Frequently Asked Questions:
Answer 1: What is the CEC and where will it be located?
The CEC will be a 60,000 square foot, standalone building located in the heart of the UNO campus, just south of the Henningson Campanile and west of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) building. It will house all of the university’s primary campus-wide engagement programs, including the Service Learning Academy, Student/Community Leadership and the Volunteer Resource Center, as well as current and future initiatives founded by individual faculty, students, organizations, or community partners. It will serve as the nexus for metropolitan outreach for the campus, connecting university resources and interests with community needs.
Believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the CEC will offer extensive learning, community service and leadership opportunities, facilitate the application of faculty, staff and student expertise to local issues, and provide a rich, adaptive, environment in which community and university partners can grow, learn, and benefit from one another.
Answer 2: What are the core values of the CEC, and how were they determined?
Answer 3: Why does UNO need to build a community engagement center on campus, rather than in the community?
By building the CEC on campus, UNO will ensure that the community has vastly improved access to the campus and its full array of services, events, and human capital. Additionally, housing the CEC on the campus will ensure that we can more effectively engage UNO students in the full range of activities offered in and through the CEC. The CEC will be a visual and physical representation of UNO’s renewed commitment to be a metropolitan institution of distinction, with a sincere intention to be open to the community. The CEC is not intended, however, to detract or reduce the extensive outreach activities already occurring off-campus. Rather, the CEC will enhance UNO’s capacity to be more responsive and effective in its off-campus activities as well, as it will increase the capacity of the Service Learning Academy, Student Community Leadership, applied research, and other outreach activities.
Answer 4: What value will the CEC offer the community?
Answer 5: How will the CEC benefit students?
As evident by the rapidly increasing number of students enrolled in service learning courses and participating in service days, students coming to UNO today are actively seeking service and volunteer opportunity activities. More and more frequently, employers are seeking students who can demonstrate the type of volunteer experience and leadership experience gained through community service.
The CEC will provide greater coordination, technical support, and visibility of the full range of community service-related opportunities available to students, all located within one building. The CEC will allow for multiple, coordinated approaches to inform, recruit, and support student volunteer service activities in both short term and long term settings.
The CEC will house and support new co-curricular community service activities through Student Affairs, such as expanded community leadership programming, volunteer activities infused in orientation, First Year Experience (FYE) courses, and other university activities, and opportunities for drop-in service projects.
Answer 6: How is the CEC benefit faculty and staff?
Answer 7: What types of partners will be held in the CEC?
Answer 8: What will be the process for determining what organizations will be in the building?
The overarching determination will be based off of what organizations fit the values of the CEC and have a NEED above others for the space and collaboration. The final decision will be made by the CEC Advisory Committee and will be overseen by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.
Answer 9: What office space will be available to community and university organizations in the CEC?
The CEC will house three separate community/university partnership spaces totaling 10,500 square feet. Two of these spaces will be on the first floor and one will be on the second floor of the building. All three will include flexible office spaces for community organizations, including nonprofit, government, education (K- 12 or higher education partners), private sector organizations, collaboratives, and grant-funded initiatives. UNO outreach-based programs involving faculty, staff and/or students will also be eligible to occupy spaces within these areas. These spaces will be completely furnished. There will limited private office spaces, as well as numerous large and medium sized semi-private work spaces as well as more open work areas for students and more collaborative work environments.To view the floor plans and examples of furnishings for the community/university partnership spaces click here.
Answer 10: What meeting space will be available in the CEC?
The CEC will include numerous meeting rooms for groups of 5 to 300. All will have access to state of the art technology. Spaces include:
These spaces will be available at no charge for organizations that are using the space for the public good and that have some type of affiliation with UNO, either through a CEC-related partnership; a faculty, staff, or program, or service learning-related affiliation, or long-term collaboration.To view the floor plans, furnishings, layouts and examples of furnishing of these spaces click here.
Answer 11: How will community and university organizations apply for long-term space in the CEC?
The application process for long-term users of the CEC will focus on how the applicant organization or project coincides with the stated values of the CEC. A subcommittee of the CEC Building Advisory Committee will oversee the two stage application process: first, all applicants will complete an application designed to give the subcommittee insight as to how the applicant’s interest in the space coincides with the values of the CEC. As part of the written application, applicants will be asked to submit some supporting documents, including its annual budget and a copy of its strategic plan, if available. The second phase of the application process will be an interview with the subcommittee and an organizational representative(s). The building advisory committee will send its recommendations for building residents to UNO’s Chancellor and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, who will have ultimate responsibility for determining what community and university entities will be housed in the building.
The initial release of RFPs for long-term applicants the CEC will be May 6th, 2013, with a due date of June 15, 2013. Following, there will be rolling due dates every three months as follows: September 1, 2013; December 1, 2013; March 1, 2014; and every three subsequent months thereafter.
To find more details about the long-term application process and RFPs click here.
Answer 12: How will community and university organizations apply for short-term space in the CEC?
The application process for short-term (project) users of the CEC will also focus on how the applicant organization/project coincides with the stated values of the CEC, but will be a simplified, one-stage process also overseen by a subcommittee of the CEC Building Advisory Committee. Applicants will complete a simplified written application designed to give the subcommittee insight as to how the applicant’s interest in the space coincides with the values of the CEC. There will be no face-to-face interview but a member of the committee may call with follow-up questions. Applications for short term space will be accepted any time after January 1, 2014 and will be reviewed on a monthly basis.
Answer 13: Will there be a usage fee (rent) for outside organizations using office space?
Yes. In determining the usage fee, the Building Advisory Committee looked at local rental market costs as well as data regarding what nonprofit organizations report as building expense. To view a breakdown of yearly usage fees for long- and short-term users (these can be prorated to monthly rates as necessary) click here.
The standard layout for office space will be suite composed of a private office, a large semi-private office space, and a small semi-private office. The suite fee will include two underground parking stalls. In addition to the suite, organizations can select space from an “a la carte” menu, which will allow for customized space needs. While parking is not included in a la carte fees, parking (under the building, surface parking, etc.) can be added to the usage agreement The fee for each suite or al a carte space will allow the community partner to utilize considerably more space than just their individual space, such as common space within their office suites, meeting rooms, and supply/storage areas. Additional amenities included in the usage agreement will include:
Answer 14: What about parking for the CEC community partners and visitors?
UNO has made parking for CEC community partners and visitors to the building a priority in the building’s design.
The CEC will have a sixty-stall, controlled-access, underground parking garage for its community partners to ensure convenient 24-hour access to the building. Fees for the garage will be included in monthly rent for those organizations taking the suite package; for a la carte users, a reserved parking fee would be added to the monthly rent. Unless special circumstances exist, underground parking spaces will be limited to two per organization.
For visitors for the CEC, UNO will convert parking lot E and, when needed, parking lot D to visitor parking. These two lots are located on the north access road, which is accessible from Dodge Street and are easily locatable by their proximity to the UNO Campanile (belltower), which is directly to the north of the CEC. A parking assistant will be present to assist visitors accessing the lot and to ensure the lot is used for visitors only. There will be no charge to visitors using these lots. To view the location of the CEC and the adjacent parking lots click here to see .
Answer 15: How is the CEC funded?
The total CEC construction cost is $23,593,161.
The construction of the CEC has been funded through the generosity of private donors. We continue to seek addition private funds to support program funding, such as support for student internships, fellowships, and operations.
Answer 16: How will the CEC be administered?
UNO’s Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs will oversee the operation of the CEC. The building and its operation will not be administered under any specific UNO college; rather all of UNO’s six colleges as well as its other divisions and offices, such as Student Services, Student Affairs, and Athletics will be encouraged to be involved in the building and its programs and operations. It should be noted that this is not an effort to centralize outreach or limit outreach to the UNO campus; rather it is designed to strengthen campus’ capacity to broaden its outreach throughout the community while making the UNO campus and its resources more accessible.
Please click here for a list of contacts regarding the building’s operation.
The CEC’s Building Advisory Committee has provided guidance regarding the building’s administrative structure, focus, values, and business operations, and will assist in the selection of building residents.
The CEC will have a strong emphasis on self-governance. Building residents will be encouraged to participate in the creation and application of building policies, protocols and procedures that fit the nature and culture of the building and its aims.
Answer 17: Is there a more formal incubator option available?
Yes. In the past, UNO has served as the administrative for emerging, local nonprofit organizations as they develop a board of directors, staff capacity, and programming. This option is available in the CEC through a grant agreement in which the organization’s staff are hired as UNO employees and some, if not all, of the organization’s expenses are run through UNO’s accounting system. This allows for new organizations to focus on programming and building capacity, while maintaining operations under UNO’s rigorous state standards. Organizations wishing to engage in this type of relationship will pay an additional 16% fee (in addition to rent as described above) and sign an operating agreement. Organizations seeking this arrangement should contact Sara Woods for more information.