An endowed professorship has been created at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to support faculty members in early childhood education who focus on extension and outreach across Nebraska.
Betti and Dick Robinson of Norfolk established the Betti and Richard Robinson Professorship of Early Childhood in Extension with a gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation. The permanently endowed fund enables the university to award annual stipends for faculty salaries, academic programs, operational support and outreach activities associated with child education extension efforts.
The Robinson Professor will work collaboratively with the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences, Nebraska Extension within the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the University of Nebraska’s Buffett Early Childhood Institute.
Marjorie Kostelnik, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences who is currently serving as interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, said for Nebraska to be successful, its children must be successful.
“The Robinson Professorship will help ensure that early childhood professionals and families of young children will have access to the latest information to support this aim,” Kostelnik said. “We are grateful to Betti and Dick Robinson for their foresight in making possible this targeted focus on young children.”
Charles Hibberd, dean and director of Nebraska Extension, said the university is committed to helping Nebraska’s children grow and thrive and that the new professorship helps to accomplish this mission.
“Nebraska needs talented and productive faculty who can help design and deliver high-quality educational programs focused on the needs of our children,” Hibberd said. “The Betti and Richard Robinson Professorship of Early Childhood in Extension will position us to retain and attract that kind of talent. We are most appreciative of the Robinsons’ vision to help our faculty be successful.”
Betti and Dick Robinson, trustees of the University of Nebraska Foundation, are longtime supporters of the University of Nebraska and avid advocates for early childhood education. Betti Robinson is a community volunteer and former kindergarten teacher who studied early childhood education at the University of Arizona. She is a past member of the board of directors for the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. Dick Robinson is president of Norfolk Iron and Metal, headquartered in Norfolk, a company founded by his grandfather in 1908. He became involved in managing the company after graduating from the University of Arizona in 1976.