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The University of Nebraska Board of Regents will induct Susan Fritz as the University of Nebraska system’s president and vote on multiple proposals, such as graduate assistant tuition and the C.Y. Thompson Learning Commons, during the regents’ last meeting of the summer on Friday, Aug. 16.

Prior to the meeting, there will be two consecutive 30-minute presentations conducted on  Nebraska flood recovery and information security starting at 10 a.m.

Dean of the Cooperative Extension Division Chuck Hibberd and University of Nebraska at Kearney Chancellor Douglas Kristensen will update the Board of Regents on the flood recovery efforts.

Bret Blackman, vice president of IT for the University of Nebraska’s Information Technology Services, will present on information security, along with, Rick Haugerud, assistant vice president of IT Security Services, and Matt Morton, Executive Director and Chief Information Officer of IT Security Services.

The Board of Regents will vote on an addendum item related to graduate assistant tuition, almost 40 years after they approved the policy on graduate assistant tuition in 1980. 

According to the proposal, extensive research conducted on peer institutions’ graduate tuition remission practices in December 2017 determined NU’s current policy was not competitive with other peer institutions. The proposal said as a result,  graduate assistant tuition remission practices on NU campuses have not been inline with the regents’ policy. 

The proposed tuition remission program would provide an exemption of tuition for 12 credit hours per semester of instruction for all graduate assistants having appointments of one-third or more full-time equivalent.

Additionally, the Board of Regents will vote on an addendum sponsored by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green and Interim Executive Vice Chancellor Richard Moberly. The proposal moves to approve a report that monitored the Action Plan for the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in geography at UNL. 

The Action Plan’s purpose is to increase the number of graduate students working toward a Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy in geography at UNL, according to the proposal. The Board of Regents approved the plan on Aug. 3, 2018, but the plan requires the regents to monitor and report the progress of the goals by Sept. 30, 2019. 

If approved, the report will be forwarded to the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education.

The Board of Regents will also vote on the University of Nebraska Standard Form Construction Agreement for construction services on C.Y. Thompson Learning Commons in the UNL East Campus library. The Business Affairs Committee approved the intermediate design for the learning commons last December.

According to current policy, the Board of Regents has the authority to approve and execute the construction contracts over $5 million. 

The approved budget for the learning commons originally included $16,477,000 for construction costs. However, the intermediate design increased the construction costs budget to $16,877,000. 

The Board of Regents will vote on a resolution that will limit the issuance of University System Facilities Bonds to a principal amount of $130 million. These bonds finance various facilities throughout the NU system, such as the UNL East Campus Union. Additionally, the resolution would refinance the amount necessary to facilities as needed for unpaid financial obligations. 

The addendum said the Board of Regents’ goal is being cost-effective and accountable to the state of Nebraska. The proposal references historically low interest rates, making this an opportune time to tap the capital markets and refinance existing debt to save money. 

The meeting will take place at 11 a.m. in the boardroom of Varner Hall on 3835 Holdrege Street.

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