University of Nebraska at Kearney

96-98 Catalog Home
1996-98 UNK Undergraduate Catalog

Role and Mission Statement


The University of Nebraska at Kearney, like all universities, is a community of scholars engaged in creating and transmitting knowledge across a broad range of academic disciplines. At this institution, however, these traditional functions are energized by a deep commitment to students, and by consciousness of the University's role in serving, and advancing the prospects of, the society that surrounds this community of learning.

Abiding Purposes

As part of the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska at Kearney is charged to provide comprehensive educational programs for the people of the State; to seek, discover, interpret and communicate knowledge; and to put knowledge to work through public service programs. Its distinctive contribution within that framework lies in its primary emphasis on scholarly teaching. The University of Nebraska at Kearney is further committed to serving the State and to close cooperation with other campuses of the University of Nebraska and other post-secondary institutions.

The educational effort at the University of Nebraska at Kearney centers on scholarly teaching, which is the highest priority of the institution. Its hallmark is a faculty fully committed to students as individual learners and to a sustained mastery of the art of teaching in their academic specialties. Professors interact intellectually with students both inside and outside the classroom and encourage that same interaction among students, thereby broadening the learning environment far beyond the classroom and the laboratory. Campus life activities develop important leadership, organizational, and social skills, encourage achievement, and provide a variety of ways in which students may enhance their academic and professional preparation. The University of Nebraska at Kearney is committed, moreover, to creating a learning environment for its students that reflects the world in which they will live and work. The University thus becomes a setting for constant discovery, rooted in the world's realities, and an experience that leads students toward lives of sustained personal growth.

The University's broad-based undergraduate curriculum includes a strong liberal arts component for all students. Graduate degrees enrich opportunities for student development and contribute to the high quality of life in the region. Continuing studies and extended campus programs serve many distant communities with educational opportunities that mirror the quality of on-campus programs. Recognizing the increasing importance of technology in all endeavors, the University seeks to take advantage of state-of-the-art developments in its educational programs. The University also seeks to provide library resources, information technology and other support activities that match the range of the university's curricular offerings.

Through a commitment to general education, the University of Nebraska at Kearney aims to instill in its students an appreciation for the dynamics of a pluralistic, democratic society; an understanding of our American heritage and of the world that surrounds them; familiarity with the great works in the arts and humanities; scientific literacy; ingrained respect for and ethical behavior toward others; and the understanding and skills necessary for competence in their chosen subject matter fields and in the professional lives that will follow their experience at this University. In a process of constant self-assessment and self-renewal, the University monitors national and international trends and develops programs tailored to the emerging needs of the people it serves.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney recognizes that scholarship, broadly conceived, is inseparable from fine teaching. The University thus provides a positive environment for faculty, and their students, to engage in research and creative activity that generates the application, advancement, integration, and representation of knowledge.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney has a long tradition of public service, providing leadership, resources, and expertise for problem-solving in businesses and communities. As an institution, it encourages an active role for its faculty and students in addressing social, cultural, environmental, economic, and other pressing needs of the State, region, and nation.

Sources of Strength and Distinction

Excellence at the University of Nebraska at Kearney has been defined and sustained by several unique institutional attributes.

Faculty: The faculty of the University of Nebraska at Kearney is the heart and soul of the institution. In their devotion to learning, and in their broadly formative intellectual engagement with individual students, faculty serve as role models for each rising generation. In every sense, the imprint that this University leaves on its graduates, and on society, is the imprint fashioned by dedicated scholar-teachers.

Students: Students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney vary widely in their ages, interests, and backgrounds. This diversity is an important component of the University's learning environment. At the same time, they also share certain attributes that reflect the communities the university serves. These include strong academic preparation, a solid work ethic, a broad generosity of spirit, a positive outlook on their life prospects, and a willingness to learn. The university seeks to build upon these traits in each individual; in turn, across the student body, these characteristics have become defining ingredients of the University of Nebraska at Kearney experience.

Accessibility: The University is dedicated to providing a high-quality, affordable education to all students who enroll in the institution prepared to learn, and who have the potential to benefit from its learning environment.

Stewardship: Faculty, staff, and administrators of the University of Nebraska at Kearney are dedicated to uphold the trust Nebraskans have placed in this public institution: to use the state's resources wisely in achieving educational, research, and service objectives. They therefore design and manage the University's programs in accordance with high standards of fiscal responsibility, academic excellence, and public accountability.

Place: Located where the American West and Midwest meet, the University enjoys important situational advantages. The City of Kearney is a growing hub of commerce, manufacturing, medical, and cultural services, and its Platte River Valley locale features agribusiness enterprise unparalleled nationally or internationally. The varied communities that surround this growing population center, the activities characteristic of the region, and the natural setting itself, provide an array of educational, research, and service opportunities for students and faculty alike.

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1996-1998 UNK Undergraduate Catalog (8-7-95)