Welcome Message from Vice Chancellor Juan N. Franco

Juan N. Franco, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Juan N. Franco, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

As summer comes to an end, we are beginning to see signs that the beginning of fall semester is near. The residence hall directors have started their training, the football team has begun practicing and summer commencement was this weekend.

In Student Affairs we are looking forward to another exciting year. Work continues on the two new residence halls being built behind Knoll Hall. One will open for Fall 2013 and one for Fall 2014. The East Campus recreation facility which students supported overwhelmingly is also being designed, and the City Campus recreation facilities are being improved.

This will be the first full year of the implementation of the Certificate in Civic Engagement, the opening of the Center for Civic Engagement and the establishment of the Nebraska Campus Compact (a consortium of 12 higher education institutions dedicated to service-learning and civic engagement) which is hosted by UNL. We also received word a few weeks ago that UNL has been selected as one of 25 Lead Institutions by the Student Affairs national organization, NASPA, for our students’ work in civic learning and democratic engagement.

This year Student Affairs is embracing its added responsibilities in enhancing student engagement. Pat McBride, who coordinates the New Student Enrollment (NSE) program, will now also help lead this effort. We will more aggressively add programming for student veterans, international students, and out-of-state students. For out-of-state and international students, programming is being considered for when they are the only ones on campus (e.g. during holidays when students normally go home). We are also implementing programs to better accommodate international students on days leading up to and following the first day of classes. We have established a Student Veterans Task Force to consider ideas to better accommodate our student veterans. They now have a “recognized student organization” complete with an office, a web page, and a small budget.

Lastly, we are looking at ways to better coordinate career development with the academic side of the University for our students. Increasingly colleges are working with lower division students to help them better understand their options regarding careers in which they may have an interest.

As always, if you have questions about student Affairs, please feel free to contact me at jfranco2@unl.edu.