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June 10, 2020

Kathy’s Point: Living Our Guiding Principles

Kathy’s Point: Living Our Guiding Principles
College of Business faculty and staff regularly wear their Hate Will Never Win shirts to promote an ongoing campus dialogue about hate speech. The initiative was co-sponsored by the university's Executive Council of Multicultural Organizations, the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska and the men's basketball team in 2018 when this photo was taken to show support.

At Nebraska Business, summers are usually a time for fun as well as hard work. Our students participate in summer internships, employment or coursework. Our faculty teach summer classes and pursue research to advance the future of business. Our staff continue to do the important work of supporting our students and faculty through a number of ways. This summer looks different for us all. Our summer sessions moved remote. Many internships did as well or were canceled. This summer is also different because it is a time for our community to stand together – for a number of reasons – but most importantly because we believe in the power of every person. 

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and others have left us saddened, confused, angered and frustrated. These past few weeks have been particularly hard for Black members of our community and we, at the College of Business, recognize and support you. Our Nebraska Business community has always been and continues to be stronger because of our diverse students, faculty, staff, alumni, business partners, parents and friends. That is one of the reasons why our community felt so passionately about having a guiding principle of Be Inclusive at the College of Business. 

We are all only as strong as our actions as we live our shared guiding principles daily – Challenge Yourself to focus on positive change and bridge this divide, Ask Bold Questions during conversations about difficult topics while listening with open hearts and minds, Look to the Future with hope and gratitude as we celebrate diversity and Make It Matter by creating a better world for us all.

Our campus partners, including the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services (OASIS), will be providing more opportunities for safe dialogue. You can follow our social media (@NebraskaBiz) as we will share announcements of this outreach and programming to help better care for our community. I encourage our students, faculty and staff to participate. Even in a pandemic, we must be here for each other, and our mission inspires us to take seriously the needs of our campus community, Lincoln, the State of Nebraska and beyond.

Helping Businesses During the Pandemic
As a College of Business, we are uniquely positioned to help businesses, large and small, in this pandemic. Our faculty continue to share their expertise to help our state's business community.

Dr. Eric Thompson, Karl H. Nelson Professor of Economics and director of the Bureau of Business Research at the College of Business, shared in a recent webinar that during this public health and economic crisis, people learned, adapted and gained new perspective on how things could be done. His webinar, Resilience and Recovery: The Economy Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic, was presented to university alumni and friends on May 29. If you would like to learn more, you can watch his webinar recording.  

Exploring the Pandemic in New Summer Courses
Faculty and staff drew on recent events associated with the pandemic to innovate around our curriculum. A new supply chain course was created called Supply Chain Challenges in 2020 and Future Implications (SCMA 391) and another called The Future of Work (MNGT 398). Also, a strengths-based leadership course, Building a Life for Impact (MNGT 324B) usually reserved for students in our Clifton Builders program was offered this summer to the entire campus community.

Drawing on the expertise of more than 30 faculty and staff from 13 departments in six colleges, a new course called The COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects on Industries, People and Society (UGEP 291), was developed and will be offered during the second five-week summer session. With the most faculty and staff involved in any course in recent history, the course features various modules in areas such as the science of viruses, engineering a solution and supply chain management, the course was spearheaded by Erin Burnette, director of the Nebraska Business Honors Academy and coordinator of pop-up courses (short one-credit pass/no pass classes on timely topics). 

Planning for Fall and Its Modified Academic Calendar
Through these efforts and more, our summer undergraduate enrollment increased by seven percent and our graduate and certificate programs enrollment increased by 20 percent at the College of Business.

Dr. Jennifer Ryan, chair of the Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics, serves as our college's representative on the university's Forward to Fall task force. The university is implementing a modified fall schedule beginning August 17. Starting a week sooner than originally planned, we needed to offer classes remotely to accommodate students who already committed to summer employment, internships and housing plans. Then on August 24, courses with in-person instruction will begin meeting on campus. To accommodate the condensed fall schedule, we will have class on Labor Day, September 7, and during the suspended Fall Break, October 19-20. Finals will take place November 21-25, which includes a weekend.

This calendar modification may raise many questions, and students and their families can get the latest information at https://covid19.unl.edu. The most frequently asked question thus far has revolved around course delivery. Courses will be offered in three delivery styles so we can appropriately social distance as safety is our utmost priority. The course delivery styles will be in-person, online and a blended version of both. Each college at the university is currently determining which courses will be offered in which way.

In Our Community
Don't miss other stories in this newsletter showing how our individuals in our community are responding. These include a featured student, faculty and alum:

  • A first-generation student who found her path at Nebraska, Andee Capell wanted to help others do the same. Due to her efforts, she was selected to represent Nebraska at the National Association for Black Accountants regional conference and decided to start a chapter at Nebraska just as the pandemic hit Nebraska.
  • Dr. Troy Smith, assistant professor of management, connects consistency and productivity during stressful times with his latest research.
  • A recent MBA graduate, Gabe Chase assisted with administering COVID-19 tests in Grand Island, Nebraska, while serving in the Nebraska National Guard.


Sincerely,

Dean Kathy Farrell