The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Journey for Anti-Racism and Racial Equality released an extensive statement Aug. 2, expressing deep reservations and concern about a resolution submitted by gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen, a member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
Pillen has announced his intention to place the resolution on the agenda for the Aug. 13 Board of Regents meeting.
In their statement, the co-leaders declared the proposed resolution to be “a clear warning to all who are working against racism and discrimination at our institution, and in that sense, what the proposed resolution represents demands a full critique and challenge.”
In response, the co-leaders presented a detailed examination of the proposed resolution and addressed their objection to its existence.
“Therefore, we call on the leaders of this institution to strengthen and confirm the protections that faculty, staff, and students have to do the important work necessary for our anti-racism journey and in the work of our grand challenge around anti-racism and racial justice,” they wrote.
Their full statement can be read here.
The message is signed by co-leaders Lory Dance, associate professor of sociology and ethnic studies; Kwame Dawes, Chancellor’s Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner; Anna Shavers, Cline Professor of Citizenship Law and associate dean for diversity and inclusion, College of Law; Kara Mitchell Viesca, associate professor of teaching, learning and teacher education; Sergio Wals, associate professor of political science and ethnic studies; and Colette Yellow Robe, member of the Cheyenne Tribe and academic retention specialist for TRIO programs.
The Journey for Anti-Racism and Racial Equality was established June 5, 2020, following renewed calls for racial justice and the dismantling of structural racism.
This statement joins other campus leaders and units that have published messages or written to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents in support of academic freedom.
The Faculty Senate Executive Committee released a statement July 14, signed by the committee’s president, Steve Kolbe, associate professor in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.
On July 22, Ted Carter, NU system president, was joined by university chancellors Ronnie Green (UNL), Jeffrey Gold (UNMC), Doug Kristensen (UNK) and Joanne Li (UNO) in a statement, which can be read here.
Richard Moberly, dean of the College of Law, wrote a letter July 22 to faculty, students and staff in the college addressing concerns about the resolution.
The Institute of Ethnic Studies at Nebraska also released a statement on teaching critical race theory July 23. The full statement can be read here.
On Aug. 2, leaders from the College of Arts and Sciences wrote to the Board of Regents in opposition to the proposed resolution. Led by Mark Button, dean of the college, the letter was also signed by Pat Dussault, associate dean for faculty; June Griffin, associate dean for undergraduate education; Alecia Kimbrough, assistant dean for business and finance; and William G. Thomas, associate dean for research and graduate education.