Jeffrey S. Raikes School

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The south side of the Esther L. Kauffman Academic Residential Center, looking north from the Student Union

The Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management (formerly the J.D. Edwards Honors Program in Computer Science and Management) is a specialized honors program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln that focuses on computer science and management. It was founded in May 1998 by Ed McVaney, co-founder of the JD Edwards company. With his gift of $32 million to the university, McVaney charged the school with setting up a world-class program to train the next generation of business leaders.[1] In June 2008, the program was renamed after Jeff Raikes in recognition for his lead gift in a $20 million fundraising campaign.[2]

The program is highly selective with admissions, accepting about 32 high-ability students every year.[3][4][5][6]


The Raikes School incorporates computer science and business management into one integrated curriculum. It prides itself with providing an education balanced in technology and management with focus on leadership, communications, and collaboration. This program offers both an undergraduate program that complements business, computer science, and computer engineering majors and a graduate MBA program that integrates real-world project management.

First- and second-year students study programming concepts, software engineering, financial and managerial accounting, finance, economics, management information systems (such as MRP, ERP, and CRM), and technical communication. Different from taking those courses separately, the program teaches concepts in context. For example, teams of second-year students build real-world business software by deriving requirements from business classes and using in-depth technical knowledge from computer science classes. Students report progress with regular memos and deliver complete user manuals. At the end of the year, students present demos of the working software to a real-world industry panel and field questions.

Third- and fourth-year students work on real-world projects for companies in Design Studio, a year-long class in which students divide into teams, meet with clients, agree on specifications, develop the product, and in many cases perform quality assurance after delivery. Design Studio gives members of the program real-world experience designing and writing software, working in teams, meeting real-world deadlines, and communicating with clients.


The program has consistently received praise from leaders in the Information Technology industry. For example, Bill Gates said in September 2005 during a presentation to the program in the Kauffman Center:

I think this program is a great program. It really speaks very directly to a challenge that Microsoft sees, which is that we get lots of great engineers and we get lots of people who’ve got good business backgrounds, but we rarely get people who combine those skills, and particularly as you move up the ranks in Microsoft, the number of people who’ve got that background really are bringing those two skill sets to bear. It turns out the world at large has a great shortage so seeing a program like this makes a lot of sense to me and I can guarantee you the opportunities you’ll have will be quite phenomenal and make whatever hard work is required in the program well worth the energy you put into it.[7]


The program awards scholarships to incoming students to cover room and board. All incoming students are also members of the University Honors Program and receive a stipend by the Honors Textbook Scholarship. Most incoming Raikes School students come to Nebraska with tuition scholarships; these may come from external sources, such as the National Merit Scholarship, or from the university, such as the full-tuition Regents Scholarship (only available for Nebraska high school graduates).

Esther L. Kauffman Academic Residential Center[edit]

Students live in the Esther L. Kauffman Academic Residential Center, which is named for McVaney's mother-in-law. The building is a learning community with state-of-the-art classrooms on the first floor and living accommodations on the second and third floors. Kauffman is located in the middle of the UNL city campus, directly across the green space from the student union. It is often featured in University promotions.

The rooms are suite-style, each with its own bathroom, and progressing from one room up to three rooms between each pair of students. Kauffman offers multiple study lounges and break-out rooms for teams as well.


Many alumni work for prominent corporations such as Microsoft, IBM, Google, Boeing, and Mutual of Omaha.[citation needed]

Some students have started their own businesses in the State of Nebraska, including a number of alumni who have gone on to work at Hudl.


External links[edit]