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August 12, 2020

Kathy’s Point: Forward to Fall

Kathy’s Point: Forward to Fall
Dean Kathy Farrell wears a N Business mask due to COVID-19 while in her office at Howard L. Hawks Hall preparing for the fall semester.

With the fall semester beginning next week with remote learning August 17-21, and students returning to campus with excitement and energy, we look forward to welcoming them. Though the last few months reminded us of a roller coaster ride at times, we have been preparing an environment to cultivate an on-campus experience meeting the needs and expectations of our Nebraska Business community while still keeping our students, faculty and staff safe.

While many traditional events commemorating our students’ transition to college – or return to college – look different this year, we continue to work diligently to identify opportunities to enhance their education. We address the changing needs of our future business leaders through a collaborative effort across the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. By combining guidance and support from our talented faculty and staff with their own determination and goals, our Nebraska Business students can continue to tailor their individual experiences and maximize their resources to create their own future.

Though the pandemic prevented us from inviting and hosting all of you in our Nebraska Business community to our annual Back to School Bash at Howard L. Hawks Hall, we developed new and innovative ways to engage and communicate with all of you. We have hosted three different virtual Town Hall Meetings targeting New Students, Returning Students, and Families in July and early August. These Town Hall meetings provided updates about the fall, Hawks Hall and answered questions, so our students and their families could be prepared, informed and confident going into the fall semester.

Our new students also started their Nebraska Business experience with a two-part welcome with the New Business Student Virtual Welcome, August 3, where they met various college leaders including Dr. Tim Hodges, who teaches a course they take their first year called Investing in Strengths (BSAD 111). New students also unlocked their access to the college’s digital welcome kit and connected with business student leaders who could answer their questions. Then part two of the welcome includes the New Business Student In-Person Kickoff to be held August 20. Students selected a timeslot to connect in small groups with other business students, tour and experience Hawks Hall and celebrate being a Nebraska Business Husker!

Our students stated very clearly the importance of the on-campus experience and of needing a shared sense of community this fall so Hawks Hall will continue to be a place where students come together to question, learn and prepare for the future of business. We will utilize the university’s Forward to Fall framework to help us safely and successfully deliver on our mission to create future business leaders. For more information about the Fall 2020 experience on campus – including the modified academic calendar, common FAQs, and information about housing, student support and classroom environments, visit Nebraska's Forward to Fall Experience webpage.

The college also hosted our virtual Employer Partners Day, August 5. At the event, we provided professional development at no cost while sharing with all of our business partners and recruiters how we prepare our students to work and lead at your businesses and organizations. Congratulations to Ameritas, our Employer of the Year, for going above and beyond to collaborate with the Business Career Center in their commitment to our students' career development.

Additionally, our Business Career Center and Clifton Strengths Institute created an innovative program to support students who were unable to complete summer internships due to the pandemic. The Summer Career Accelerator Program provided three tracks students could pursue to advance their career development and receive career and strengths coaching from our staff along the way. Final projects will soon be posted online, but you can learn more about the program and its tracks here: https://business.unl.edu/careeraccelerator.

At Nebraska, we believe in the power of every person and our community is committed to creating real change through collaboration and creation of a Diversity and Inclusion strategic plan with identified actions for our college. Last month, I shared how Associate Dean Rik Barrera will lead our college’s diversity and inclusion efforts, and plans for a new Inclusive Excellence Gathering Space in Hawks Hall, which will open this fall.

We are currently forming the Inclusive Excellence Advisory Board of faculty, staff, students, alumni and external business partners to assist with formalizing our initiatives, priorities and goals to ensure action and achievement. If you are interested in serving on this advisory board or want to nominate someone, please email Rik at rbarrera1@unl.edu and include why you would like to serve or why the person you are nominating should serve on the advisory board.

A new webpage with messages from alumni, faculty, staff and students, welcomes incoming students to college with videos, text and other resources put together to create community at the College of Business.
A new webpage with messages from alumni, faculty, staff and students, welcomes incoming students to college with videos, text and other resources put together to create community at the College of Business.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who helped us welcome our undergraduate students by sending videos and quotes with photos. The response was incredible and we know our students will feel welcomed and included in something BIG, thanks to you, our amazing Nebraska Business community! See the welcome page here: https://business.unl.edu/welcome.

Your generosity by giving back and supporting the College of Business allow us to continue to do better and become better! The world needs business leaders who continue to challenge themselves and ask bold questions, who are inclusive and look to the future and YOU make it matter for us and all of our students, faculty and staff. Together, we are building a better future.

Sincerely,

Dean Kathy Farrell