The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 02, 2000, Image 1

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    Prima Ballerina
French dance company celebrates
the past with classical pieces.
The Gatekeepers ; '
We may be the keymasters, but they stand
between us and what we want.
Fewer students join
field after graduation
By Veronica Daehn
Staff writer
University of Nebraska-Lincoln elementary
education major Melanie Hoffman said she
wants to make a difference.
She wants to affect children’s lives and
maybe even change a little bit of the world.
Because of those dreams, Hoffman said she
wants to teach.
But she’s not doing it for the money.
She said that’s a good thing.
According to a report released in December
by the National Education Association,
Nebraska slipped to 43rd in the nation for aver
age teacher salary for the year 1998-99.
Nebraska teachers make an average of
$33,473 a year, the report said.
That figure is $7,702 less than the national
Educators across the state have been push
ing state senators to pass legislation that would
put $40 million toward increasing teacher
salaries in Nebraska.
“If Nebraska doesn’t act, this fine education
system will be at risk,” said Duane Obermier,
NSEA president. “Do you think any Nebraskan
wants that?”
More than 1,000 teachers, administrators
and parents rallied the State Capitol on Monday
Nikki Fox/DN
LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL teacher Micah Heibel laughs with students during his fourth period geometry class Monday morning.
night to show their support for the legislation,
LB 1397.
Members of the Education Committee lis
tened as more than a dozen testifiers told their
personal stories of how an increased salary
would help the education system.
“Nearly without exception, our Nebraska
students make us proud,” Obermier said. “We
must be able to compete (for quality teachers)
for those students, and we will not compete suc
cessfully with our 43rd ranking.”
Micah Heibel, a Lincoln High School math
teacher, agreed.
Losing teachers to other states because of
the low pay in Nebraska is a real issue, espe
cially for young teachers, Heibel said.
“We almost try to dare them to quit,” Heibel
said. “We give them tougher responsibilities,
and we pay them less.”
Heibel said he has worked with colleagues
who left the profession for higher paying jobs.
“They wanted to make a better living,” he
“A lot of it is the money side of it, but it’s
harder and harder to replace them.”
Heibel said a higher salary would allow him
to concentrate more on his teaching at Lincoln
High. He wouldn’t have to teach night classes at
UNL, he said.
“Teachers aren’t elevated to a high level in
this state,” Heibel said. “I knew when I started
that I wouldn’t make much money.”
But Heibel said he stays in Nebraska
Please see TEACHERS on 8
J r
Officials to shine athletic spotlight on academics
By Lindsay Young
Senior editor
Two of UNL junior Matthew Tweedy’s past room
mates came to Nebraska because they had heard of its
football program, but not much else. One roommate was
from neighboring Iowa. The other, from Malaysia.
In a University Foundations class, professor Dave
Lewis asked his students to rank what they perceived to be
the university’s priorities: Money, football or sports usual
ly fell in die top spots.
And when Phyllis Larsen, University of Nebraska
Lincoln spokeswoman, started talking to leaders of other
schools about UNLs reputation, she discovered die school
doesn’t have a bad academic image; it just doesn’t have
Striking a balance between the image of the universi
ty as an athletic powerhouse and as an academic institu
tion isn’t easy, UNL administrators said.
Money is what drives much of UNLs image, in terms
of where it’s spent and how much of it is spent. When
money is spent on athletic interests, while, at the same
time, budgets of academic programs are cut, members of
the public see the university s priorities as biased, admin
istrators said.
NU Athletic Director Bill Byrne and UNL Chancellor
James Moeser said the athletic department is economical
ly self-sufficient. Whatls more, they said, the athletic and
academic budgets are separate, so one doesn’t necessarily
affect the otter.
Despite efforts by the university to make its academic
efforts known, the strides it makes in athletics - facility
renovations and athletic personnel salary bonuses - are
what the public always hears about, said Lewis, the past
president of the UNL chapter of the American
Association of University Professors.
The AAUP chapter issued a statement earlier this year
criticizing an $89,000 bonus athletic director Byrne
awarded himself on top of his $250,000 base salary.
“We’re objecting to die image,” Lewis said.
Lewis said faculty members generally feel adminis
trators hold athletics as a higher priority, though he said
many aren’t aware die athletic and academic budgets are
Please see IMAGE on 6
GOP Senate race
becomes tighter
By Kimberly Sweet
Staff writer
For Republican candidates antici
pating a run for Nebraska’s vacant seat
in the US. Senate, an already tight race
got tighter on Tuesday.
Secretary of State Scott Moore
announced his intention to run for the
seat that will be vacated by Sen. Bob
Kerrey at the end of this year. *
Moore said he will make an
announcement that will officially kick
off his candidacy in the coming days.
Talk of Moore entering the race has
emanated from the political front dur
ing the past couple of weeks.
“I never started thinking about it
until 10 days ago,” Moore said.
After former NU Coach Tom
Osborne announced on Friday he
would go after the 3rd District seat in the
U.S. House instead of going after the
Senate seat, Moore said he started
thinking about it seriously.
The announcement makes Moore
the fifth Republican candidate in the
Senate race.
Attorney General Don Stenberg,
Lt. Gov. Dave Maurstad and Lincoln
physician Eliott Rustad were in the race
before this week.
George Grogan, who dropped out
•• It’s a sign of
the times. This is
a very good time
to be a
Chuck Sigerson
Nebraska Republican Party chairman
of the Senate race last summer, retired
as chief executive officer of Financial
Brokerage in Omaha and recently
joined the field of Republicans.
Chuck Sigerson, chairman of the
Nebraska Republican Party, said the
abundance of candidates proves it’s a
good time to be a member of the GOP.
“It’S* a sign of the times,” Sigerson
said. “This is a very good time to be a
With the exit of Kerrey, Sigerson
said many Republicans are realizing
they have to seize the day.
“In the last 60 years, a seat has come
open only three to four times,” he said
“If they don’t try for it now, the seat
Please see MOORE on 8