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2012.04.13 > For Immediate Release
contact: Jennifer Arnold - University of Nebraska Foundation
phone: 402.502.4919 - email: jarnold@nufoundation.org

Gift From Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska Will Create Chair in UNO School of Public Administration

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) are partnering to better educate and prepare students in public administration for the increasingly complex and transforming area of health care.

BCBSNE has made a gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation to create an endowed faculty position at UNO to support the School of Public Administration within the College of Public Affairs and Community Service.

The gift was made by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Fund for Quality and Efficient Health Care, a fund established by BCBSNE at the Nebraska Community Foundation. The gift establishes the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska Chair of Health Care Administration and Policy.

“This gift comes at an important time for the School of Public Administration and UNO, as health care reform and management of health care dollars is at the center of public policy decisions at the state and national level,” said B.J. Reed, senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. “I cannot thank Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska enough for the confidence they have shown in our faculty to help provide relevant research and build academic programs addressing these important issues.”

The UNO School of Public Administration is nationally ranked, with U.S. News & World Report consistently rating the Master of Public Administration program among the top 30 in the U.S. Additionally, the distance MPA program was named “a model of best practices” by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

"The School of Public Administration at UNO has developed a reputation of excellence for their programs,” said Steve Martin, BCBSNE president and CEO. “We believe this investment will assist the school in advancing research and education programs that support the development of future leaders who will be needed to implement health care reform in Nebraska."

To elevate the program further, UNO will conduct a national search to attract candidates for the BCBSNE chair who have an academic focus on research and training in health care administration.

"This generous contribution by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Fund for Quality and Efficient Health Care will enable the School of Public Administration to hire a top scholar who will work with BCBSNE and other community partners to provide practical research on policy issues and management practice,” said John Bartle, acting dean, College of Public Affairs and Community Service. “This scholar will be engaged with health care organizations and be a gifted teacher who will educate future leaders in the health sector. Never before have the issues of health care policy been more critical to our state and our nation, and we can be part of the solution.”

Faculty support is a priority area of the University of Nebraska Foundation’s Campaign for Nebraska and for UNO. The BCBSNE chair is the sixth endowed faculty position established in the last 18 months.

Endowed chairs and professorships, secured through private support, provide the university with a strong incentive when recruiting, retaining and rewarding distinguished faculty in academic and research areas.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska is a community-based, member-owned health insurance company serving more than 700,000 people. Since 1939, BCBSNE has been committed to protecting Nebraska families and delivering the health and wellness solutions Nebraskans value most. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that has connected the dreams and passions of donors to the mission of the university for more than 75 years. In 2011, donors gave more than $172 million in gifts to scholarships, academic programs, medical research and other priorities at the university. The foundation's fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities concludes in 2014. For more information, visit nufoundation.org.

The University of Nebraska Foundation and Campaign Nebraska for UNO


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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urB.A.sn, regional, national and gloB.A.sl life. 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.

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