Chancellor Ronnie Green welcomed University of Nebraska students, faculty and staff back to start the 2016-17 academic year, declaring it a pivotal point for the university.
“This will be a phenomenally important year ahead of our university,” Green wrote in an Aug. 22 message to the university community. Green, who is beginning his first full academic year as the leader of the university after being named chancellor in April, said the university has “much important work to do” to develop a strategies for growth in enrollment, research capacity and impact and enhanced engagement in Nebraska and the world.
“I will be calling on all of our campus community to roll up our sleeves in that work in the immediate time ahead, and I hope that I can count on all of you for that engagement,” he said.
The university’s leadership in education and research and creative activity, as well as its status as Nebraska’s only land-grant and comprehensive research-intensive university, means it is the state’s flagship of higher education, Green wrote.
“We fulfill a vital and unique role that has never been more important in our 147-year history as Nebraska’s people’s university,” the chancellor wrote. “One of the things you will see over the course of this year and beyond is a much bolder approach to telling the story and impact of the University of Nebraska, and our heightened expectations for the years ahead.”
The university also has begun to speak clearly and broadly of its commitment to diversity and inclusion. For the university to excel, each member of the university community must have the opportunity to work and learn in an environment that promotes respect, dignity and acceptance, Green wrote. The university’s dedication to diversity and inclusion requires everyone to ensure interactions that are respectful, that protect free speech and that inspire academic freedom, he said.
Green and others emphasized these beliefs at New Student Convocation on Aug. 19. The enthusiastic response was “what I expected, because our beliefs on diversity and inclusion represent the way we operate,” Green wrote. “They are not negotiable. And they are beliefs each one of us can count on.”
The chancellor issued an invitation to his inaugural State of the University address, which will take place 2 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Lied Center for the Performing Arts, in which Green expects to share his thoughts on where the university stands in its three-part mission of teaching, research and engagement, as well as the path ahead.
“I am humbled, excited, privileged and honored to serve as your chancellor,” he wrote. “Now let’s all get to work in making the world a better place.”