LINCOLN, Neb. — UNL released its latest iteration of the University’s 5-year plan on Wednesday, which has a new focus on combating institutional racism and giving minorities on campus an equitable experience.
The protests against racial injustice following the death of George Floyd brought the conversation of racial inequity to the forefront of almost every part of society, education included.
As protesters were taking to the streets, UNL students were reaching out to University leaders to demand action.
“We were able to mobilize and able to go to our chancellor and say hey this is what we want out of our university and that is so important to me. But the most important thing is Chancellor Green did listen to us,” said Batool Ibrahim, President of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska.
The plan outlines new programs to determine what inequities minority students face and how to address them, provides an inclusive excellence fund to pay for many of the programs, and even addresses hiring and promotion policies at UNL to reduce inequity faced by minority faculty members.
“There is no way that we can be a university of the people if we are not thoughtful and mindful about how we eliminate barriers and increase opportunities. This journey puts us on that pathway,” said Marco Barker, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion at UNL.
The plan can be found in full on UNL’s website and provides updates on the progress of its many initiatives that Chancellor Green hopes will reaffirm to students that the University is there to support you no matter your background.
“At the University of Nebraska Lincoln we are committed to fostering an inclusive climate where everyone feels they belong and matter,” said Chancellor Ronnie Green.
The summary of the plan and Chancellor Ronnie Green's statement can be found here.
Not everyone has been supportive of the move, however.
University Regent Jim Pillen, who earlier this year led a failed effort to ban teaching CRT on the University of Nebraska Campus, released a statement on his opposition to the plan.
“The Board of Regents has not approved this so-called journey. To call Nebraska students and staff racist is wrong. To give preferential treatment in hiring based on race is wrong. The initiative violates the Nebraska Constitution and the Board of Regents bylaws. I believe that students and faculty should be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. It is unacceptable that the Board of Regents was not informed about this journey plan until after the ink was dried. We must fight the crusade to implement Critical Race Theory.” said Pillen in his statement.