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UNK Welcomes NCA

North Central Self Study
Chapter 5: Criterion Three

The institution is accomplishing its education and other purposes.

Support for
Research, Fine And Creative Arts, Community Service,
and Needs of Sponsoring Organizations and Other Special Constituencies


The partnerships between programs at UNK and the broader community illustrate a commitment on the part of the colleges and departments to utilize resources external to the campus to provide enhanced learning opportunities for students as well as sharing expertise of UNK faculty. In 1994, partnerships were not clearly defined and were generally informal in nature. Since that time, there has been a greater effort to expand the utilization of partnerships across campus. This intent may be found when examining College and Department goals and accomplishments. Specific examples include the following:

Existing in 1994:



The four Colleges maintain a number of internship programs to provide opportunities for students to reinforce their coursework through practical application and to gain valuable on-the-job experience. The programs are administered through the separate departments. In the case of the College of Business and Technology the programs are consolidated and administered through two coordinators, one for the Business division and one for the Technology division. A report prepared for the SVCAA for the 2000-01 fiscal year noted at least 491 internships were completed by UNK students. The internships by college were: Business and Technology (217), Education (119), Fine Arts & Humanities (28), and Natural & Social Sciences (127). The scope and diversity of opportunities open to UNK students for possible internships are demonstrated by the following examples:

World Affairs Conference

Recognizing the need to bring a strong international component to an undergraduate education and as a part of its service to south central Nebraska, the University of Nebraska at Kearney sponsors an annual conference on global issues. The Midwest Conference on World Affairs began as an important campus and community activity in the 1960s. Budget shortfalls prompted a temporary hiatus, but the University reinstated the conference in 1988. At that time the event was renamed "The James E. Smith Midwest Conference on World Affairs" in honor of a professor whose vision and dedication significantly affected the continuation of the conference. Since 1994, leadership of the conference has rotated among the four Undergraduate Colleges.

Each college hosting the conference chooses a theme around which the conference participants base their presentations. For example: in 1997, the College of Education chose "Children's Rights and Our Responsibilities;" in 1998, the College of Natural and Social Sciences selected, "Global Perspectives in a Changing World;" in 2000 the College of Fine Arts and Humanities chose the theme, "Images of Culture;" and in 2003, the College of Business and Technology selected as its theme, "The Global Economy: Promises and Perils of an Uncertain Frontier." The conference traditionally begins on a Sunday evening and lasts through Tuesday. Two highlights of each conference are the International Food Festival and the keynote speaker.

Presented by the International Student Association and sponsored by Morris Press, the International Food Festival showcases the culinary and fine art talents of many of the international students who attend UNK. Along with preparing food, students bring their countries' culture to light in a variety of ways, performing vocal music such as their national anthems, instrumental music, and dances from such countries as Japan, Nepal, Zambia, Kenya, West Africa, Bahamas, Colombia, Germany, India, Brazil, Mexico, and Sri Lanka. The festival is free and open to the public and traditionally draws large crowds. Last year, for example, an estimated 2,000 students, faculty, and local citizens attended the festival. Morris Press also prepares and distributes cookbooks with recipes provided by UNK's international students.

Keynote speakers presenting at the World Affairs Conference include nationally and internationally known scholars, activists, and politicians. For example, in 2002, Oscar Arias, Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of Cost Rica, was the keynote speaker; in 2000, the speaker was National Geographic contributor Joel Swerdlow; and in 1998, the speaker was former President and CEO of the United Way, Elaine Chao. The 2004 Conference will feature Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland, who will speak on "Human Rights and the War on Terrorism."

Besides the keynote speaker, the conference serves as a forum for a wide variety of other speakers, including invited specialists, Fulbright scholars, diplomats, and UNK faculty and students. For example, in 1998, the conference included twenty-six invited participants from fifteen countries including Russia, Germany, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, and the Czech Republic. Through panel discussions, roundtables, lectures, classroom presentations, and group activities which continue over a two-day period, UNK students and Kearney area citizens are given the opportunity to interact with individuals from other cultures and are exposed to a variety of viewpoints on important issues.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is proud of the James E. Smith Midwest Conference on World Affairs which not only provides an outstanding service to our students and the Kearney community, but also serves as tangible evidence of our commitment to a broad liberal arts education and a responsible and informed citizenry. Since its inception, Kearney area citizens have both supported and benefited from the World Affairs conference and its scholarly examination of issues with contemporary global and local significance.

Fine Arts Facilities

UNK has three on-campus facilities available for use by the faculty, students, and the public for the purpose of presenting recitals (Fine Arts Recital Hall), theater productions (Miriam Drake Theater), and art exhibits (Walker Art Gallery).


The Nebraska Art Collection was begun in 1976 and the Museum of Nebraska Art was founded in 1986 in the old Kearney Post Office, originally built in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The facility was expanded and completely remodeled in 1991-93 and reopened as the NEW Museum of Nebraska Art in October of 1993. The mission of the Museum is to collect, exhibit, preserve and interpret the art of Nebraska. A major focus of MONA is to create understanding among people through art. The Nebraska Art Collection is designated by the legislature as the official visual art collection of the State of Nebraska. The Museum of Nebraska Art is jointly administered by the Board of the Museum of Nebraska Art and the University of Nebraska at Kearney.


The Concerts-on-the-Platte recital series, which features full-scale recitals of UNK music faculty and guest-artists, was inaugurated during the summer of 1999 to better reflect the institution's growing role in Nebraska as a magnet for faculty artist-performers. With an increasing number of music performance majors and other students interested in presenting recitals themselves, the series has served to provide professional examples to the department's growing enrollment. Concerts have included a broad cross-section of vocal, instrumental, and solo piano recitals. Guest artists have traveled from as far as Poland, Germany, and Korea to perform on the series. All concerts are free and open to the public.


KLPR-FM is the university-owned and student-run radio station. The station programs jazz and blues during part of the day and alternative music in the evening. Students are encouraged to develop music and talk formats of their own choosing.

Antelope Newspaper

The Department of Communication is home to the Antelope, the student-produced weekly newspaper which was first published in 1910. As of 2003 the Antelope is also made available on the internet at The web-based Antelope provides students with an opportunity to acquire skills for multi-media presentation.

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