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   from the issue of September 6, 2007

Chancellor, Campus Rec roll out wellness plan


A campus wellness plan for faculty and staff is firming up.

The wellness plan, announced by Chancellor Harvey Perlman in the Aug. 30 State of the University Address, will be led by Campus Recreation. The plan will begin with the health risk assessment, an online survey.

"We will all have the opportunity to take, voluntarily, a health assessment survey as an initial step in implementing a campus wellness program for faculty and staff," Perlman said in the speech. "I promise there will be no mandatory 6 a.m. calisthenics. But, this university ought to promote wellness as an alternative to ever rising health care costs."

The survey, developed by Workwell and the State of Nebraska to gather information about the wellness of Nebraskans, will be available to faculty and staff at from Sept. 24 to Oct. 12. Areas in the survey include health care assessment and utilization, nutrition, tobacco use, family history and preventable diseases.

The survey will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Upon completion, each participant will receive immediate feedback in the form of a report that can be printed or accessed by logging into the site with a password.

Aggregate data from the survey will be used by Campus Recreation to mold wellness-programming efforts. Programs developed from the data will be announced in the future.

"I was very pleased to learn that UNL is supporting a health assessment survey for all employees," said Pam Edwards, assistant director of University Dining Services. "This is a very positive step to learn what areas of wellness should be addressed at UNL to most benefit the health of our employees."

With assistance from Workwell, UNL will also participate in "Winning with Wellness," an incentive program, in October. The program focuses on increasing physical activity, improving nutrition through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables and smoking cessation.

"Winning with Wellness" is open to faculty, staff and their immediate family members. Cost is $1 per person. Registration is due Sept. 21.

Perlman said the wellness efforts are the first steps in what will become a broader initiative.

"Ours will be a modest program until a system-wide program initiated by President (James B.) Milliken is developed and implemented," Perlman said.

For more information on the survey or "Winning with Wellness," contact Angie Frederick, assistant director for fitness and wellness for Campus Recreation, at or 472-9480.

Other highlights of the State of the University address:

• The fourth year of the Initiative for Teaching and Learning Excellence will divide $200,000 for programs that improve student writing (see story above).

• UNL is hoping for more than $80 million in construction projects, including the renovation of the Whittier Building into a research and child-care facility.

• The university is not expected to face major budget cuts this fiscal year. Perlman said that was due to an increase in student enrollment.

• Campus diversity is growing. Perlman said UNL has increased the number of tenure-track faculty of color from 120 to 135. Diversity is also getting a boost as the number of international students is on the rise.



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