The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 05, 1998, Page 6, Image 6

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Omaha, NE 68114
Education with Heart
Education for Life.
UNL looks at program cost
Administrators examine distance education tuition
By Lindsay Young
Senior staff writer
The university wants to reduce the
cost of education for students who take
classes outside the physical university
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
administrators are comparing die tuition
rate for distance education and on-cam
pus courses.
They hope to make the two rates
more comparable and fair, making dis
tance education more accessible to all
Nebraskans, university officials said.
UNLs distance education program
teaches students all over the world
through the Internet and mail or via
satellite and video-conferencing.
The program also teaches students
at learning centers throughout the state
either with a traveling professor or
through various types of computer tech
nology, such as teleconferencing.
Distance education this year costs
about 50 percent more than on-campus
tuition rates. For engineering and busi
ness courses, it costs twice as much as
on-campus tuition.
The NU Board of Regents approves
the rate of tuition for distance education
every year as part of the base cost for on
campus tuition, Regent Nancy O’Brien
of Waterloo said.
But at the regents’ July meeting,
some regents, including Don Blank of
McCook, said die cost of distance edu
cation may be too high.
Blank said much of distance educa
tion hasn’t been state-subsidized in the
past because it has been considered a
program that would pay for itself.
Students who take courses on cam
pus pay only about one-third of the actu
al cost of die course, Vice Chancellor
for Extended Education Irv Omtvedt
said. State and external funding provide
the rest
Students who take the courses off
campus pay much more, Omtvedt said.
But at a time when distance educa
tion is becoming more commonplace,
the university should reconsider how it
pays for those services, Blank said.
“I represent a part of the state that
many times access (to the university) is
a problem,” he said. “They don’t always
have the ability to go to a campus.”
A task force is working at making
distance education more a part of NU’s
core mission, which means making it
more affordable, Omtvedt said.
“We’re in a society where education
and continuous learning is a higher pri
ority than it was in the past,” Omtvedt
From June to July. Omtvedt said, a
committee worked on a report that com
pared the cost of on-campus tuition to
distance education. It presented the
report at the regents’ July meeting.
That report concluded that distance
education cost 130 percent to 192 per
cent above the cost of the same course
on campus.
Regent Drew Miller of Papillion
criticized the report, saying it included
fees that only on-campus students bene
fit from, such as University Police.
Omtvedt said the report attempted
to determine the best estimates of actual
costs for five graduate-level courses
offered both on campus and through
distance education
The task force chose graduate-level
courses because most courses taken off
campus are at that level.
Since the July meeting, the task
force has been working on a new plan to
present to the planning committee Oct
23 to pay for distance education to make
it comparable to on-campus tuition,
Omtvedt said.
To help make it part of the mission
of the university, in the past two years
UNL has made more money available
to distance education by reallocating
university funds.
As a result, the program has been
able to increase the number of course
offerings each year.
Reallocated funds also contributed
to enhancing facilities, including a new
multimedia laboratory in Scottsbluff, a
video conference classroom in North
Platte and equipment for a new learning
center in Norfolk.
UNL Leadership Circle
joins honorary society
By Josh Nichols
Staff writer
The UNL Leadership Circle is
about to move into a bigger sphere.
The group will change its title to
Omicron Delta Kappa when it
becomes part of the national honorary
society, a move tentatively planned for
sometime in November. v
Omicron Delta Kappa was started
in 1914 at Washington and Lee
University in Virginia and recognizes
achievement in superior scholarship,
leadership and exemplary character.
The society has 267 chapters
nationwide, including Nebraska chap
ters at the University of Nebraska at
Omaha, Hastings College and
Creighton University.
Once accepted into the society, the
Leadership Circle, formed last
October to gather students with vast
experience in leadership, hopes to play
an integral role in decisions made by
the universitv.
Members also want to develop
programs for leadership development
and perform an increased amount of
service projects.
Alii Walters, a senior management
major, said once the group receives its
charter into the national organization,
it plans to recruit members outside the
university who have positive leader
ship roles in the community.
Walters said such recruitment is
what will make the group different
from other organizations on campus.
“We take into our group not only
members on campus but faculty and
adult community members also,” he
The Leadership Circle has 15
members. The Students Affairs office
selected them based on their involve
ment and leadership roles in other
organizations on campus.
Sunday and Monday the group
was visited by Richard Hoover,
Omicron Delta Kappa national presi
dent and president of Hastings
What makes ODK
stand out is it
tries to be as
diverse as possible’’
Leadership Circle president
Kay Kwang, senior finance major
and Leadership Circle president, said
the purpose of the visit “was to give
(Hoover) a better feel of the support
ODK would have on our campus.”
Larry Routh, adviser for UNL
Leadership Circle, said talking with
Hoover gave Leadership Circle mem
bers a clear idea of what the group is
all about.
“We were stimulated by what other
chapters have done in their universi
ties,” he said. “Many are active in deci
sions made by faculty in their universi
The UNL Leadership Circle fits
the Omicron Delta Kappa criteria well,
Kwang said. The group tries to include
members from a wide variety of
departments and interests.
“What makes ODK stand out is it
tries to be as diverse as possible,”
Kwang said.
Members of the Circle include
leaders in fine arts, athletics, agricul
ture, the greek system and many oth
Because the group is so diverse
and represents many aspects of univer
sity organizations, Routh said he
thought it would represent students
well in helping with decisions made by
the university.
“I hope ODK truly brings together
leaders from all parts of the university
and brings them into contact with
other university and community lead