From Dean's Office

Spring Semester 2018 Update

As we end the third week of the spring semester, I wanted to provide you with a few College updates and express my appreciation for all that you do for our students, the College and the citizens of Nebraska.

Commitment to Inclusive Excellence

  • As a College, we are committed to inclusive excellence and being an engaged community that creates a welcoming learning environment that leverages the diversity of our students, staff, and faculty to enhance the learning experience for all.
  • Over 80 faculty, staff, and graduate students attended the 2018 Interim Teaching and Learning Workshop on promoting civil discourse in the classroom and building bridges between students from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • The CASNR Book Club is another excellent example of our commitment to creating an inclusive learning community for inspiring and empowering our students, staff, and faculty to explore their unique role in solving the grand challenges that our global society faces. This year, the book club is reading William Kamkwamba’s biography “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope”.

Encouraging Open Dialogue

  • IANR Vice Chancellor Boehm, Associate Vice Chancellor Yoder, and the Deans have been hosting “Cookie and Cocoa Discussions” for all IANR staff to answer their questions and express our appreciation for all they do.
  • This spring semester, Vice Chancellor Boehm will also be hosting a series of Brown Bag sessions for IANR faculty on March 1 from 12 – 1 PM and March 23 from 12 – 1 PM. The format will be similar to the “Let’s Talk” sessions Executive Vice Chancellor Plowman will be starting this spring semester with the faculty from the colleges affiliated with Academic Affairs.
  • Monthly Dialogue Sessions have been scheduled for graduate chairs and undergraduate teaching coordinators to share best practices and updates among our academic programs.
  • The CASNR Student Advisory Board will hold open forum sessions at the start of their monthly meetings for students wanting to bring agenda items forward to the Advisory Board.

Strategic Planning

  • One important area of strategic focus for the College is graduate education.
  • A series of visioning sessions are planned for this spring semester to articulate the vision for IANR’s graduate education that aligns with the Institute’s strategic outlook and pushes the boundaries of traditional disciplinary academic education. The goal is to provide students with a truly transformative educational experience that prepares our graduates to be the next generation of leaders, scientists, educators, innovators, and entrepreneurs in an ever-evolving global context.
  • These visioning sessions will leverage feedback from the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analyses completed by each IANR graduate program as well as quantitative and qualitative surveys and interviews that will be carried out in February and March.
  • The dates for the visioning sessions will be:
    • Faculty session: April 24 from 3 - 5 PM
    • Faculty session: April 25 from 9 - 11 AM
    • Graduate Student and Post-Doctoral Scholar session: April 27th from 3 - 5 PM

Budget Process

  • In light of the Governor’s budget proposal for the University, I want to reassure you that our campus leadership team is doing everything they can to lessen the impact of budget reductions on our students, staff, and faculty as well as the citizens of Nebraska.
  • The proposed cuts by the Governor are not final as the Legislature will have the opportunity to put forth their own budget recommendations. Representatives from the University are scheduled to present to the Appropriations Committee on February 14th.
  • As you will recall, Chancellor Green initiated the University’s budget planning process last fall. This process honors the University’s commitment to shared governance. During this process, it is important to encourage and support faculty governance, student/staff engagement, and stakeholder input.
  • I am confident that the Institute will continue to be a leader in “growing” Nebraska through our transformative programming in research and discovery, extension and engagement, and teaching and learning.

As we begin the new semester, it is also a time to reflect on the accomplishments of our College community and highlight the innovative teaching and learning programming underway in the College. Here are a few examples:

Creating innovative and transformative educational experiences for our students
  • An interdisciplinary graduate training program will provide support for the development of a transformative model of graduate education that is focused on understanding resilience and vulnerability in agricultural landscapes through combined research on agricultural resilience and food, energy, and water systems. This project is supported through a USDA-NIFA grant.
  • A new USDA-NIFA project brings students from across the country to Nebraska to prepare them to address the challenges of food production and the environment through summer experiential internships, hands-on learning, think-tank sessions, and peer interaction.
  • The Cultivating ACCESS program seeks to increase participation of women and underrepresented minorities from rural Nebraska in STEM-related agricultural careers through a holistic mentoring and development program that engages high school youth, parents, college students, and career professionals. Funding support is provided through USDA-NIFA.
  • Water For Food Global SEEDS – Service, Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Development, Sustainability is a Learning Community for upperclass students interested in exploring how to use entrepreneurial approaches to evaluate the use of water in agriculture and its impacts, opportunities, and challenges in Nebraska, in the US and around the world; connecting with a global network of leaders; and applying classroom learning to real-world situations in an education abroad program to East Africa through the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute.
  • Dr. Dennis Brink, CASNR Faculty Fellow and Professor of Animal Science, is piloting an innovative scholarly food, energy and water systems capstone experience linked with a living learning community model for CASNR students.
Leveraging partnerships to continue to provide students with an authentic, holistic educational experience that best positions them for success
  • Formalized 3+3 Law Degree Program pathways for CASNR degree programs. Through this partnership with the College of Law, CASNR students can earn their baccalaureate and law degrees in 6 years rather than the typical 7 years.
  • A global student body enriches the learning environment for all and allows students to establish relationships, increase understanding, and build partnerships with peers from around the world. The new 3+1 dual degree program with Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University (NWAFU) is the first of its kind in the world. The 3+1 model provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn and engage with world leaders in Food Science from both institutions.
  • Several of our academic units are leading the way in developing graduate education models that incorporate internships to ensure students have opportunities for career pathway exploration.
  • Collaborating with NCTA and the Research and Extension Centers to provide experiential learning opportunities for our students that leverage the diverse and unique agricultural and natural resources systems in Nebraska.
Statewide and Beyond
  • Streaming Science is a student-driven science literacy program to engage K-12 students through a series of online field trips, podcasts, and videos showcasing agricultural and natural resources systems in Nebraska.
  • The Bachelor of Science in Applied Science online degree completion option is ranked 35th nationally by the U.S. News Best Online Education Programs. The College continues to offer a number of online education programs that increase access to site-bound learners in Nebraska and beyond.

Save the Dates:

  • Gamma Sigma Delta Initiation and Awards Ceremony: January 28, 2018 from 3:00-5:00 PM, Nebraska East Union
  • The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Parents Association Annual Reception and Ceremony: February 2, 2018, from 3:00-5:00 PM Nebraska Union
  • Holling Family Awards Ceremony: March 2, 2018 from 12:00 – 1:00 PM, Nebraska East Union
  • CASNR Week 2018: April 14 – 21, 2018

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