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Shown above, players from the 1913 University of Omaha baseball team.

This Week in Campus History

In early April of 1959, That You May Know reported that Professor Glenn Seaborg was scheduled to present a tele-lecture, titled "Trans-Uranium Elements," at the University of Omaha (OU) Eppley Conference Center later that month. Seaborg, winner of the 1951 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley and director of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. Dr. Seaborg's lecture was sponsored by the OU student chapter of the American Chemical Society and was followed by a question-and-answer period.

Date: April 1959
Source: That You May Know
Compiled by Criss Library Archives

Alexander Williams

At Your Service

by Beverly Newsam

While some of his fellow students are still snug in their beds, Alexander Williams is on campus preparing for the day. It is just one of many changes he has faced during his transition to student body president/regent at UNO. ...continue

Hawaiian Airlines Takes Top AQR Spot

Hawaiian Airlines has taken the top spot in the 17th annual national Airline Quality Ratings (AQR) study. This is the first year for Hawaiian Airlines to be included in the ratings. Jet Blue, which had been ranked first for the past three years, slipped to second.

The study, ranking the 18 largest U.S. airlines, was announced April 2 at a news conference in Washington, D.C. Following Hawaiian and Jet Blue in the top five of the AQR were AirTran, Frontier and Northwest.

The AQR is a summary of month-by-month quality ratings for the largest domestic U.S. airlines operating during 2006. Co-researchers Brent Bowen, director and professor at UNO Aviation Institute/School of Public Administration, and Dean Headley, associate professor of marketing at Wichita State University (WSU), used 15 elements important to consumers when judging the quality of airline service.

Hawaiian Airlines led the 2006 ratings in the category of best on-time performance. The company's planes were on-time 93.8 percent of the time. The airline also had the best baggage handling rate (3.14 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers) in the rankings.

Eighteen airlines were studied in 2006. Other airlines added to the ratings included Frontier and Mesa. For 2006, data of the merged operations of US Airways and America West airlines are combined, and appear only as US Air data.

The AQR researchers note that overall industry performance in three of the four AQR criteria was worse in 2006, compared to 2005. In particular, the mishandled baggage rate was the most consistent area of performance decline for most of the airlines rated in 2006. The mishandled baggage rate for the industry increased from 6.06 per 1,000 passengers in 2005 to 6.50 in 2006.         

"We're back to full passenger volume, similar as we were before

9/11. We also have about 18-20 percent less seat capacity in the system

now," Headley said. "It's just a very complex system with high volume, and it just doesn't hold up well to the pressure."

The rating is conducted annually by the UNO Aviation Institute and W. Frank Barton School of Business at WSU. The AQR, as an industry standard, provides consumers and industry watchers a means to compare quality among airlines using objective performance-based data. It is a joint research project funded as part of faculty research activities at UNO and WSU.

"The stress in the airline system is across the board.  Passengers, airline staff, airline corporations are as stretched as we have ever seen them," Bowen said. "Seeing declines in industry performance isn't surprising in this environment, and it will be difficult to change the trends we have seen."

The AQR scores for the 18 largest airlines for 2006 resulted in the following ranking:

1) Hawaiian
2) Jet Blue
3) Air Tran
4) Frontier
5) Northwest
6) Southwest
7) Continental
8) United
9) Alaska
10) American
11) ATA
12) Delta
13) US Air
14) SkyWest
15) Mesa
17) American Eagle
18) Atlantic Southeast

Criteria included in the AQR are screened to meet two basic elements: They must be readily obtainable from published data sources for each airline, and they must be important to consumers regarding airline quality. The resulting criteria include areas such as baggage handling, customer complaints, denied boardings and on-time arrivals.

Other major industry findings in this year's research study include:

- Atlantic Southeast Airlines had the worst on-time performance (66 percent) for 2006.

- Five airlines improved their on-time arrival performance in 2006, compared to 2005. Ten airlines had worse on-time arrival performance in 2006 than in 2005. Only three of the 18 rated airlines had an on-time arrival percentage of more than 80 percent. On-time for 2006 by the industry was 75.5 percent, compared to 77.3 percent in 2005.

- Atlantic Southeast had the highest involuntary denied boardings rate at 4.47 per 10,000 passengers. Jet Blue had the lowest involuntary denied boardings rate at 0.07 per 10,000 passengers.

- Five airlines improved their denied boardings rate in 2006. ATA recorded the largest improvement. Jet Blue and Air Tran are clearly the industry leaders in avoiding denied boarding incidents. Industry performance was worse in 2006 (1.01 per 10,000 passengers) than it was in 2005 (0.89).

- Atlantic Southeast had the worst baggage handling rate (17.37 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers) of all airlines.

- Southwest Airlines, again, had the lowest consumer complaint rate (0.18 per 100,000 passengers) of all airlines.

- United and US Airways both had the highest consumer complaint rates (1.36 per 100,000 passengers for both) of all airlines.

- The customer complaint rate was higher in 2006 for seven of the 15 airlines rated in 2005. Seven airlines had a lower rate for 2006. Southwest maintained the same industry best rate in 2006 that they achieved in 2005. Customer complaints per 100,000 passengers decreased slightly, from 0.89 in 2005 to 0.88 in 2006.

- Nearly half (49 percent) of all complaints to the Department of Transportation were for flight problems or baggage complaints.

An electronic version of the full report is available online at

Severe Weather Awareness Week

This first week of April has been designated as Severe Weather Awareness Week.  On Wednesday, April 4, (at approximately 10 a.m.) civil defense sirens will sound and alerts will be broadcast through the National Weather Service.

The "alert system," which consists of speakers and strobes in the hallways of campus buildings, will be activated to provide the UNO community an opportunity to hear and see this system in operation.  The alert system is provided to supplement the civil defense sirens in the area. Some areas may exercise their emergency plans, but all faculty and staff should review their department procedures and shelter locations.  Tornado procedures are listed in the UNO telephone directory on page 111. 

For more information, contact Stan Schleifer, manager of support services, at 554.3596. If you have questions about the alert system in your area, contact Dick May, manager of telecommunications, at 554.2854.

Lunch & Learn Workshop to Highlight Speech Skills

The UNO Speech Center will sponsor a free student workshop - "Let Your Body Speak: Delivery an Effective Presentation Lunch & Learn" - Wednesday, April 4, from 11 a.m. to noon in the Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) Gallery Room. 

Students are invited to learn more about focusing on all aspects of delivery; effectively using gestures, facial expressions and movement; developing and maintaining eye contact; and expressing yourself through your volume, pauses and articulation.

Free pizza and pop will be provided.  To register for this session, contact Marlina Howe at the Speech Consulting Center at 554.3201 or

"Madagascar - Conservation vs. Survival" Premiere April 11

The UNO campus premiere of "Madagascar - Conservation vs. Survival" will be Wednesday, April 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Nebraska Room.  The film will be shown in high definition.

A production of UNO Television, "Madagascar - Conservation vs. Survival" details the struggle the country faces as it tries to balance feeding a growing population with preserving endangered and globally unique habitats.  The program highlights how the Henry Doorly Zoo is cooperating with local organizations in Madagascar to meet these conflicting goals.

Rapidly declining rainforests on the island of Madagascar are threatening the existence of the country's unique ecosystem. Researchers from the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha are working to preserve the island's endangered plants and animals.

Major funding for "Madagascar - Conservation vs. Survival" was provided by the Theodore F. and Claire M. Hubbard Family Foundation. Additional support was provided by the National Public Radio program "From The Top" and HunTel Communications Inc.

Actor Danny Glover narrates the documentary, and musician Peter Buffett composed the original music. The program was recorded and produced in high definition.

For more information, contact Jim Adams at 554.2516.

Classroom Response System (Clickers) Announcement

This is the time of year faculty start placing book orders. For those instructors interested in using classroom response systems, or "clickers," please note that UNO Information Technology Services (ITS) and the UNO Bookstore have standardized on eInstruction clickers.

While instructors can order any clicker system, tech support from ITS is limited to eInstruction systems, and the UNO Bookstore will only buy back eInstruction clickers at this time. ITS asks instructors keep this in mind as they negotiate with book vendors and plan for courses.

The standardization agreement with eInstruction lowers clicker prices for UNO students and allows the UNO Bookstore to buy back clickers. As part of the agreement, eInstruction also provides a free test kit, which includes a receiver and clicker, to every UNO instructor who adopts eInstruction clickers for classroom use. The UNO Bookstore will provide a test kit request form to instructors who order clickers.

ITS will hold a clicker brown bag in the Milo Bail Student Center Umonhon Room Friday, April 13, from noon to 1 p.m. The brown bag will feature a demo of the eInstruction clickers and an overview of clicker support at UNO, including how to check out a demo set for review. No registration is required. Hands-on workshops will be scheduled later in the semester and the summer, based on the number of instructors who adopt clickers.

Instructors wanting additional information about using clickers may contact ITS Customer Services at 554.HELP (554.4357). Instructors wanting specific information about ordering and pricing, regardless of vendor, may contact Scott Dickey at 554.2541.

Communication Week April 19-26

The UNO School of Communication will celebrate Communication Week (April 19-26) with a variety of events, culminating April 26 with the 52nd annual Communication Awards Banquet. The schedule is listed below.

Thursday, April 19
- High School Student Tours
Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) Dodge Room
10:30 a.m.

 - High School Journalism Conference
MBSC Ballroom

- Presentation by Jane Kirtley, University of Minnesota professor
439 Arts and Sciences Hall
3 p.m.

Monday, April 23
- PRSSA and Ad Club Presentations
4 p.m.

Tuesday, April 24
- Forensics Presentations
102 Eppley Administration Building
4 p.m.

Wednesday, April 25
- Persuasion Presentations
MBSC Dodge Room
1 p.m.

Thursday, April 26
- Alumni Panel
MBSC Dodge Room
1 p.m.

- Wine and Cheese Alumni Reception
Weber Fine Arts Building Art Gallery
5 p.m.

- 52nd Annual School of Communication Banquet
William H. and Dorothy Alumni Center
6 p.m.

For more information about Communication Week, call 554.2600.

Economic Development Policy Expert to Speak at UNO April 5

The UNO School of Public Administration will host a presentation by nationally noted author R. Scott Fosler Thursday, April 5.

A reception for Fosler will be held at 5 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom.  His talk, titled "Institutional Capacity for Economic Development," will begin at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Fosler - a visiting professor and the first Roger C. Lipitz Senior Fellow in the Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise at the University of Maryland - is an expert on economic development policy.  He also has served as vice president and director of government studies for the Committee for Economic Development and as president of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Currently, Fosler is vice chair of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Working Group on the Agricultural Reserve and a board member of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship.  He has numerous publications, including the co-edited works The Challenge to New Governance in the Twenty-First Century: Achieving Effective Central-Local Relations and Public Private Partnership in American Cities.  Fosler also has chaired the National Civic League and has been active as a consultant to many governments, businesses, non-profit organizations, foundations and internal institutions worldwide.

Fosler received a bachelor of arts degree from Dickinson College and his master of public administration degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

The April 5 event is being co-sponsored by University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken and the UNO School of Public Administration.

For more information, call Rhonda Sheibal-Carver at 554.2625.

Commencement Set for May 4

Commencement for May graduates will be held Friday, May 4, at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave., at 2 p.m. Faculty members are asked to assemble no later than 1:30 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall.

Faculty who plan to attend the ceremony are asked to order their academic regalia from the UNO Bookstore (554.2336) by April 13.

International Summer Seminar Opportunity Available

The UNO Study Abroad Program announces the following summer seminar opportunity:

Topic: International Conflicts: Iraq, Darfur and the Arab-Israeli Dispute
Program Dates: May 12-26
Description: At the Washington Center's International Conflicts Seminar (Washington, D.C.), participants will learn about the causes of some of the world's most intensive conflicts directly from those shaping what will happen on the ground. They will examine the ideological, religious, economic, ethnic, racial and political divisions between and within nations in conflict - and the methods used to resolve them.
Application Deadline: April 15

For more information, contact Krista Cupich, study abroad and international admissions advisor, at 554.2293.


Scott Parse Signs with Grand Rapids Griffins
On March 27, the Grand Rapids Griffins signed three players to amateur tryouts, including 2007 Hobey Baker Award finalist Scott Parse.

Parse, 22, was one of the top collegiate players throughout his four years as a forward at the UNO. The Portage, Mich., native was named to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's (CCHA's) All-Conference Team each of the last three seasons following his All-Rookie Team selection in 2004, and he was recently named a Hobey Baker Award finalist for the second consecutive year. The winner of college hockey's top honor will be announced April 6 during the Frozen Four in St. Louis.

Parse scored a career-high 24 goals this season and led UNO in scoring for the fourth straight year, finishing with 52 points (24-28-52). He departs as the Mavericks' all-time leader with 79 goals, 118 assists, 197 points and 159 games played, having never missed a game during his college career.

In 2005-06, Parse was named CCHA Player of the Year after ranking first in the conference and second in the nation with a school-record 61 points (20-41-61). Also chosen as a First Team All-American, he led the Mavericks to their first NCAA Tournament appearance.

For more information, visit the Web at

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