08/29/2017 President Bounds’ follow-up statement on Turning Point USA incident
President Bounds’ follow-up statement on Turning Point USA incident

August 29, 2017

Chancellor Green and I are continuing a thorough investigation of the incident that occurred on the UNL campus last Friday. After ensuring the safety of the student involved, we began our review. We take the incident seriously and our priority is gathering all of the facts. As soon as we have completed that process, we will take appropriate action.

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

Date Recipient
08/29/2017 President Bounds’ statement on Turning Point USA incident
President Bounds’ statement on Turning Point USA incident

August 28, 2017

A number of Nebraskans have expressed concerns about the recent treatment of one of our students in a public space by a University of Nebraska faculty member. I have reviewed the incident in question. The behavior involved vulgar gestures and language that many people would consider offensive. It was unprofessional and not in keeping with the standards of conduct I expect from members of the University of Nebraska community.

I am a vigorous defender of free speech and I stand by the rights of all employees and students to express their opinions, no matter how provocative. I also believe that as educators, we have an especially high bar for responsibly exercising our First Amendment rights. We have the unique privilege of helping shape young minds, and everything we do is a teachable moment. In this case, we had an opportunity to model how differing opinions can be exchanged with civility, respect and dignity. It appears that opportunity was missed. I’m deeply troubled that a student has been treated this way. I will continue to support free speech, but we must allow for the healthy exchange of ideas without personal attacks, especially against young people who are our future.

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

08/28/2017 In weeklong trip, NU President Bounds to talk with Nebraskans about growing the state
In weeklong trip, NU President Bounds to talk with Nebraskans about growing the state

University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds will spend the next week on the road, talking with Nebraskans about the work of their university and opportunities ahead to join together to grow the state.

Bounds will make stops in Seward, Scottsbluff, North Platte, Grand Island and Kearney, engaging with taxpayers, community and business leaders, policymakers, donors, news media, members of the Board of Regents, and university faculty, staff and students along the way. Among other topics, Bounds will discuss NU’s broad reach across the state, including its $3.9 billion annual economic impact and the 11,000 graduates it produces for the workforce each year, along with goals to do even more to serve citizens in Nebraska and around the world.

“We’re in a great position to join with our partners to grow our state. I look forward to hearing Nebraskans’ ideas on how we can do that.”

“I’m excited to be on the road again, talking with Nebraskans about the many ways the university is working on their behalf,” Bounds said. “From educating the future workforce, to serving the needs of agriculture and health care and business, to doing research that touches our daily lives, the University of Nebraska is a major driver of the state’s economic vitality and quality of life. We’re in a great position to join with our public- and private-sector partners to grow our state for the future. I look forward to hearing Nebraskans’ ideas on how we can do that.”

Members of the media are welcome to join Bounds at the following stops. All Nebraskans are invited to keep up with Bounds by following @hankbounds./p>

Monday, Aug. 28
11:45 a.m.: Remarks at Seward Kiwanis Club luncheon
Seward Civic Center, 616 Bradford St.

Tuesday, Aug. 29
11:15 a.m. MST: Visit to University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research & Extension Center
4502 Avenue I, Scottsbluff

11:45 a.m. MST: Remarks at Scottsbluff-Gering Rotary Club luncheon
Scottsbluff Country Club, 5014 Avenue I

Wednesday, Aug. 30
9:15 a.m.: Visit to University of Nebraska-Lincoln West Central Research & Extension Center
402 W. State Farm Road, North Platte

Thursday, Aug. 31
4 p.m.: Opening remarks at inaugural University of Nebraska at Kearney Warner Lecture Series (Chancellor Doug Kristensen is the keynote speaker; lecture is free and open to the public)
Copeland Hall 142, 2507 11th Ave., Kearney

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Potential for NU and partners to grow Nebraska is greater than ever

August 28, 2017

By Hank Bounds
President, University of Nebraska

For those of us in education, a new school year signals new beginnings. This is a time to set our sights higher as we consider our opportunities to transform the lives of young people and the communities we serve.

I’ve been an educator my entire professional life – as a teacher and administrator, in K-12 and higher education, with experience in the U.S. and abroad. I arrived in Nebraska two and a half years ago with little knowledge about this state or its people beyond the fact that together they had built a great public university that had the potential to change the world.

“I know of few institutions that have the kind of impact the University of Nebraska has on the people and places it serves.”

Here’s what I know today: That potential is as great as it has ever been.

In fact, I know of few institutions that have the kind of impact the University of Nebraska has on the people and places it serves. That’s a credit to elected leaders who are working hard to serve our state and strengthen Nebraska’s economy. And it’s thanks to parents, community leaders, alumni and thousands of donors who have supported their university for almost 150 years because they recognize the vital link between education and Nebraska’s continued success.

What’s most exciting is that together with our partners, the university can grow its impact on Nebraska’s economy and quality of life even further. The fiscal challenges we’re facing only add to the urgency of joining hands on a plan to grow this state.

That’s what I’m thinking about in this new academic year.

I’m focused on our 52,500 students, Nebraska’s future workforce, who come to us from all 93 counties and places around the world. They’re the next generation of farmers and ranchers, nurses and doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs and scientists. They’re here because they recognize a college degree is the surest path to success in an economy driven by new knowledge and innovation. And they’re here because they know they can get an outstanding education without accumulating the student debt levels we see in the national headlines.

I’m focused on our economy and what we need to do to stay competitive. The University of Nebraska already grows our state by $3.9 billion annually, a 6-to-1 return on Nebraskans’ investment. I hear from legislators and taxpayers alike how proud – even taken aback – they are that their university provides that kind of return. We can do even more to leverage public investments with an unprecedented level of private support to move our state forward.

I’m focused on the University of Nebraska’s role in addressing the health needs of the day. We’re working to produce more health care professionals who are in especially short supply in rural areas. And the newly opened Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center is making Nebraska a destination for cancer care and research – a source of hope for the 1 of every 2 Nebraskans who will be diagnosed and a point of pride for our entire state.

I’m focused on research that benefits Nebraskans. Our work in improving crop yields is transforming agriculture here and abroad, bringing new resources to bear in the fight against global hunger. Our partnership with USSTRATCOM is yielding new methods for keeping our men and women in uniform safe. Our leadership in battling infectious disease means Nebraska is well-positioned to manage one of the most urgent public health challenges of our time.

Nebraska’s current fiscal environment means we can’t do everything we want to do. Like any family or business, we’re making difficult decisions about how to invest our limited resources. As I’ve told our faculty, staff and students, cuts during a period of remarkable momentum are a painful reality that we will manage to the best of our ability. We’re doing everything we can to re-think our operations for the future so we can reduce spending while keeping tuition affordable and maintaining our academic quality.

But we can’t cut our way to excellence. Nebraska’s university must be a part of the solution for growing our way out of this challenge. We have unlimited opportunities to make our state an even better place to live, work and raise a family. I’m excited to work alongside Nebraskans to make that happen – because I believe our best days are ahead.

08/13/2017 President Bounds’ statement on Charlottesville events
President Bounds’ statement on Charlottesville events

August 13, 2017

Susie and I are praying for those killed and injured during this weekend’s rallies in Charlottesville. We are sickened by this senseless violence and by the racist, white supremacist and Neo-Nazi beliefs on display. These disgusting beliefs violate the most basic principles of decency and our shared humanity.

The University of Nebraska stands with our colleagues at the University of Virginia who are working to keep their community safe, protect the First Amendment rights of all who come to campus, and reject hateful ideology and violence in the strongest possible terms. We are similarly committed to tolerance and inclusion, open and respectful dialogue and the safety and well-being of every member of our community. As we begin a new school year, I hope the entire University of Nebraska family will ask ourselves what more we can do to put those values into action. We have work to do – but I am confident that if each of us recommits to doing all we can to make our campuses safe and welcoming places for every student, employee and Nebraskan who comes here, we will become an even stronger university.

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