Melissa Lee
communications manager, University of Nebraska, 402.472.7127 or

The University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Department of Marketing and Management Information Systems has been selected to receive the 2012 University-wide Departmental Teaching Award (UDTA) from the University of Nebraska, NU President James B. Milliken announced today.

“The UNK Department of Marketing and Management Information Systems is a highly deserving recipient of this award,” Milliken said. “The department and its faculty have demonstrated a deep commitment to enriching students’ education through innovative new courses, hands-on learning, close collaborations with local businesses, and outside-the-classroom experiences such as study abroad and service learning. The department’s students leave UNK fully prepared to become leaders in their business communities. This is a great benefit to the university, Kearney area and state as a whole.”

The UDTA originated in 1993 and is designed to recognize a department or unit within the University of Nebraska that has made unique and significant contributions to the university’s teaching efforts. The honored department is awarded $25,000 to be used in a manner the department sees fit, such as for travel to a conference, instructional equipment or improvements to a classroom or student resource.

Created in 2002, the Department of Marketing and Management Information Systems offers eight programs including marketing, management information systems and supply chain management. These programs prepare students to serve as valued members of business communities and public, professional and service organizations. At the time of its nomination, the department had eight full-time faculty members and about 160 student majors and 90 minors.

The department was awarded the 2010 and 2011 campus-wide departmental teaching awards. Five of its faculty members have received campus-wide awards for teaching, research, service or career achievement. Four have received campus-wide awards for mentoring undergraduate students’ research.

The department is committed to engaging its students in experiential learning. For example, students are asked to develop plans for marketing products in another country – with a twist. They are assigned a product challenging to market because of a country’s culture (like feminine products in the male-dominated Middle East), market saturation (Nebraska pork in Poland) or an intersection of the two, like Nebraska beef in Argentina. Students gain firsthand knowledge by presenting their plans in poster format to external business executives.

In another example, the department developed a new course in social marketing that was awarded $10,000 from the Learning by Giving Foundation, chaired by Howard Buffett Jr. Students in the class were empowered to distribute the funds to local nonprofit organizations.

The department has created a quality assurance course through a unique collaboration with local business partners Principal Financial Group and Xpanxion – allowing students to interact directly with industry leaders and in some cases resulting in employment offers after graduation.

The department has invested in areas that are university-wide priorities, such as expansion of online programs and increased study abroad opportunities. Department faculty also strongly encourage students to pursue internships and participate in service learning. Finally, the department is committed to collaboration with other units on campus in order to most efficiently use faculty resources.

The department will be honored at a luncheon next week.