LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — After the University of Nebraska-Lincoln unveiled its "Journey to Anti-Racism and Inclusion" plan last month, Governor Pete Ricketts decried it andsaid he lost faith in UNL’s Chancellor Ronnie Green.
President of NU Ted Carter acknowledged the pushback UNL has received after releasing the diversity and inclusion plan last month. He says one major wrong had been righted, specifically engaging the Board of Regents on the plan. Green has now collaborated with the regents, says Carter.
“Not going to dwell on it, but I want to acknowledge that Chancellor Ronnie Green has spent individual time with each and every member of this board and I think it's an important part of how we’re going to move forward,” said Carter.
UNL's journey to anti-racism includes recruiting and maintaining more students and staff of color, prioritizing diversity when solving academic challenges, and creating support for students of color.
Carter says the university needs to embrace minorities if they want to help the state fill needed jobs in the future.
“Even though these are not easy things to talk about, we would be doing our students who are a great deal about this topic and for whom we serve, as well as our state, a disservice if we ignore them or stay silent,” said Carter.
Carter said he wants UNL to be a place in which students of different races, political backgrounds and religions can be safe and nurtured. He says the university may also reach out to rural Nebraska.
“Are we doing enough to make certain that students from rural Nebraska have the same opportunity as urban students?” said Carter.
After the meeting, three regents held a press conference denouncing the diversity plan. The Regents included gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen, Regent Robert Schafer and Chair of the Board Paul Kenney.
All three men voted in August to ban NU from imposing Critical Race Theory on students.
“I’ll be damned if my nine-year-old grandson will go to school and be told to apologize for being white, that he’s inherently racist,” said Pillen.
Kenney says more voices than just students should be included on any diversity plan.
“There's more to the university than just the students. There is the people of the state of Nebraska.”