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2008.11.10 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

UNO Chancellor Will Be Next Omaha Press Club ‘Face’ on Nov. 25

Omaha - John Christensen, chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), has been selected as the Omaha Press Club’s next “Face on the Barroom Floor.” His induction takes place Nov. 25 into the lineup of newsmakers who have been honored by the club since 1971.

The roast and toast, which is open to the public, will be held at the Press Club starting with a 5:30 p.m. no-host reception, followed by the roast and toast at 6:30 p.m.

John Langan, from UNO’s College of Education, will serve as emcee. Others scheduled to roast their friend (and in some cases, their boss) during an evening of fun are Ann Bird, coordinator for the UNMC Munroe-Meyer Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders; Mike Denney, UNO wrestling head coach, and B.J. Reed, dean of the UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service.

At the end of the roast, artist Jim Horan will unveil the caricature drawing of Christensen that is known as the “Face on the Barroom Floor.” The artwork will then be installed in a frame on the barroom floor and moved later to hang with other Faces on the club’s walls.

There is no charge to attend the event. An optional dinner follows. Dinner prices are $40 for members and $60 for nonmembers. Call (402) 345-8008 for reservations.

Christensen has been the very public face of UNO since becoming interim chancellor in September 2006. He was named UNO chancellor in 2007, the first UNO graduate and first Omaha native to lead the institution. Christensen has spent most of his academic career at UNO starting in 1978.

The chancellor oversees six colleges, 1,000 faculty and staff, 15,000 students and an annual budget of $172 million. By saluting its chancellor, OPC also is tipping its hat to the university itself, as UNO celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

Christensen began his UNO career in 1978 as a faculty member in the College of Education’s Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders. He later served as chair of that department for 12 years, prior to being named dean of the College of Education in 1999. In 2004, he was appointed vice chancellor for Academic and Students Affairs. Christensen served as a visiting professor at Beijing (China) Normal University in 1989. From 1976-1978, he taught at the University of Kansas and University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

His community involvement has been broad and deep, ranging from serving on the Omaha Community Partnership board of directors to being a member of the Omaha 2000 Steering Committee.

He has served on various school district advisory boards as well as several other education-related organizations that include: Nebraska Public Policy Education Committee, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education North Central Conference, Peter Kiewit Institute Board of Policy Advisors, Metropolitan Omaha Education Consortium Executive Steering Committee, National Council of Graduate Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Building Bright Futures.

The news-making chancellor’s community memberships include: the Urban League of Nebraska life member, the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Council of Great City Colleges of Education, the Nebraska Center for Excellence in Education, the Mid-America Council Boy Scouts of America, the Salvation Army board, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce (ex-officio), and a life member of the NAACP.

The Omaha Press Club is located on the 22nd floor of the First National Center at 16th and Dodge Streets.

* *

UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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