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The beginning of the year is a good time to look forward and backward. What has been accomplished over the last year, and where are we going?

I’m pleased with the number of programs and “brick-and-mortar” projects under way to improve the quality and breadth of our undergraduate and graduate education here at the University of Nebraska.

Donald F. Othmer Hall is on track to be completed in 2002. This new facility will significantly enhance our chemical engineering curriculum and research capabilities.

This year’s completion of the Esther L. Kauffman Academic Residential Center will provide living and learning facilities for students in the master of engineering in software engineering program.

Instructional and research laboratories in intelligent transportation systems, lighting and manufacturing engineering are coming online at the Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha.

Through these facilities, as well as internships and co-ops, our students have unparalleled opportunities for innovative, hands-on education.

On a smaller scale, we’ve made improvements to student computer facilities and study areas in Nebraska Hall. Several classrooms have been retrofitted with high-tech instructional technology that is being integrated into our classes and used for distance education.

Several instructional and research initiatives are in the works. More master of engineering classes are being offered on both campuses and through distance education. The architectural engineering program is attracting applicants from several states.

A new facility in remote sensing, funded through a National Science Foundation grant, combines Lincoln and Omaha campus capabilities to give our college scientists a ready-at-hand airborne platform they’ve lacked in the past.

These are just two initiatives that exemplify where we’re headed.

But the scope of any college or university extends far beyond its physical facilities and its programs. Current and prospective students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater community all make a mark on the institution.

We are only as strong as our individual and combined efforts. Your continued interest and involvement help our students receive the instructional and extracurricular opportunities they need to successfully compete in today’s global economy.

We need your help. Please stay in touch.