Dean Kostelnik’s Final Message as CEHS Dean

Dear Friends,

In 2003-2004, I greeted you as the newly appointed dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences.  At the time, our hopes were high that the ‘new college’ would break ground in innovative, multi-disciplinary ways and serve students, individuals, families, schools and communities well. Here were some “firsts” reported in that newsletter:

  • Our first Culinology graduate was awarded his diploma (first such course of study in the United States)
  • The AUD doctorate in Special Education and Communication Disorders was approved. It was and remains the first and only audiology doctoral program of its kind in the state.
  • The Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools submitted an application for approval by the NU Board of Regents
  • CEHS initiated the Great Plains Reading and Writing Institute in the Human Sciences Building (this later evolved into the Kit and Dick Schmoker Reading Center, now housed in the Barkley Memorial Center)
  • CEHS researchers traveled to Russia, Georgia, Mexico, Tajikistan, Ghana and Mongolia to pursue new work
  • New programs launched that year were: M2 – Math in the Middle, the American History Teaching project, the Native American Career Ladder, Pro-Start, and Focus on Health Care
  • An ambitious plan for the Angeline Anderson Garden (at the Ruth Staples Child Development Laboratory) was in development as was a proposal to create a beautiful new home for the International Quilt Study Center
  • Several new projects underway in 2003-2004 highlighted home/school ties: (Academic Center Counseling project at Northeast High School, Parent Engagement Project and the Portales Reading Project – South Sioux City)


By the end of that year, CEHS reported the following descriptive statistics:

  • 36,000 living alumni
  • 3,000+ students
  • $330,000 in scholarship funding
  • $6 million in research funding
  • 463 publications

Today, as you read this newsletter you will also discover many current ‘firsts’ as well as other exciting projects underway. We are in the midst of exciting times in the college, on campus, in Nebraska, and world-wide. Thus, the goal of achieving groundbreaking work remains clear and has led to significant results. One thing that has changed is our statistical profile. As of this year CEHS reported these outcomes, all demonstrating productive growth:

  • Over 51,000 living alumni
  • Almost 4,000 students
  • $1.2 million in scholarship funding
  • $16+ million in research funding
  • 817 publications

This will be the last newsletter you will receive from me as CEHS dean. As of July 1, 2017, I will assume a new role in the NU system as Senior Associate to President Bounds. My job will be to lead the implementation of university-wide efforts to realize efficiencies and cost reductions across service areas, while protecting the quality of education on all four campuses of the University of Nebraska.

This means CEHS will be looking for a new permanent dean. That will happen through a national search to be conducted soon. In the meantime, the college will be in good hands under the able interim leadership of Dr. Beth Doll.

Allow me to say that our alumni and friends, in concert with CEHS faculty, staff and students, have created a 21st century college that has been mission-driven and successful in many ways—through its teaching; through its scholarly and creative activity; and, through its engagement with communities here in Nebraska and across the globe. We have weathered good times and bad and we have witnessed much change, all in a spirit of collegiality and excellence. Through hard work and the achievements of our graduates, CEHS has an ascending national reputation. Most importantly, CEHS has an academic culture that is healthy and strong; collaborative and caring; respected and effective. Those qualities will continue to permeate CEHS programs as they forge ahead. Of course, no good organization remains static. I am confident that this is just the beginning of a wonderful future and that CEHS will continue its upward trajectory beyond anything we have yet envisioned. Please stay tuned and connected with your academic home. There are exciting days ahead!

My thanks go to each of you for representing the college so well. I also appreciate the many kindnesses, suggestions and contributions you have offered over the years. The old saying is true—there is no place like Nebraska, and in Nebraska, there is no place like the College of Education and Human Sciences!


Marjorie Kostelnik