Verbatem – Cerveny issues thanks for campus recruitment efforts

Sep 18th, 2008 | By | Category: Campus News, September 18, 2008

Alan Cerveny, dean of Admissions, issued this Sept. 10 e-mail about student enrollment.

On behalf of the staff in the Office of Admissions, thank you for your commitment to student recruitment. For the fourth year in a row, our new student enrollment has increased. Since 2004, the size of UNL’s freshman class has grown by over 1,200 students (a 30 percent increase).

What makes this accomplishment even more remarkable is that we also witnessed another increase in the overall caliber and academic preparation of our new students. This fall, UNL has enrolled the most academically-talented freshman class in the 138-year history of the university based on standardized test scores and class ranks. I’m fairly certain no other major university in the country can claim its last seven freshman classes in a row have been the best in school history. UNL’s average freshman ACT score rose to a new, all-time high of 25.03.

But UNL’s success story is far more than a tale of student enrollment increases.  Visitors to our campus often comment that they’ve never seen another major university where everyone is so friendly and helpful and where there is such a visible sense of community among faculty, students, and staff.

I witnessed a wonderful example of our unique culture during the freshman convocation. This cap and gown event is designed to officially welcome new students to our academic community.  It was truly an amazing turnout with new freshmen filling every single seat in the Lied Center with an overflow crowd watching from Kimball Hall. The chancellor gave an inspiring speech and the students received their freshmen pins, symbolizing the beginning of a UNL journey that will end with the receipt of their diplomas. This year’s freshman class re-established a university tradition dating back to 1933 by reciting the Cornhusker Oath. It was a moving moment to hear thousands of student voices pledging to pursue their UNL studies with honesty and integrity,

As UNL begins another recruiting cycle, we have our work cut out for us.

For the first time in seven years, UNL has fewer high school senior prospects than we did the previous year at this time. Our Nebraska numbers reflect a marked decline in the number of graduating high school seniors in the state for 2009. To make matters worse, Nebraska and other universities across the country experienced a noticeable decline in out-of-state visitors this past summer due, we believe, to the rising cost of travel.

Given these early warning signs, it’s clear a united, campus-wide effort to recruit new students is absolutely essential if we expect to maintain our recent enrollment gains. A serious drop in our enrollment next year, such as the one we experienced five years ago, will harm every department and office on campus. I’m asking everyone to get involved and do what you can to support UNL’s student recruitment efforts.

While the Office of Admissions works hard to identify promising students early in the recruitment cycle, I suspect there are some who have escaped our radar screen.  If you know of potential prospects (children, grandchildren, family friends, or relatives), particularly students living outside of Nebraska, I would appreciate you sharing their information with me. Please e-mail the student’s name, year in school, and mailing address to

Once again thank you for your support. The excited, campus buzz surrounding the start of a new school year always reminds me why there truly is “no place like Nebraska.”

— Alan L. Cerveny, Dean of Admissions

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