Since this is the first time I am writing to all the different audiences in the Nebraska Business community since being named the official Dean of the College of Business, I wanted to share how proud I am to lead this vibrant and innovative college. Secondly, to the many people who work tirelessly to support this great college, I want to say thank you. Whether inside Howard L. Hawks Hall (faculty, staff and students), right down the street or anywhere in the world (alumni and business partners), you are a part of our greater Nebraska Business community and you are appreciated.
There is still much work to do and we plan to keep this momentum going. In fact, on Dec. 7, with the help of external facilitators from the Academic Leadership Association, we started a formal strategic planning process. We engaged about 50 people during a two-day workshop in January, which included faculty, staff, students, business partners, alumni and other external constituents. A vast amount of work was accomplished and more importantly, we came to a strong consensus on where we are now and where we want to go. Now the work begins to determine how to execute and prioritize on our goals.
Six different task forces have been meeting and will report on their findings periodically throughout the semester. The first draft of the strategic plan resulting from these efforts will be shared later this spring.
The process provided the chance to learn more about many of my colleagues and see them engage fully. As we begin to define our next steps to becoming a world-class college, I’d like to share some feedback from others involved in the process.
“I’m excited about the strategic planning process and how it will help us take the college to the next level. It has already allowed us to build new connections and brainstorm ideas that will benefit our programs for years to come. I look forward to hearing what each of the working groups come back with as potential strategies at our meeting in February.”
Erin Burnette, Director of the Nebraska Business Honors Academy
“This is an opportunity to engage faculty, staff, students and alumni in a discussion of what matters, what we do well, what we need to do better and what we aspire to become. It’s a collective journey of individuals who come together to learn, understand just who each is and with hard work, who each can be; building a better “we” – all centered around a shared respect and appreciation of the gift we share, a Nebraska life.”
Mark Chronister ’73 of Minneapolis and outgoing chair of the University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Trustees
“Through the strategic planning workshops, we’ve had productive conversations about the future of our college and I am able to contribute a student voice to that vision. However, one of the most intriguing parts of this whole process is realizing how our perspectives on what we think is important varies so vastly depending on what our roles are in relation to the College of Business.”
Brianna Ridenour, senior management major with a human resources focus
“Howard L. Hawks Hall provides a great place for building an even greater college. The new strategic plan will ensure that this new facility will be used with efficiency and imagination to keep the University rising in the national rankings.”
Dr. Scott Fuess, chair of the Department of Economics and Steinhart Foundation Distinguished Professor of Business
“The facilitators have done a great job of creating robust conversations around the strategic direction of the College of Business with a great cross-section of stakeholders. I can’t wait to see the vision and plan our efforts will produce.”
Justin Swanson, director of development for the University of Nebraska Foundation
I look forward to reporting more very soon.
Dean Kathy Farrell