Board of Regents meetings marked the early years of the University, the first being held in 1869. During these conferences the Board begged the Governor and Legislature to begin the process of surveying and selling the land that was made available from the Morrill Act. The initial funding for the University was to come from land sales, without which the University would flounder.
Beginning in 1878, the first proceeds from land sales begin to trickle into the university’s budget. Original University funding was almost totally comprised of the yearly interest accumulated from the investment of proceeds from land sales. The Regents continued to ask for money for the next several years. The State Legislature would later create a state tax that would constitute two-thirds of the University’s budget. Finally by 1890, the University’s budget was supplemented more by taxes than proceeds from land sales.
In 1890 the University had become a critical component for the state of Nebraska. The University had become more than a bureaucratic entity that demanded financing. The University of Nebraska had become an institution contributing to the needs of the state, and a source of pride.
Although the University was officially forged in 1869, there would be no campus and no students for three years. During this period the State could have become distracted and failed to appropriate the endowed land by the deadline, leaving the future of the University bleak. However the Board of Regents was also formed in the same piece of legislation. This committee was entrusted to lead the government of the University. Between the years of the Board’s creation and the physical manifestation of the University, the Regents released periodic publications. These records publicly decried the State Government for taking so long to survey the entrusted land. The University needed money, and land sales were needed for revenue. Even after the University Fund received a yearly deposit from the sales the Regents continued to hound the State for a continued diligence.