eNews: A Newsletter from Academic and Student Affairs
Preparing Students for Careers and Citizenship
2009-2010 Academic Year Greetings
As we mark the beginning of a new academic year, we anticipate promise and acknowledge challenges for students embarking on another year of learning, faculty balancing the demands of teaching, scholarship, and service, and staff using available resources to support and strengthen the educational environment at UNK.
Around us we hear many stories of groups working through challenges to realize a goal. Often the end product requires a process of intense effort. A visible reminder of this truth is the renovation of the Bruner Hall of Science, which will be completed during the fall semester. Similar processes are currently taking place on this campus – the implementation of a new student information system, the renewal of the General Studies program, and the forward work of the Enrollment Management Council as reported below by Dr. Scantling, along with the ongoing review and update of the curriculum to ensure a vibrant, relevant, and very current set of degree programs across campus.
Each process presents its own set of challenges, but as we face challenges, the creativity and resourcefulness of our capable faculty and staff will model problem-solving for students, contributing to their educational experiences and enabling them to more fully engage in careers and citizenship.
We are looking forward to another year of cultivating partnerships across campus that serve to provide UNK’s students with opportunities to learn and grow toward success in their professional, civic, and personal lives. Best wishes for the 2009-2010 academic year!
- Charlie Bicak, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
2009 Pratt-Heins and SAFE Awards Presented at Fall Convocation
The 2009 Pratt-Heins and SAFE Awards were presented this morning at the 2009 Faculty/Staff Opening Convocation.
Recipients of the 2009 Pratt-Heins Awards are:
- Marguerite Tassi, Ph.D., Department of English - Teaching
- Victoria Goro-Rapoport, M.F.A., Department of Art & Art History - Scholarship
- Glen Powell, Ph.D., Department of Teacher Education - Service
The Pratt-Heins Awards, sponsored by the Pratt-Heins Foundation, are presented annually to recognize UNK faculty who have demonstrated outstanding work in the areas of Teaching, Scholarship/Research, and Service. Students, alumni, faculty colleagues, department chairs/program directors, or college deans may nominate individuals for consideration.
Recipients of the 2009 SAFE Awards are:
- JoAnn Ludden, Business Systems Analyst/Trainer, Business and Finance
- Eve Green, Office Associate, Intercollegiate Athletics
The SAFE (Staff Awards for Excellence) Awards are presented annually to honor UNK staff members for outstanding service to students, UNK, and education in general. Individuals are considered upon nomination and a maximum of three peer references.
- written in collaboration with Bev Mathiesen, Office of the Chancellor, and
Tami Plugge, Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
New Students Engage in UNK Experience through Blue and Gold Welcome Week Activities
The long-standing tradition of hosting activities for new students continues with the 2009 Blue and Gold Welcome Week, beginning yesterday and continuing through Saturday, August 29. The week is an important means of helping students feel welcome and preparing them for the year ahead, ultimately contributing to success in their academic careers.
"Both UNK’s graduation and student persistence rates are significantly higher than our peer institutions," said Brandon Benitz, assistant to the Dean of Student Life. Benitz explained that both UNK’s graduation rate, as well as the retention rate of first-time, full-time students from freshman to sophomore year is actually seven percentage points higher than the mean average of our peer institutions.
Both the faculty and Student Life staff views activities like those taking place during the Blue and Gold Welcome Week as a vital contribution to maintaining and improving UNK’s retention and graduation rates. Last year the Academic Orientation Committee, chaired by Rick Miller implemented significant changes to the Blue and Gold Welcome Week activities in order to encourage and facilitate students’ engagement from the moment they arrived on campus. As they created new opportunities, the committee also requested feedback from the faculty in order to continue to improve the event and make the time as effective and meaningful as possible. The feedback helped guide their decisions for this year’s orientation schedule.
Again this year, Blue and Gold Welcome Week will provide students new to UNK with a stimulating atmosphere as they interact with faculty and student peer mentors. Yesterday, new students attended a convocation followed by a brief meeting and picnic. Today, they will participate in a full day of academic orientation, and throughout the weekend, they will have the option of engaging in a variety of social activities and service project opportunities. See the complete list of activities for Blue and Gold Welcome Week.
UNK's faculty and the Student Life staff will continue to create meaningful opportunities for students to feel invested in their institution, in order to complement their academic experience and provide a successful learning and growing environment. Join with us in welcoming another group of students to UNK in this new academic year!
- written in collaboration with Brandon Benitz, Assistant to the Dean of Student Life
Strategic Enrollment Planning Continues at UNK
The purpose of this article is to update the UNK Community on the work of the Enrollment Management Council (EMC). As you may remember from my article last fall in The Columns the University of Nebraska at Kearney entered into an agreement with Noel-Levitz on June 1, 2008 wherein Noel-Levitz (NL) would provide Strategic Enrollment Consulting. The agreement with NL is for a period of four years with an option to continue to purchase their enrollment management products in the future. The primary responsibility of the EMC is to work closely with Noel Levitz to ensure that the consultancy bears significant “fruit” in the form of comprehensive enrollment planning, development of new organizational approaches, new operational initiatives and certainly attainment of enrollment goals in the near future. The following report outlines the results of our work with NL to this point in time.
As a result of the partnership with Noel-Levitz, four planning documents were produced by the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Enrollment Management Council. With short descriptions these are:
Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP) – A comprehensive five-year planning document (2009-2014) that contains analyses of historical and current enrollment situations, and identification of key performance indicators, strategies, and enrollment goals for the time period specified. Each strategy and goal is associated with a detailed action plan that articulates who is responsible, costs involved, timetables and activities necessary to accomplish the strategy.
This document is the result of an integrated, information-based, and ongoing planning process to identify, prioritize, implement, evaluate, and modify (as needed) enrollment goals and strategies within the context of institutional strengths and external environmental changes. The remaining plans were developed afterward, linking their activities and objectives to the goals established in the SEP.
Annual Undergraduate Recruitment Plan – This plan expands on the goals in the Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP) by segmenting the first-year and transfer student populations into subgroups, based on variables such as geography, academic ability, academic interest, and level/type of expression of interest. These subgroup goals include prospect, inquiry, application, admit, and enrollment figures and conversion/yield rates. And like the SEP, the Annual Undergraduate Recruitment Plan establishes recruitment-related goals, strategies, and action plans intended to contribute toward the achievement of the broader enrollment goals.
Annual Advertising Plan – This plan supports goals and activities established in the Annual Undergraduate Recruitment Plan through advertising that will be implemented over the course of twelve months and parallel with recruitment-related efforts.
Annual Retention Plan – This plan will expand on the goals in the Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP) by identifying key activities that are anticipated to influence and affect persistence and graduation rates. In particular, the Annual Retention Plan will have as a centerpiece the implementation of retentionRT, which is designed to more effectively inform academic advisors and provide students with the active support needed to encourage student persistence. By design the work on the retention plan trails the SEP. Completing the Retention plan is a major focus for the EMC during the fall 2009 semester.
- The most significant new organizational approach related to strategic enrollment planning has been the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s creation of the Enrollment Management Council (EMC). This group is comprised of approximately a dozen members representing a broad cross-section of campus leadership with key functional expertise and responsibilities in areas relevant to strategic enrollment planning. The key functions of the Council are to develop, implement, monitor, and assess the effectiveness of the Strategic Enrollment Plan.
The secondary responsibility is to consider strategic issues related to enrollment (recruitment, retention, graduation), and to take actions as appropriate or make recommendations to the Chancellor when the needs arise. In all cases the Council is an action-oriented entity that seeks to ensure strategic enrollment planning and that decisions are pursued, with the understanding that the knowledge and ability of the many is stronger than the few.
Falling under the direction of the Enrollment Management Council are working groups with expanded membership that focus on the three areas of recruitment, marketing, and retention. These working groups are chaired by members of the EMC Action/Steering Committee and have taken the lead on the annual plans described above; each working group reports to the EMC on a regular basis to provide details about activities and receive guidance to ensure that efforts are consistent with the established Strategic Enrollment Plan.
- As a result of our work with NL we have recognized the importance of a tactical advertising plan developed to support the strategic objectives and important timeline of the student recruitment plan. A major goal of the advertising plan is “to motivate prospective students and their influencers in all categories of enrollment “to inquire about UNK and formally enter the prospect pool,” thus producing numbers of names that can be pursued and converted to UNK students.
- The Director of Financial Aid now works closely with the EMC to review on a regular basis the effectiveness of the use of remission funds for scholarships with an emphasis on improving recruitment (yield) and retention. Decisions on UNK scholarship strategy are now data driven and must provide evidence of improved R&R for approval.
- The Office of Academic Advising is now using Retention RT information provided by Noel-Levitz to enhance freshman success and to inform academic advising. Specifically, each freshman is assigned a retention score predicting the likelihood that the student will persist at UNK based on historical persistence experience. Using these retention scores, freshmen at greater risk of attrition are being targeted for more intrusive advising efforts to encourage greater persistence,
The Enrollment Management Council with advice from NL consultants has developed a number of new initiatives meant to improve student recruitment, student retention and student graduation rates at UNK. Selected initiatives for which detailed Action Plans have been developed are:
- Expand Dual Enrollment Program
- Utilize faculty, staff and students in recruitment to a greater extent (train and recognize)
- Increase the number of students who inquire, apply, and enroll who come from Community Colleges
- Expand Online Offerings
- Increase Minority Student Enrollment
- Expand Recruitment Efforts in Markets outside Central Nebraska
- Front Range (Colorado) Advantage Program
- Recruit Students with Strong Academic Credentials
- Use Scholarships Competitively (Strategically) to Attract Top Students
- Publish Enrollment Reports to Campus Community during the Recruitment and Enrollment Cycle.
- Increase Graduate Enrollments
- Improve Freshmen and Transfer Student Inquiries
- Utilize Web to Recruit Students: Facebook and other Social Media
- Increase Number of Prospective Students who Visit UNK
- Increase International Student Enrollment
- Improve the Financial Literacy of UNK Students
- Establish (additional) Learning Communities
- Create a Comprehensive, Coordinated Freshman Success Program
- Provide an Enhanced First-Year Experience
- Develop a Transfer Student Success Program
- Utilize NSSE Scores to Monitor (and improve) Student Engagement
- Improve Academic Advising
- Utilize Alumni in Student Recruitment
- Create Collaborative Partnerships Across Campus for Recruitment
- The EMC will work with NL Consultants to complete the campus student Retention Plan
- Develop a comprehensive International Student Recruitment Plan
- Increase Freshman and Transfer Student Inquiries to 9,000 by utilizing NL SMART Approach to purchase targeted prospect names from NRCCUA
- Develop and Monitor an Annual Enrollment Management Operations Calendar
- Refine & Revise UNK Strategic Enrollment Plan as needed
- Review Strategic Enrollment Issues on an ongoing basis
If you would like more information about Enrollment Management at UNK or would like to volunteer to serve as a member of any of the “strategic” enrollment committees please contact Ed Scantling, Dean of the College of Education & Chair of the UNK Enrollment Management Council.
- Ed Scantling, Dean of the College of Education and Chair of the UNK Enrollment Management Council
American Democracy Project (ADP) Activities Planned for New Academic Year
The American Democracy Project (ADP) on campus will renew efforts to expand discourse on campus as well as help promote activities that are already started. Please, feel free to contact us (John Anderson at email@example.com) if you need information or would like to use the ADP to help facilitate your work to bring speakers to campus or engage in topical debates. If you are interested, we will continue to work to increase civic and political engagement activities on campus via;
- Making the New York Times available (free) to students, staff and faculty at several places on campus.
- Hosting Times Talk events in the student union buildings. Most of these will be held at a little after noon on an every other week basis (on Fridays). Faculty can volunteer to present talks and/or encourage their students to attend these informative events. Like last year, the New York Times will provide free pizza and pop for Times Talk.
- Hosting the E.N. Thompson Forum in the Communications Center. The Thompson Forum is presented by our sister institution, UNL, and the Nebraska Humanities Council. We access the speakers for the Thompson series using simulcasts and this year the topic will be China. The first speaker is Doug Bereuter and he will deliver the Governor’s Lecture in September (look for more information on this event in the near future).
- Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17 and we will have several events on that day and during that week. History, Teacher Education and Political Science have hosted these events but ADP will also work to support them. Contact us if you have ideas about something you would like to do for Constitution Day.
We hope you are interested in supporting ADP events but we also hope you consider the ADP as a resource that can be used to help you with innovative ways to increase engagement on campus. Look for a few new initiatives from the ADP as the semester rolls along.
- John Anderson, Coordinator of the American Democracy Project at UNK
Library - In Brief Online
Dee Goedert, Head of Access Services
With the Fall semester just around the corner, we are looking forward to the increase in activity on campus. We want to remind you that the library is open the following hours:
|Monday – Thursday
||7:30 a.m. – Midnight
||7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
||10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
||2:00 p.m. - Midnight
The library is closed most holidays and breaks. Please, check our schedule for specific dates.
Jon Ritterbush, Electronic Resources Librarian
Although academic research involves much more than searching Google, your students don’t need to navigate the Information Superhighway on their own. Librarians are available 24-7 to help scholars at all levels find the best online and print resources for their research needs. Look for the “Ask Us 24-7” link on the library’s homepage and navigation menus. Here you’ll find information about contacting a UNK librarian for research assistance by several means: in person, on the phone, through chat, or via e-mail.
Librarians are also available for research consultations by e-mail or in person. A listing of UNK librarian subject experts and their contact information is available from the “Ask Us 24-7” webpage.
Items to Note for Faculty and Faculty Committees
Publications, Presentations, Service, and Honors
|Luba Kreminska (Physics)
||co-presented with Carl Corder, Vanessa Engquist, Oleksiy Golovin, Peter Hansen, Herman Batelaan, Anatoliy I. Khizhnyak, Grover A. Swartzlander, Jr.: "Laser Beam Shaping: Donut Mode Formation by Interference" at the SPIE 2009 Optics+Photonics Conference in San Diego in August 2009
|Mark Markes (Physics)
||"Teaching a Laboratory-Intensive Online Introductory Electronics Course" presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the Physics Education Research Conference (PERC) in Ann Arbor, Michigan in July 2009
|Trecia Markes (Physics)
|| "Strength of Models in Force and Motion" presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the Physics Education Research Conference (PERC) in Ann Arbor, Michigan in July 2009
|Jon Ritterbush (Library)
||“The Impact of New Student Housing on Library Usage: A Case Study" published in the Journal of Academic Librarianship, 35.4 (July 2009): 360-366, available online
|Vijendra Boken (Geography)
||$1,100 grant from NASA - Nebraska Space Grant & EPSCoR, Omaha for "Improving drought monitoring for Nebraska using Landsat and ENVISAT satellite data"
|Vijendra Boken (Geography)
||$3,800 grant from Tri-Basin Natural Resources District of Nebraska for "Digitizing historical airphotos for selected counties of Nebraska"
(NE Safety Center)
|$65,593 grant from the Department of Labor - Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) for Mine Safety Health and Training Program
|Kate Heelan (HPERLS)
||$20,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska for "Building Healthy Families"
|Wyatt Hoback (Biology)
||$4,288 grant from the Nebraska Department of Roads for "Trap and Relocate of American Burying Beetle near Chambers"
|Otis Ingersoll (NBDC)
||$68,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration for NBDC 2009
(Physics and Physical Science)
|$718 NASA Nebraska Travel Grant for "Direct Simulation of a Radiative Transfer through a 3-Dimensional Correlated Medium"
|Lee McQueen (Facilities)
||$10,000 grant from Nebraska State Arboretum for "Trees for Towns"
(NE Safety Center)
|$100,622 grant from the Nebraska Department of Roads for NDOR Driving Simulator Procurement Plan
Calendar of Events within the Academic and Student Affairs Division
||Faculty/Staff Fall Convocation - 9:00 a.m. in the Recital Hall of the Fine Arts Building
||Blue and Gold Welcome Showcase - 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with Chancellor's Picnic from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
||Fall 2009 Classes Begin
Edited by Kim Elliott, Coordinator of Academic Publications
A Publication of the
Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
University of Nebraska at Kearney
905 West 25th Street
Kearney, NE 68849
For questions or submissions,
contact the Coordinator of Academic Publications at 8935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.