Board of Regents Meeting

University of Nebraska President Ted Carter will unveil his five-year strategic plan at the NU Board of Regents’ first public in-person meeting since February.

Carter’s plan, which he began shortly after taking office in January, will prioritize student access and success, faculty salaries, diversity and inclusion and facility renewal and repair. He and each of the three campus chancellors agreed to invest $20 million in the next biennium, beginning with the fiscal year 2021-22, in these shared priorities.

In addition to the plan, the regents will review NU’s biennial operating budget request to the Nebraska Legislature and Gov. Pete Ricketts, amend Title IX policies regarding sexual misconduct, establish a systemwide Student Code of Conduct and discuss a new tuition scholarship option for nonresident students, according to the meeting agenda.

In June, the regents approved a three-year budget plan for NU that includes $43 million in permanent spending cuts to be spread over the next three years in response to the coronavirus. The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is not included in the cuts. 

For the 2020-21 academic year, 0.2% of the cuts will occur.

NU plans to ask for a 2% annual increase in state support, the agenda states, which will address current challenges brought on by the coronavirus and place NU in a position of strength for future growth and success. 

The increased support is expected to offset the loss of expected tuition revenue from nonresident and international students. Per a two-year tuition freeze beginning fall 2021, tuition will not increase through the 2022-23 academic year.

The increased aid will also support campus-specific reductions, such as an expected 5.5% reduction to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s budget.

The U.S. Department of Education released amendments to Title IX regulations on May 6 regarding sexual misconduct in education. The new regulations require that allegations of dating violence or stalking be investigated and that college students accused of sexual assault and harassment be given a right to a live hearing and ability to cross-examine their accusers.

Per the regulations, universities are required to take responsibility for investigating incidents in university-recognized fraternity or sorority houses and off-campus apartments if part of a university program.

The board’s Sexual Misconduct Policy for Employees and Students will be amended to comply with and reflect the changes while its Procedures for Student Sexual Misconduct Complaints, which no longer complies with the regulations, will be repealed.

The repealed procedures, which address student and employee sexual misconduct complaints, will be modified via executive memoranda to ensure compliance, according to the agenda.

The regents on Friday may establish a University of Nebraska Student Code of Conduct, which would unify student code of conducts from UNL, University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska Kearney. The University of Nebraska Medical Center has a code of conduct for all faculty, staff and students, but not a student-specific code, according to the agenda.

The agenda states that faculty and student groups on each campus have approved the changes, which include: 

  • Designing the code to be more student and reader-friendly

  • Defining and providing examples for policy violations

  • Making expulsions permanent and prohibiting attendance to NU functions unless prior permission from the appropriate campus vice chancellor for Student Affairs is granted

  • Expanding “exceptions for seeking emergency help” to include more than just a student calling for assistance and now includes drug usage under the policy

  • Denoting suspensions on transcripts through the duration of the suspension

As many high schools are eliminating class rank, and with drops in the ACT and SAT test-taking, according to the agenda, the regents may allow GPA to be a deciding factor for tuition scholarships for nonresident, undergraduate freshman students who meet all other admission requirements. The proposed change would allow the students to qualify for tuition scholarships if they maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher in high school.

The change would provide a third option for nonresident, undergraduate freshmen in addition to ranking in the upper 25% of their high school class or having scored a 23 or higher on the ACT, or the SAT equivalent.

The regents will convene for their meeting at 8:30 a.m. Friday via videoconference at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center, 2021 Transformation Drive, Lincoln, and the UNO Omaha Baxter Arena, 2425 S. 67th St., Omaha. Facial coverings are required.

The meeting will also be streamed.

Following the meeting, Carter will officially be honored as NU’s president at his investiture ceremony, which will include video greetings from NU faculty, staff, students and alumni and comments from Ricketts, according to the investiture website. Carter will also share his five-year strategy at the event.

The virtual ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. and be livestreamed from the Lied Center for Performing Arts stage.