This week, many people around campus are looking forward to Friday for reasons beyond being the start of a holiday weekend. Friday marks the beginning of something far more important. UNL officially became part of the Big Ten Conference, which enables us to align ourselves with other universities that are more like us. It’s a good fit. These are universities that have big athletic programs like us, but also have big academic programs. Many of our faculty came from Big Ten schools. Many of our students go on to Big Ten schools after leaving us, whether for jobs or graduate school. Indeed I got my BS degree from Michigan State and was on the faculty at Iowa for over twenty years.
I’m looking forward to sharing some of our strengths with our new peers. Our Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, for example, is world-class. I see an opportunity to provide our insights with the Big Ten institutions that are trying to start their own digital research centers.
What we do with math and science education is another strength. Our expertise is on the same level as that of our new peers. Michigan State, for example, does an excellent job in that area.
We will be providing leadership for the Big Ten in looking at brain trauma and concussion research through our Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior.
And we’ll be one of six Big Ten schools with a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).
These are just a few examples and there are many more that underscore what a natural fit this is for us. In some cases, we’ll offer leadership, and in other areas we’ll find opportunities to learn from our peers.
The College of Arts and Sciences is ready and excited to begin this new chapter and to have this opportunity to strive to new levels of academic excellence.
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