"We are absolutely convinced that as a university it's time to double down in our investment in these areas around food, fuel and water," Green says. "All of the needs out there indicate that we need to expand our efforts to meet the challenges that are ahead."
Green says the new faculty members will be positioned to where we think it will make the biggest impact. By emphasizing areas where Nebraska and UNL already are proficient, "we're building strength on strength," he says.
While this slate of new positions is "a big bang," Green emphasizes that IANR actually has been steadily ramping up hiring over the last couple of years and expects to embark on a fresh wave of hiring in about 18 months.
This initiative fits with UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman's goal of increasing faculty and student enrollment significantly by 2017. IANR is in a position to do this thanks to eight years of annual enrollment
growth in its College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, record levels of research funding and a strong agricultural economy in Nebraska.
"It's a bold statement that we're making. Some would say it's risky to be taking on this much at once," Green adds. "But I'd say it's a calculated, strategic move that's going to pay off big in the long run."