Chancellor discusses wide range of topics at forum

by Karen Burbach, UNMC public relations | September 21, 2018

In his first forum of the 2018-19 academic year, UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., Wednesday addressed a variety of campus issues and audience questions.

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Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.
UNMC continues its forward momentum, he said, bolstered by record student enrollment, strong finalists for the College of Pharmacy dean position, transformative construction projects and robust diversity and inclusivity programs.

During the hour-long forum, which was livestreamed, Dr. Gold discussed such topics as:

  • UNMC topping 3,970 students this academic year, a 1.6 percent increase over last year and a record enrollment for the 18th straight year.
  • The introduction of Doug Ewald as the new vice chancellor for business, finance and business development for the University of Nebraska at Omaha and UNMC.
  • Ongoing construction projects including the Davis Global Center (ribbon-cutting tentatively planned for September 2019) and connecting skywalks, renovation of Wittson and Williams Science Hall, construction of the Wigton Heritage Center, and intersection work at 42nd and Leavenworth streets.
  • Ongoing fundraising for the move and rebuilding of the Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation from its existing location on the UNMC Omaha campus to the former First Data building on Pine Street, located on the UNO Scott Campus.
  • Results from a survey conducted by Gallup regarding campus climate across the University of Nebraska system. In addition, Dr. Gold said UNMC's Human Resources Engagement Survey, a tool used to measure and understand employee perceptions of the work climate and what motivates employees to succeed, will likely be conducted again in the spring.
  • An update to UNMC's facilities use policy, which is in alignment with the Board of Regents' approved free expression policy. Dr. Gold said the policy soon will be shared with campus for further feedback.
  • Candidate forums are scheduled for the four finalists for the College of Pharmacy dean position.
  • Creation of an assistant vice chancellor for inclusion position that would provide leadership in developing and implementing policies, programs and efforts to enhance recruitment, inclusion, retention and equity for a diverse student body, faculty and staff for UNO and UNMC.
  • Conflict of interest disclosures, a topic in the national spotlight because of the recent Memorial Sloan Kettering disclosure of commercial interests in publications. UNMC has systems and policies in place to facilitate and monitor faculty disclosure of conflicts of interest, Dr. Gold said, and UNMC's compliance officer is available to assist faculty. "It's important that we have that transparency," he said.
  • Open enrollment for health care, dental and pharmacy benefits, which will run Oct. 29 through Nov. 16.

Dr. Gold spoke with great pride about the recent Circle of Distinction event honoring 54 recently named chairs, fellowships and professorships at UNMC colleges. "These named faculty positions represent long term investments by the community in UNMC. They help us recruit and retain the best and the brightest," he said.

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