NUconnections highlights university-wide institutes, collaboration opportunities

October 06, 2016

Finding solutions to our biggest challenges requires collaboration. That's the idea behind the University of Nebraska's four interdisciplinary, system-wide institutes - each created to leverage the talent and research-based expertise from across the four campuses to help address some of our most complex challenges at home and abroad: improving young children's learning and development, empowering rural communities, improving national security and growing more food with less water.
The public and university community will have an opportunity to learn more about the institutes - the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, the National Strategic Research Institute, the Rural Futures Institute and the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute - during a special event Oct. 6 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center. NUconnections is free and open to the public, and will include complimentary breakfast and espresso bar provided by The Mill Coffee & Tea. Those who wish to attend are asked to register online, here by Sept. 29.
NUconnections, jointly hosted by the institutes, creates a space for faculty, staff and students with diverse skills and backgrounds from all four NU campuses to meet and interact, along with policymakers, business leaders and other community stakeholders interested in working together to find innovative solutions to complex state, national and global challenges. In addition to networking, participants can meet the institute directors and discover opportunities for collaboration through research, student support and other partnerships.
Following breakfast, Susan M. Fritz, executive vice president and provost, dean of the Graduate College, University of Nebraska, will moderate a panel discussion with the executive directors of the institutes:
-        Robert C. Hinson, National Strategic Research Institute
-        Peter G. McCornick, Water for Food Global Institute
-        Samuel J. Meisels, Buffett Early Childhood Institute
-        Charles P. Schroeder, Rural Futures Institute
Fritz's opening remarks will provide context and insight into the development of the institutes, their purpose and her vision for their futures. The executive directors will describe the specific visions and goals of each institute, highlighting the resources, expertise and partnerships they offer. There will be a 10-minute question-and-answer session following the panel discussion.
"Today's complex global challenges require the very best minds to be at the table developing solutions - regardless of discipline or campus," said Fritz. "The University of Nebraska is positioned to leverage the talents and resources of four campuses to establish a leadership role for our state in areas that matter to Nebraskans and people around the world. Each of our university-wide institutes is conducting timely and relevant work that Nebraskans can be proud of - and each has an opportunity to expand its impact even further. I hope our faculty will join us for NUconnections to network with their colleagues and explore whether their expertise can contribute to the success of one or more of the institutes."
Parking is free to event attendees in the paved lot just north of Transformation Drive. A parking map is available here.  Guests should enter through the Innovation Commons building due to construction at the main conference center entrance. For directions to Nebraska Innovation Campus, click here.
Participate in the online discussion by using the #NUconnections hashtag.
For more information about NUconnections, contact Dana Ludvik, communications and marketing specialist, Water for Food Global Institute, at (+1) 402.472.9510 or

The Institutes
The University of Nebraska has invested in four interdisciplinary, university-wide institutes-including the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, the National Strategic Research Institute, the Rural Futures Institute, and the Water for Food Global Institute-that leverage talent and research-based expertise from across the NU system to focus on complex state, national, and global challenges.
NUconnections creates a space for faculty from all four campuses to meet and interact along with business leaders and policymakers. New faculty and those unfamiliar with the university-wide institutes who are interested in engaging in collaborative efforts are encouraged to attend to stimulate conversations and ideas. Complimentary breakfast and espresso bar provided by The Mill.