The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a goal of becoming a campus of 30,000 students and believes improvements to the campus will get it there.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman outlined the master plan for improvements on the campus during a luncheon with the Lincoln Independent Business Association Monday.
Perlman told the group that all the thinking of university officials is oriented toward the Big 10 Conference, in which Nebraska finds itself the smallest public institution.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has approximately 24,600 students, both undergraduate and graduate. The goal is to reach 30,000.
To do that, improvements must be made both to the campus in downtown Lincoln and to the East Campus, according to Perlman.
Perlman said that the development of the downtown campus coincides with the development of downtown Lincoln, which more and more caters to the retail and restaurant tastes of young people.
The student union will undergo a change under the plan. Perlman explained that most university’s place a lot of emphasis on an attractive, engaging student union and not just for students to relax and lounge.
“The generation of students cares about social interactions and about interactions with their peers,” Perlman told the audience. “They don’t hide in their dorm rooms. They want to interact with each other and that’s critical to develop a program.”
Renovation of Love Library will feed off that same philosophy, giving students a place to interact academically.
Innovation campus holds great potential, according to Perlman, adding two million square feet of building space to expand the university’s life science and industrial arts offerings, among others.
The plan was to have been brought before the Nebraska Board of Regents this month. It has been put off until the September meeting.
“This is not going to be done overnight. There are a lot of dollars behind it, but you can’t get there unless you have a plan on how you are going to get there and this is the plan, if the Board of Regents approves it, we intend to follow,” Perlman said.
Perlman said the improvements will attract the students Nebraska needs to meet the economy of the future. Perlman said Nebraska built a powerhouse football team by hiring extraordinary talent and working smarter, a plan that he said will work with academics as well.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [1 min.]
AUDIO: UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman speaks to LIBA. [35 min.]