English, Department of


Date of this Version



InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching Volume 4 - 2009 9/11


At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) I come to SoTL work from several different locations: As an English professor in composition and rhetoric; as an associate dean for faculty within the College of Arts and Sciences; and as cocoordinator of a faculty teaching development program. This past spring was especially challenging as the country’s economic free-fall led to a year filled of budget-planning exercises, which then turned into budget-cut proposals, and now impending--but still not determined--budget cuts. In many ways, UNL has fared better than most other universities nationwide. The state of Nebraska received national attention when it was named the financially “happiest state” in the country by MainStreet.com based on factors of economic well-being. UNL did not face the mid-year budget cuts that forced other institutions to freeze hiring, fire and furlough staff and faculty, and/or increase teaching loads. While the threat of budget cuts was a cloud that hovered over us throughout the year, the actual financial impact for this year was negligible. Indeed, because we were one of the few institutions continuing to hire, we benefited from a buyer’s market, hiring a wonderful group of new faculty who might not otherwise have given UNL a second look. Wearing the hat of associate dean for faculty, I can say it was definitely a good year.