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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 5, 1987)
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March 5, 1987
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Vol. 86 No. 116
WEATHEIi; Thursday, sunny
and warmer, High in the 70s. South
east wind 5 to 1 0 rnph. Mostly clear
Thursday night with the low in the
upper 30s. Mostly sunny and warm
Friday. High in the lowerto mid-703.
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NU officials request
By Michael Hooper
Senior Reporter ' .
At a legislative budget hearing
Wednesday, NU officials asked for
more support for university library
systems, recommended the closing
of the Lincoln Division of the Col
lege of Nursing, and recommended,
if necessary, a tuition increase to
preserve the quality of NU programs.
, While university officials were
divided over the tuition increase,
they seemed to agree on the closing
of the Lincoln Division of the Col
lege of Nursing and on the need for
more support for the university library
Regent Margaret Robinson noted
the need for automation in libraries
and information system.
"If faculty are the heart of a uni
versity, the library in a very real
sense is its soul," Robinson said.
Cutting the Lincoln Division of
the College of Nursing would help
make up for the $3.1 mllion budget
cut the Legislature made during the
December special session, NU Pres
ident Ronald Roskens has said.
Since the three NU nursing pro
grams have had to compete against
other medical center campus pro
grams, UNMC chancellor Charles
Andrews recommended the closure
of the Lincoln division. In addition,
Andrews said UNMC could possibly
use the Lincoln division's resources
to finance its nursing program in
If the Lincoln Division were closed,
Andrews said he would consult with
the dean and notify the students
accepted in the program to give
them the opportunity to enroll in
UNMC's nursing program. He said
he also would try to bring the Lin
coln faculty to Omaha.
To keep other programs healthy,
Roskens said, "we are willing in
these difficult times to consider a
tuition increase in order to preserve
the quality of our programs and to
meet additional vital needs."
But, UNL Chancellor Martin Mas-
Paul VonderlageDaily Nebraskan
sengale said students cannot afford
a tuition increase. At UNL, he said,
tuition for an uii-'irgraduate Ne
braska resident has increased 65.1
percent since the 1980-81 academic
year. The increase at UNO was 57
percent and tuition for a first-year
Nebraska resident medical student
at UNMC has increased 144.5 percent.
"I believe that we cannot con
tinue to ask our students to shoulder
a disproportionate share of the costs
of their education," Massengale said.
NU officials also asked that the
Legislature appropriate its general
fund request of $177.6 million with
out earmarking where the funds
would go. Roskens said that if the
Legislature appropriates the funds
in one single sum, the NU Board of
Regents and administration would
have flexibility to place the funds
where they are most critically needed.
Gov. Kay Orr has recommended a
$167.2 million budget for fiscal
1987-88, and the Appropriations
Committee has placed $161.5 mil
lion in its preliminary budget re
quests for the university.
Massengale said that at UNL
there are 10.3 faculty to one execu
tive administrator, which is low
compared to the ratio at Iowa State
2.97 faculty to one administrator.
Sen. Sandy Scofield of Chadron,
, an Appropriations Committee mem
ber said that she "was encouraged,"
to hear the ratio of 10.3 faculty to
one administrator. She said that
was a fair ratio.
Allen Blezek, UNL's Faculty,
Senate president, who was repres
enting the faculty senates from UNO
and UNMC, said faculty members
are leaving the university because
of low salaries, inadequate facilities
and equipment and job insecurity.
"Faculty are saying, Will my depart
ment, division or college be next to
be considered for elimination?' "
Roskens said he supported elim
See HZARi JG on 3
By Merry Hayes
The ASUN Senate Wednesday voted
to cut funds entirely for the Nebraska
State Student Association and to expand
the budget of the Government Liaison
Committee in a bill appropriating stu
dent fees to fee users.
Sen. Paul Reynolds said NSSA, which
lobbies on behalf of state colleges and
the University of Nebraska, "has not
and does not have any chance in best
serving our needs."
Despite poor pay, equipment,
engineering morale is high
By Colleen Kenney
UNL's College of Engineering and
Technology balances on a ful
crum. On one side are underpaid
faculty members, aging equipment and
inadequate budget allocations; on the
other, prestigeous faculty members,
increased private fundings and suc
UNL's mission as a land-grant uni
versity is the fulcrum: to always provide
quality engineering instruction in
Dean Stan Liberty and several faculty
members and students said the mis
sion is holding steady despite univer
sity budget restraints.
There is no question we are getting
stonger all the time," Liberty said.
The engineering college has main
tained its quality teaching and research
programs, improved recruiting efforts
for top high-school students and doubled
private funding in the last six years, he
"If our image went, we wouldn't be
able to do it," Liberty said.
But the college is about three years
behind the schedule Liberty had in
mind in 1981 when he came to UNL.
The reason: inadequate state funding.
The college's teaching and researching
aspects, which have kept it in the top
one-third of engineering colleges nation
wide, are threatened by budget con
straints that are not keeping pace with
the need for state-of-the-art technology
and adequately paid instructors, Lib
For example, budget restraints have
forced the agricultural engineering
department on East Campus to do
without a robotic machine and a Texas
Instrument computer system, said Bill
Splinter, department head. The robotic
equipment broke down five years ago
and the computer system broke down
two years ago, Splinter said.
Agricultural engineering, like other
departments, has not been able to pay
for contract maintenance for its
equipment because funding is "ex
tremely limited," he said.
"If something goes wrong, we just
have to abondon it," he said.
But overall, engineering has not suf
fered as much as other UNL colleges,
Through private funds and research
grants, the college has become some
what self-supporting and is better able
to cushion its programs from budget
reductions, he said. The regents like to
see that, he said.
"We're not apt to come on the chop
ping block because of the fact that
today technology is the driving force of
the economy," Liberty said. "If Nebraska
is going to improve its economic situa
tion, it needs the educational base of a
strong engineering program."
Last year, the college's state-sup
ASUN President Chris Scudder said
in recent lobbying efforts for the stu
dent regent vote, the recreation center
and the university's budget, NSSA was
She said the lobbying efforts for UNL
should come from UNL's campus and
not NSSA. She said NSSA can't effec
tively represent both state colleges and
the uniersity because the two body's
have different interests.
She said paid lobbyists are never as
effective as students who lobby at the
Legislature on their own time.
ported allocation of $5 million was cut
by $30,000. The cut was a "very small"
percentage of what other UNL colleges
were cut, Liberty said, but still reduced
the college's flexibility.
Although the college is seeing "a
richness of activity" now in the area of
faculty research and publication, the
college needs about three more faculty
members in electrical engineering to
cope with enrollment stress, Liberty
said. There are 91 faculty members
Liberty said stress from high enroll
ments and limited resources forced the
college to restrict the number of stu
dents admitted. The restrictions began
in 1983 when there were 2,523 engi
neering students; this year there are
1,666 students. - - -
The college's largest department,
electrical engineering, went from 491
students in 1983 to 448 this year. The
department has 20 faculty members.
Mechanical engineering, the second
largest department, went from 361 stu
dents to 276. Mechanical engineering
has 17 faculty members.
Other engineering degree programs
are in the departments of chemical
engineering, civil engineering, indus
trial engineering and computer science.
There is also a graduate program and
the School of Technology at UNO.
Although restrictions have cut total
enrollment in these departments, tfre
academic potential of the students
increased, Associate Dean Morris
The average composite ACT score of
entering freshmen increased fom 26.2
to 27.2, Schneider said.
Liberty said 20 percent of freshmen
engineering students now have an ACT
score higher than 30. ,
Liberty said college has been able to
attract top Nebraska high-school grad
uates through privately funded scho
larships, including the $1 million Wal
ter Scott, Jr. Scholarship, which awards
six or seven incoming freshmen $3,000
Matt Langemeier, an electrical
engineering junior, received the Scott
scholarship in 1984. Langemeier said
he had considered several engineering
schools besides UNL, but the scholar
ship offer "clinched it."
Langemeier said the college has
good laboratories and teachers and a
"I don't really know if there are
many weaknesses except for lack of
funding," he said.
Sen. Doug Weems said he talked to
an aide of State Sen. Dave Landis who
said if UNL pulled out of NSSA, "prob
ably nobody would notice."
Sen. Camile Castellano encouraged
the senate to compromise by upholding
the Committee for Fees Allocation's
recommendation of increasing GLC's
budget and giving NSSA a one-year
Steve Linenberger, the new NSSA
director, told the senate, "all I want is
one damn year."
But while state dollar support for the
college has been "inadequate," Liberty
said, alumni contributions and other
private-sector donations have doubled
since 1981, adding $2.5 million to the
college's base budget of about $5.5
Liberty said updating equipment,
strengthening the graduate program
and funding faculty research projects
are priorities for any extra money. An
engineering college's prestige is based
on published faculty research and its
graduate program, he said.
Unlike other UNL colleges, Liberty
said, private funds have supported
engineering faculty travel.
"Our faculty is able to research, pub
lish and go out to speak about what
1 they are doing," he said. "All this is
exposing our research capabilities to
the rest of the world."
The result of the publicity is evident,
Liberty said. Despite relatively low
salaries, the college is "finding it easy"
to hire successful engineering teachers
at a time when other engineering col
leges struggle, he said.
Last year's salaries for the college's
51 professors and 51 associate profes
sors averaged $40,361, which was $3,578
below the $43,939 national average,
statistics indicate. Despite the lower
salaries, Liberty said many engineer
professors are attracted to UNL because
of its research emphasis.
Since 1981, nearly one-third of the
current faculty members, one depart
ment chairman and an associate dean
(Schneider) have been hired. Last year
the college was fully staffed for the first
time in 15 years, Liberty said.
"Anytime you have that quantity of
personnel come in, that changes things
quite a bit," he said.
The graduate program is improving,
Liberty said, mostly because more
scholarship money is given to graduate
. students. Liberty said the number of
full-time graduate students has doubled
during the last six years. This year
there are 301 full- and part-time gradu
Liberty said student and faculty
morale is high despite "very weak"
state support for the college.
"Our resources for instruction and
research are very inadequate," he said.
"A college of this size should plan on a
half a million dollars a year as a min
imum for the replacement of equip
ment. I would say we probably hit only
$250,000 a year."
Splinter said agricultural engineer
ing's effectiveness has been lowered by
limited funding. Several years ago,
Splinter said, the ag-engineering de
partment was in the top 10 percent of
similar departments nationwide but
now is just in the top one-third.
Since the 1984 renovation of L W.
Chase Hail, which houses ag engineer
ing, the department has been unable
See ENGir:ni?IG on 3
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