UNMC-UNO merger under way? Partnership increasing

Collaboration widens under Dr. Gold's tenure
Posted at 6:50 PM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 23:06:31-04

Ever since Dr. Jeffrey Gold became chancellor of both UNMC and UNO many wondered whether the two campus would officially merge.

On Tuesday, Dr. Gold spoke with 3 News Now about how he’s taking on the role five months into his term. He points out the collaboration between the two schools, “learn all about the synergies, all of the combined programs many pipeline programs, combined degrees research that already exist.”

When asked about a possible merging of UNMC and UNO, Gold refers back to 1968 when the four major universities in the state came together to form the University of Nebraska system, “The discussion about a merger is almost 50 years behind us,” said Gold.

In the past five months, Gold said he’s looking at ways to make the campuses to work together more effectively and efficiently.

One example is the vice chancellor of business and finance now will cover both campuses, “and it just makes sense for these back-of-the house functions that wont blur the brand or the focus but will allow us to look at synergies in our business and finance world,” Gold said.

NU Regent Bob Whitehouse said this different thinking can benefit students and staff in UNMC and UNO. 

“I think the biggest transition is that we are getting folks together to understand more how those two campuses can work together, how they can become a part of one of our community,” Whitehouse said.

UNO Faculty Senate President Laura Grams said so far it's been smooth sailing and business as usual on campus.

“I'm not concerned about rumors at all, i just look at what specific decisions are being made to be the guide,” Grams said.

UNO students like Isabella Lombardo don't seem to mind an official merge, if it were to happen. 

“I think it's an interesting idea and if it were to benefit both than I say go for it," she said.

Gold said he doesn’t know how long he’ll be in this role, but will do it until he’s asked to leave, if that happens.

Sen. Merv Riepe started a legislative study to weigh the pros and cons of the cost-effectiveness of the merge. He said the results should conclude by the end of this year.