Master Plans

UNL’s 2013 master plan, Plan Big, provides a framework for growth to ensure the highest quality campus learning and research environments are created to help the university achieve its goals and mission. As Nebraska’s only land-grant, comprehensive, research university, UNL’s mission is to teach, to conduct research, and to serve the broader Nebraska community.

With the university’s June 2010 entrance to the Big Ten, the UNL community has broadened in scope. Consistent with an internationally-significant Big Ten institution, Plan Big aspires to provide the physical framework for UNL to grow and strengthen its place among national peers in academics, research and athletics. Plan Big encourages flexibility and entrepreneurship, and positions the university to anticipate and adapt to change while always building toward a long-term vision of campus and community.

Prior to the current 2013 Campus and Landscape Master Plan, there were two previous Campus Master Plans, one produced in 2006, and the other in 1998. Originally, the 2006 Master Plan was designed to guide the campus from 2006 to 2015. However, because of the tremendous growth of the campus, UNL's move to the Big Ten Conference, and new visions for UNL's campus and landscape identity, a new plan was needed. Therefore, in June 2012, UNL launched Plan Big: UNL Campus and Landscape Master Plan, to guide the University's growth over the next fifteen years and beyond. 

Plan Big: UNL's Campus and Landscape Master Plan

These plans were approved by the NU Board of Regents on September 20, 2013.

Read the plan
Plan Big cover page

Facilities Development Plan: 2022 Update

These plans were approved by the NU Board of Regents on December 1, 2022.

Read the plan
Picture of the title page graphic of the 2022 Facilities Development Plan

In 2022, UNL released a Facilities Development Plan (FDP) update, which is an interim update of the 2013 master plan that articulates the University's current goals and objectives until the subsequent 10 year vision FDP. The plan builds on the foundation of the 2013 Plan Big, while reflecting changes that have since occurred including current vision, goals, and objectives. The Plan recommendations synthesize stakeholder engagement and support the strategic themes defined by the FDP steering committee. Each strategic theme and corresponding recommendations of the plan that are listed below and are linked to the PLAN BIG guiding principles as they serve as the basis for the plan update.


Resiliency, resource consciousness, and efficiency: Support initiatives of the Sustainability Master Plan, recognize the university as an ecosystem and collective impacts of resource consciousness and efficiencies, and prioritize renovation and management of existing infrastructure to optimize resources.
Green infrastructure and campus amenities: Preserve, maintain and enhance campus open space to create a sense of place, enhance campus entries and demarcate campus edges to reinforce the university brand, improve way-finding, and celebrate a sense of place, and expand and diversify exterior amenities for improved campus life.


Multi-modal transportation and campus interconnectivity: Promote, provide amenities for, and reinforce walking and biking as the primary modes of on-campus circulation, develop bicycle corridors that are integrated with the city’s bike plan to improve inter-campus connectivity, minimize vehicular conflicts, expand use, and develop a culture of biking, partner with city to develop a trail network to connect the UNL and NIC campuses with the 33rd Street and Cornhusker Hwy improvements project, and concentrate campus destinations near parking amenities, transit, and major pedestrian corridors to enhance user experience and encourage alternate campus transportation.


Inclusive practices in the campus environment: Strive to provide and implement direct universal access at all major facility entries, amenities, and throughout campus, and utilize the campus environs as an opportunity to reflect and celebrate campus’ diversity.
Define “BIG” as intentional and focused: Recognize the focus of THINKING BIG is to be better through the realization of the N2025 strategic aims, and develop campus with intentionality to support the N2025 strategic aims.

Facilities Development Plan: 2022 Update