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In a letter dated Jan. 26, 2018, University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds, Ph.D., made the following announcement to the UNMC and University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) communities:
To the Faculty, Staff and Students of UNO and UNMC:
I'm writing to update you on our leadership planning at UNO. After much discussion and an evaluation of the opportunities and challenges ahead, and in consultation with faculty leadership on both campuses, Chancellor Gold and I have decided that he will continue to lead our two Omaha campuses for at least 18 more months. At the end of the 2018-19 academic year, Dr. Gold and I, together with the Board of Regents and in consultation with other stakeholders, will revisit our leadership situation and make a decision on the best path forward.
I am both honored and humbled to receive this vote of confidence from President Bounds and the Board of Regents. The leaders at UNO and UNMC have worked together to build collaborations, increase efficiencies and continue to provide an unparalleled educational atmosphere for our students. I am excited about the opportunity to continue to lead these fine institutions as we maintain our momentum, building our future, together.
- Statement from Chancellor Gold
We have continued to experience great progress at both UNO and UNMC since we put this leadership structure in place last May, and I am grateful to Dr. Gold for assuming this expanded role. Much of our success is a credit to all of you -- the colleagues who contributed their time, ideas and candid advice to Dr. Gold's transition process; the faculty who have continued and undertaken new collaborative projects in teaching and research; and the countless students, staff and faculty who have found efficiencies and partnerships that are advancing our service to our students and the community at large.
Chancellor Emeritus Christensen's guidance and support throughout the transition process has been particularly invaluable to Chancellor Gold and me, as have the collaborative efforts of both campus cabinets. And we would not be in the strong position we're in today without the leadership of our Faculty Senate Presidents, Dr. Laura Grams and Dr. Ann Anderson-Berry, who have gone above and beyond in bringing our faculty together in new and exciting ways that serve as a model in cross-campus collaboration for the entire university system.
As Chancellor Gold wrote you last week, your work positions us well to maintain our momentum going forward. The reality is that we are simultaneously facing significant fiscal challenges that will require us to think differently about how we operate. Not only does this leadership structure achieve savings in itself, but Dr. Gold has identified a number of other collaborative efficiency opportunities as well. Those efforts will need to continue, not just in Omaha but across all campuses. As we work to continue our upward trajectory during this challenging period, it's clear that stable leadership will be key to our success. The accreditation process that is actively underway at UNO is further reason to provide continuity of stable campus leadership moving forward.
If you haven't already, I invite you to read the materials developed by Chancellor Gold's transition teams. The candor we heard and the insights gleaned were eye-opening and inspiring. Over and over, we heard you ask what more we can do to further strengthen both UNO and UNMC -- each a separate campus with a unique and vital role and mission, but in partnership a force for change and opportunity for young people, our community and state, and the world at large. We can't wait to see what comes of those conversations.
Please continue to reach out to Dr. Gold or me with your ideas and questions. Thank you for all you do for the University of Nebraska, our students and the state.
Hank Bounds, Ph.D.
President, University of Nebraska
Faculty Senate leaders respond
Re: Joint chancellorship extension for UNMC and UNO
President Bounds consulted leadership of Faculty Senate at UNO and UNMC with a frank evaluation and discussion of the impact of Dr. Gold's past and continuing leadership of both campuses.
After a thorough discussion of our current situation, with significant financial challenges and exciting opportunities, including but not limited to productive research collaborations, external investments, and new student experiences, we are supportive of the decision to continue Dr. Gold's leadership as chancellor of both campuses through the spring of 2019.
We found the reasoning in support of this decision compelling, given the NU system budget considerations, UNO's upcoming HLC accreditation, UNMC's continued growth and the desire for stability in leadership through a challenging period. We gave significant consideration to the positive reception of Dr. Gold, his work, and interactions with UNO faculty, staff, and students while preserving his high degree of investment and engagement at UNMC.
Laura Grams, Ph.D.
UNO Faculty Senate President
Ann L. Anderson Berry, M.D., Ph.D.
UNMC Faculty Senate President