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Article - Gift from BCBSNE will create a chair in the School of Public Administration at UNO

Gift from BCBSNE will create a chair in the School of Public Administration at UNO

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.

Posted: Wed, Mar 7, 2012

The University of Nebraska at Omaha 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. U.S. News & World Report consistently rates the Master of Public Administration program among the top 30 in the U.S. 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.

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