrapped up his visit to Nebraska late last week. He is one of four finalists for the presidency of the University of Nebraska System.

After touring all four N-U locations, Dr. Martin said he is impressed how the system functions. He says, “It really is a chance to build, augment and add to an institution that I think has made a lot of progress and has progress yet to be made. One of the reasons I like the system here is that the institutions in it are very different from the other and therefore when banned together give you an enormous bandwidth in which to serve.”

Dr. Martin is currently the chancellor of the Colorado State University System. He was the third candidate to visit Nebraska in recent weeks.

Other finalists include Dr. George Ross, president of Central Michigan University, Dr. Hank Bounds, commissioner of higher education for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning and Dr. Sally Rockey, deputy director for extramural research for the National Institutes of Health. She will visit Nebraska this week.

Mississippi educator visits Nebraska as university presidential search continues

Hank Bounds

Hank Bounds

One of four finalists for the position of president of the University of Nebraska wrapped up his visit to the state Tuesday.

Hank Bounds is currently the commissioner of higher education for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.

In his current role, Bounds provides leadership for the state’s university system that includes four regional universities, one academic health science center and the executive office.

“The University of Nebraska needs to be a giant in higher ed. What happens here is bigger than just the state of Nebraska. You have an opportunity to really think about how to make a national and global difference,” Bound says. “That is exciting to me.”

One other finalist, Dr. Michael Martin, chancellor of the Colorado State University System is currently visiting Nebraska. Dr. Sally Rockey with the National Institutes of Health will visit next week. Finalist Dr. George Ross with Central Michigan University visited last month.

UNO receives President’s Award for Economic Opportunity

The University of Nebraska – Omaha received the nation’s Presidential Award for Economic Opportunity by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Deb Smith-Howell says this is the result of hundreds of engagement efforts by their faculty, staff and students.

UNO is the first college or university in the state to be named as a Presidential Award winner as part of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. More than 800 colleges and universities were considered for this recognition. UNO is one of four recipients.

Several of the programs UNO developed were identified as top examples of economically focused engagements. They include a Service Learning Academy where UNO teamed with a middle school to develop an aquaponics course that produces food distributed to food pantries. They also developed a SummerWorks Omaha nine week academy that provides 150 high school students an opportunity to work at city parks. They also implemented a program that teaches inmates computer literacy skills at the Douglas County Department of Corrections.

This is the highest honor a college or university can receive by the U-S Government.