A message for the university community

September 14, 2018

Image with caption: Hank Bounds, Ph.D., president of the University of Nebraska

Hank Bounds, Ph.D., president of the University of Nebraska

To the Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni of the University of Nebraska:

Last spring we invited you to participate in a university-wide survey assessing our strengths and weaknesses with regard to campus climate, inclusion and free expression.

Thousands of you took time to share your thoughts on how we're doing. We thank each of you for helping to build an even stronger University of Nebraska.

Your candor will help us get better. Campuses can now study these survey results, engaging their students, faculty and staff in conversations about how best to move forward.


We have received results from Gallup, which developed and conducted the survey for us, and we wanted to share them with you in advance of their public release. You may read Gallup's executive summary and full report on our website.

All leading universities exist to create spaces for different people and ideas to collide in ways that challenge and broaden individuals' thinking. In this respect, the University of Nebraska is doing many things well. You reported positive views about the safety, civility and overall climate of our campuses. Where broad comparisons can be made, we compare well in the national landscape. Majorities of you believe the university is committed to freedom of expression and inclusivity, and majorities also say you've had opportunities to learn from people who are different from yourself.

At the same time, you identified opportunities for improvement -- as we would have expected for a university of our size and diversity. While our racial climate is viewed positively overall, for example, minority groups are less likely to say we're doing well. You also indicated a desire for more clear and transparent communication from us, particularly about the direction of the university.

Your candor will help us get better. Campuses can now study these survey" results, engaging their students, faculty and staff in conversations about how best to move forward. Next steps will necessarily vary by campus. Each of us welcomes the opportunity to build on good work already being done to make the University of Nebraska the best possible place to teach, serve and learn.

We are not the only university facing these issues. Many colleges and universities are asking themselves these same questions. We know we have work ahead, and we should be proud that we have been willing to take a hard look at ourselves and use what we've learned to better serve our students and all Nebraskans. We are grateful to you for your contributions to this important conversation.

Thank you for all you do on behalf of the University of Nebraska.

Sincerely,

Hank M. Bounds, Ph.D.
President, University of Nebraska

Jeffrey Gold, M.D.
Chancellor, University of Nebraska at Omaha
and University of Nebraska Medical Center

Ronnie Green, Ph.D.
Chancellor, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Doug Kristensen, J.D.
Chancellor, University of Nebraska at Kearney

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