Dr. Gold addresses myriad topics at forum

by Karen Burbach, UNMC public relations | May 17, 2019

Image with caption: Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., speaks at Tuesday's forum.

Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., speaks at Tuesday's forum.

You aren't likely to see UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., riding an electric scooter on UNMC sidewalks -- even now that the city has launched its pilot program for dockless shared electric scooters.

That's because, per UNMC policy, the electric scooters must be left at established drop-off locations on the campus perimeter prior to entering campus.

Scooters were only one of the many topics Dr. Gold addressed Tuesday during his Chancellor's Forum. Below, in no particular order, are 10 other topics he addressed:

  • The last day for outgoing University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds, Ph.D., will be Aug. 14. A search firm soon will be announced by the NU Regents and a series of listening sessions will follow to gather feedback on what Nebraskans would like to see in NU's next leader. Students, faculty, staff, Nebraskans and all stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments now to presidentsearch@nebraska.edu.
  • Potential candidates for the director of the Eppley Cancer Center and Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center search may be announced by the end of the month with campus visits possible in June. The associate vice chancellor for academic affairs position was announced this week, while the now nationwide external search for UNMC and UNO's first assistant vice chancellor for inclusion continues.
  • During last week's Legislative debate, the state budget, which funds the university's request, passed on a 42-4 vote. "It's probably the strongest legislative support in my time here," Dr. Gold said. The budget must clear two more rounds of debate before it is sent to the governor for his consideration. The budget funds NU's request for state appropriation increases of approximately 3.5% in 2019-20 and in 2020-21. Those increases would cover core needs including salaries and health insurance, some of the operations and utilities. Tuition changes will be considered by the NU Regents in the upcoming weeks.
  • Grand opening ceremonies for the Dr. Edwin G. & Dorothy Balbach Davis Global Center are planned for the week of Sept 23. The Board of Regents will receive naming opportunities for spaces within the building during this week's committees meetings, honoring the donors who made the facility possible.
  • On May 22-24, UNMC will host the nation's state court chief justices and other court leaders, health officials and members of the legislative and executive branches. This year's Summit on Pandemic Preparedness will include discussion of a recently completed bench book that includes expertise from UNMC's National Center for Health Security and Biopreparedness. The book will help guide judges and courts when facing the challenges of a pandemic outbreak.
  • Planned renovations for Wittson Hall, as well as construction of the new Wigton Heritage Center, are likely to disrupt campus traffic for 18 months. Dr. Gold encourages faculty, staff and students to stay abreast of construction and detours by reading UNMC Today and the construction blog.
  • UNMC will close on the First Data Building near the UNO Scott Campus later this month and begin renovations to relocate the Munroe-Meyer Institute. Dr. Gold praised philanthropic efforts, noting the caring nature of the community in supporting the project. Occupancy is scheduled for the fall of 2020.
  • The College of Dentistry is in the final stage of architectural design for renovating its advanced dental simulations spaces in Lincoln. Dean Janet Guthmiller, D.D.S., Ph.D., said the goal is to fast track the project with an Aug. 26 completion so as not to disrupt the academic calendar.
  • Goals for the 2019-22 strategic plan have been finalized and each college/unit now is working on its strategic initiatives. Dr. Gold said this year's plan will have an emphasis on rural health, and a deeper focus on diversity, inclusion and equity, as well as wellness and resiliency for all students, faculty and staff.
  • UNMC/Nebraska Medicine contributes greatly to the state economy, Dr. Gold said, highlighting the recently announced Tripp Umbach report, which found that UNMC/Nebraska Medicine (and its affiliates) have a statewide annual economic impact of $4.8 billion. In addition, they create and support 42,132 jobs (13,917 direct jobs) and generate $165.1 million annually in state and local taxes. Dr. Gold said that, in addition to UNMC's mission to educate students, advance research and provide health care, "we continue to significantly contribute to building the economy of the region and state."

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