Commission of 150 to think boldly about university's future

· 3 min read

Commission of 150 to think boldly about university’s future

Chancellor Ronnie Green talks during his town hall presentation on March 5.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
Chancellor Ronnie Green talks during his town hall presentation on March 5.

Chancellor Ronnie Green has established a 150-member commission to develop a vision for the future of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as it approaches its 150th anniversary.

Composed mostly of faculty, students, staff and stakeholders, the Nebraska Commission of 150 will include a visioning process for the next 25 years as part of the university’s sesquicentennial celebration. The university reaches its 150th anniversary on Feb. 15, 2019.

“I want this to be a bold-thinking vision document that governs how we live,” Green said.

While the commission’s work will incorporate a strategic plan for the university, Green said the commission’s task will go beyond strategic planning.

“This is a once-in-every-150-year opportunity,” he said. “We wanted to take that opportunity to be broader and more expansive in our thinking about the university.”

The commission will be led by a 25-member executive committee, launched March 5. The executive committee will be co-chaired by Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, and Will Thomas, professor of history.

Another 125 people will be tapped to serve on seven subcommittees, focusing on mission and values; student experience; research, scholarship and creative activity; engagement in Nebraska and beyond; economic development and innovation; internal operations and infrastructure; and campus community and faculty roles.

Green also said ambitious fund-raising plans also are under consideration - hinting that their goals, too, could involve the number “150.”

Academic Leadership Associates, a higher education advisory firm based in Los Angeles, has been hired to guide the commission, Green said. Previous strategic planning research, such as four task forces last year that studied student success, retention and enrollment; budget models, scholarship and creative activity; and achieving distinction in the Big Ten and beyond; will serve as a foundation for the commission’s work.

Green said the commission’s work will complement planning already underway for a year-long anniversary celebration. The celebration’s steering committee is headed by Michael Zeleny, associate to the chancellor and chief of staff; and Meg Lauerman, retired director of communications. Another committee is spearheading a commemorative book, while a faculty advisory committee will include representation from colleges and academic units.

The Nebraska Commission of 150 members announced March 5: Jim Alfano, professor of plant pathology; Katherine Ankerson, architecture dean; Ayat Aribi, ASUN representative; Tammy Beck, business associate dean; Laurie Bellows, vice chancellor for student affairs; Layton Brooks, director of compensation, employment and employee relations; Tom Field, director of Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program; Eileen Hebets, professor of biological sciences; Tiffany Heng-Moss, agricultural sciences and natural resources dean; Matt Jockers, arts and sciences associate dean; Marc LeBaron, Lincoln Industries chairman and CEO; Daniel Linzell, civil engineering chair; Liz Lorang, associate professor of libraries; Jane Miller, Gallup chief operating officer; Richard Moberly, law dean; Jeff Rudy, Faculty Senate representative; Susan Sheridan, professor of educational psychology; Harris Smith, Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film director; and Joe Starita, professor of journalism. The vice chancellor for research and economic development and a representative of the Graduate Student Assembly also will serve on the commission. Zeleny will represent the chancellor’s office on the commission in an ex officio capacity.

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