Regent O'Connor visits UNMC

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | February 14, 2019

Image with caption: Regent-elect Elizabeth O'Connor, left, and Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.

Regent-elect Elizabeth O'Connor, left, and Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.

Elizabeth O'Connor, a new University of Nebraska regent, visited UNMC in late November to meet with campus leaders, including Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.

O'Connor, who toured University of Nebraska campuses prior to and after the election, said one of the most compelling things about the visits was the opportunity to see exciting new initiatives at the university.

"It was exciting to see how much expertise Dr. Gold and his team have," she said. "They have a very clear vision for where our university can go to achieve all of its potential."

O'Connor said during her visits throughout the University of Nebraska system, she had seen passion, pride and gotten a sense of how much of an impact the university is going to have on the state's future.

"You get little pieces of the puzzle in the board meetings, but when you go to the campuses, you start to put the pieces together and realize all the different things the departments are doing and how much momentum we're going to have moving forward," she said.

O'Connor highlighted the budget as a major issue for the university, but said she also wanted to focus on ways for the university system to collaborate with community colleges, primary and high schools, and "really find ways to strengthen the experience of every Nebraskan, from kindergarten or pre-school all the way through.

"I think the stronger our educational system is, the stronger and more vibrant our state's going to end up being in the future," she said. O'Connor said she was working to learn as much as she can about the university, and hoped to find ways to increase research among all the campuses.

Another area of emphasis, she said, is trying to find ways to manage student debt, using merit-based and need-based scholarships.

"If tuition goes up, I want to make sure our universities remain affordable to all our students and we don't price anyone out of an education."

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