SKIP navigation SKIP to headlines
UNO eNotes Home Page
history photo

University of Omaha Band Convocation in the Arts and Sciences Hall auditorium, February 1956, under the direction of OU Assistant Professor of Music Arthur R. Custer.

This Week in Campus History

On Aug. 13, 1976 the Weekly Communicator reported on efforts by the UNO Music Department to organize a Choir Union. Plans for fall and spring performances included The Creation by Haydn and Requiem by Berlioz. The Choral Union would "perform the major choral repertoire with orchestral accompaniment," and rehearsals were scheduled to begin August 30 and continue every Monday evening.

Date: Aug. 13, 1976
Source: Weekly Communicator
Compiled by University Library Archives

James Peters

Finding His Way

by Sonja Carberry

Back in Omaha after a seven-month trek through South America, UNO grad James Peters has cut the hair he let grow into an unruly mop and trimmed his bushy beard to a midnight shadow. In a yellow button-down shirt and crisp jeans, he looks very 20-something Omaha.

But part of Peters is still south of the border. ...continue

UNO Earns Top Tier Ranking in U.S. News

UNO received an upper tier regional best universities master's ranking in the U.S. News & World Report's 2007 edition of America's Best Colleges. This is the first year UNO has moved into the top-level Midwest tier. The edition will be available to the public Monday, Aug. 21.

U.S. News gathers data in a variety of academic areas related to excellence to come up with its rankings. Peer assessment, graduation rates, class size and student-faculty ratio are some of the factors considered. Improvements in UNO's graduation rate and a high peer assessments score helped bring the university into the upper tier.

"At best, ranking systems are wrought with problems. This ranking, which includes a peer evaluation score, shows we are viewed as a high-quality institution by our professional colleagues," said John Christensen, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at UNO. "We value these colleagues' opinions, which have consistently suggested that we are among the best."

The best universities-master's category is for institutions that provide a full range of undergraduate and master's programs, and (possibly) some doctoral programs. U.S. News ranked 557 universities in the category within four geographic areas – North, South, Midwest and West.

On a 5.0 scale for peer assessment, UNO scored 3.0. The top-rated university in the Midwest tier scored 4.1. UNO's average freshman retention rate is 74 percent, the average graduation rate is 36 percent, and the student faculty ratio is 18 to 1.

"UNO's ascent into the top Midwestern tier reflects the continuing commitment of faculty and staff to meet and exceed our students' needs and expectations," said UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck. "I'm very proud of this achievement and commend the campus community for moving us forward on many fronts, including national rankings. We'll continue to work hard to keep graduation rates and student retention on the rise."

UNO's numerical rank stands at 70th, tied with Edgewood College (Wis.), Mount Mary College (Wis.), University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

* * *

UNO also received notable rankings last spring in the U.S. News and World Report's 2007 edition of America's Best Graduate Schools. In the Public Affairs rankings, which were initially announced in the 2005 edition, UNO ranked 26th among 253 similar programs. The UNO public affairs program ranked 18th nationally among public institutions.

Specialty areas within the overall Public Affairs category were ranked individually. Those specialty rankings included:

- Information science and technology ranked eighth nationally among 12 similar programs.

- Public management administration ranked 27th nationally among 37 similar programs.

- City management and urban policy ranked 29th nationally among 32 similar programs.

- Public finance and budgeting ranked 21st nationally among 33 similar programs.

In the Social Sciences and Humanities disciplines, UNO's doctoral program in criminal justice ranked ninth nationally among 33 similar programs and third nationally among metropolitan universities.

In the Health disciplines, social work ranked 70th nationally out of 101 similar programs. Also, speech-language pathology ranks 62nd nationally among 124 similar programs and 56th nationally.

The 2008 edition of America's Best Graduate Schools will be available next April.

For more information, call 554.3502 or visit the U.S. News Web site at

Interim Personnel Changes Announced for Administration

Several interim changes have been made within the UNO Office of Administration. The personnel changes effective immediately are as follows:

Joe Huebner, previously controller, will serve as interim director of finance. His areas of responsibility will include budgeting, student accounts, cashiering, accounting, operations analysis, internal audit, purchasing and risk management. He assumes the duties previously held by Julie Totten, who recently was appointed interim vice chancellor for administration upon the retirement of Jim Buck. Huebner is located in 208 Eppley Administration Building.

Tim Kaldahl, previously assistant director of media relations with University Affairs, will serve as interim director of communications. His areas of responsibility will include media relations, internal communication, marketing, special events and communication support of the Chancellor’s Office. He assumes the duties of former director Teresa Gleason, who recently resigned from her post. Kaldahl is located in 108 Eppley Administration Building.

Both positions will report to Totten.

"Meet the Mavs" Aug. 20 at UNO Soccer Field

MavericksYoung soccer players in your family can meet the national champions of Division II soccer this Sunday, Aug. 20. The Maverick soccer team will host its annual "Meet the Mavs" media day to kick off the 2006-07 season.

The Maverick soccer team will present a clinic from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. followed by a scrimmage with youth participants. All of the action is free and will take place at UNO's Soccer Field at AkSarBen.

For more information, call coach Don Klosterman at 554.4962.

"Consider This" to Feature Nebraska Attorney General

The Attorney General is one of six statewide constitutional officers in Nebraska. The duties and authority of the office are derived from the state constitution, statutory enactments and the common law. Generally speaking, the Attorney General is responsible for the representation of the state in all legal matters, both civil and criminal, where the state is named as a party or may have an interest in the outcome of the litigation or dispute.

This week on "Consider This" host Andrea McMaster's guest will be Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning. He will address why he desired to move from the State Legislature to the position of Attorney General and if he plans to run for governor of the state of Nebraska in the future. Bruning will also discuss his duties as Attorney General and about the new state sex offender law.

The program will air tonight, Aug. 18, on KYNE-TV Channel 26 at 11 p.m.

The office is organized according to specialized areas of law and is divided into eight sections -- civil litigation, legal services, roads, health, criminal appeals, civil rights, criminal prosecution and civil enforcement. At any given time, the office has more that 2,000 active cases in areas as diverse as prosecution of child abusers and major drug dealers, environmental protection enforcement, tort claims, death penalty appeals, water law, wrongful discharge from employment, eminent domain, state constitutional law, federal constitutional law, consumer protection, automobile accidents, discipline of healthcare professionals and inmate litigation. The office also provides legal services and opinions to dozens of state agencies, officials, boards and commissions, including state legislators, constitutional officers and executive agencies.

This edition of the program will be rebroadcast according to the following schedule:

Nebraska NET1 (statewide)
- Sunday, Aug. 20
11:30 p.m.

NET2 (NET's cable network)
- Monday, Aug. 21
1:30 p.m. (CT)

-Wednesday, Aug. 23
8 a.m. (CT)

"Consider This" is a production of UNO Television. It also airs on The Knowledge Network of Greater Omaha. For a list of days and times, visit the Web at Archived editions of the program are available on the Web at

UNO Welcome Week Begins Aug. 21

UNO will welcome its new and returning students to campus with a weeklong celebration Aug. 21-24. "Maverick Mojo - Welcome to it" is the theme of Welcome Week 2006. The event will include a variety of activities, display booths, bands and free food.

The celebration will be held each day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Henningson Memorial Plaza outside the Milo Bail Student Center. Free food for students, faculty and staff will be served each day starting at 11:30 a.m. The schedule is listed below.

Monday, Aug. 21
Theme: Putting students first (UNO's first strategic goal)
Featured band: The Last Few rhythm and blues band
Featured food: Meatball sandwiches
Featured games: Basketball on the Plaza and NFL Challenge

Tuesday, Aug. 22
Theme: Promoting academic excellence (UNO's second strategic goal)
Featured band: Anchondo punk rock band
Featured food: Chicken sandwiches
Featured games: Basketball on the Plaza and K-2 Challenge

Wednesday, Aug. 23 (Sponsored by Union Pacific)
Theme: Community engagement (UNO's third strategic goal)
Featured band: Sara Benck and the Robbers
Featured food: Hot dogs
Featured games: Basketball on the Plaza and dunk tank.

Thursday, Aug. 24
Theme: Clubs and Organizations Fair
Featured band: D.J. Music
Featured food: Ice cream

For more information about Welcome Week at UNO, contact Student Organizations and Leadership Programs at 554.2711 or visit the Web at

Group Ex Classes Kick Off Next Week

Campus Recreation and the Wellness Stampede have teamed up to host a variety of group exercise classes this fall at UNO.

All classes will be held in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building. Group Ex classes are free to all current Campus Recreation activity cardholders and students.

Introduction classes will be held Aug. 21-25 according to the following schedule:

- Cardio Crunch
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
100 Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER)

- Turbo Kick
5:30 to 7:45 p.m.
100 HPER

- Mav Pump
7 to 7:50 a.m.
230 HPER
Laura F.

- W.E.T.
5:30 to 6:15 p.m.
Laura H.

- Beginning Pilates
230 HPER

- Cardio Kickbox
110 HPER

To access the full Fall Group Ex Weekly Schedule, click on the following link:

Fall Group Ex Schedule

Classes will not be held Sept. 4, Oct. 16-17 and Nov. 22-24.

To have a schedule faxed or mailed to your office, call University Affairs at 554.2358. For more information, contact Dave Daniels at 554.2008.

Change in Library Hours Announced

University Library will be closed this weekend Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 19-20. Fall hours will begin Monday, Aug. 21. The fall schedule is as follows:

Monday through Thursday
7 a.m. to midnight

7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Noon to midnight

In the News

- In the NewsHesham Ali, dean of the College of Information Science and Technology, was cited in the July 13 edition of the Omaha Star and the July 16 edition of the Daily Nonpareil. The articles announced the naming of Ali to his current post.

- Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, political science, was quoted in the July 18 and July 19 editions of the Omaha World-Herald. The articles announced that Dr. Benjamin-Alvarado joined plaintiffs in a civil rights lawsuit over the breakup of the Omaha school district.

- Ken Dick and Deepak Khazanchi, information science and technology, were quoted in the June 22 edition of the Journal (Plattsmouth, Neb.) and the July 2000 edition of New Horizons. The articles discussed an innovative tool that may help slow the urge to smoke.

- Dawn Hove, UNO Child Care Center, was quoted in the July 3 edition of the Daily Nebraskan. The article focused on how the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is lagging behind in childcare, as the UNL campus lacks a center.

- Louis Pol, dean of the UNO College of Business Administration, and David Volkman, finance, banking and law, were quoted in the July 6 edition of the Omaha Star. The article examined a financial literacy camp held at UNO in collaboration with Merrill Lynch.

- Rose Shires, athletics, was cited in the July 20 edition of the Omaha World-Herald. The article announced Shires had been named interim senior women's administrator for women's athletics.

- Stephen Shorb, University Library, was quoted in the July 9 edition of the Omaha World-Herald. The article looked at ways a library expansion could boost enrollment at UNO.

- Dan Sullivan, chemistry, was pictured in the July 15 edition of the Tribune (Fremont, Neb.). Dr. Sullivan gave a Chemistry and Physics on Wheels (CAPOW) presentation at the Keene Memorial Library in Fremont.

- Karisa Vlasek, Aviation Institute, was cited in the July 17 edition of the Omaha World-Herald. The article highlighted projects offered by the UNO Aviation Institute that are designed to encourage Native Americans in Nebraska to pursue advanced degrees.

If you are a member of the UNO community and have been interviewed by the media – local, state, regional, national or international – we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243 or 554.2762.

In Print

If you've authored or edited a book, article or other text that's been published recently, we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243 or 554.2762.

On Stage

Auditions for Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra Conclude Tonight
The Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra (MUS 4130-001) and Chamber Orchestra (MUS 2730-001) will hold its final auditions for the 2006-07 season tonight, Aug. 18, at the Strauss Performing Arts Center.

The Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra, the official concert orchestra at UNO, is open to students, faculty and staff. Rehearsals will take place each Monday from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

"It is one of the most venerable and well-respected orchestras in Omaha with a history dating back to its founding in the 1920s," said Christopher Stanichar, director of orchestral activities. "The orchestra allows community members to continue to hone their musical talents by playing favorite works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and many others."

This year, Dr. Stanichar will celebrate his fifth year as conductor of the ensemble. Those interested in auditioning should call 554.2251. Details also are available on the Web at

Members Sought for University Chorus
Calling all singers - University Chorus is looking for you!

University Chorus, a mixed chorus of more than 70 singers, is open to all students, faculty and staff. The group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 12:50 p.m. in 105 Strauss Performing Arts Center.

"This ensemble is designed to meet the music needs of singers who wish to continue their choral experience," said Matthew Harden, assistant professor of music at UNO. "It is a performing organization that has varied programming but emphasizes larger choral works."

The University Chorus performs two concerts a semester, and collaborations with other Omaha arts groups are constantly sought.

For more information, contact Dr. Harden at 554.3608 or

If you are a member of the UNO community and are involved in an upcoming performance, we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243 or 554.2762.

On Exhibit

If you are a member of the UNO community and are involved in an exhibit, we want to know about it! Send an e-mail with the particulars to Please include a contact name and phone number. For more information, call 554.2243 or 554.2762.