Faculty, Staff, and Students-
I am so excited to welcome our collective family at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to the start of this unprecedented 2017-18 academic year—a year sure to be filled with optimism, discovery and progress. We are entering the year with record student enrollment for the second year in a row, as an ever-expanding campus equipped to lead with our cutting-edge research and teaching, and as a mature full member of the Big Ten academic and athletic conference.
At the same time, universities across our country are reflecting on their principles and philosophies, as they work to ensure the safety of their environments and continue to create atmospheres conducive to learning.
As I said in a public statement last Monday, these are times that call for more love and less hate, more respect and less anger, more understanding and less judgment, more civility and less hostility, more unity and less division, and more desire to learn from our past. Here at the University of Nebraska’s flagship campus, I’m confident we will live by our values of dignity, respect and shared humanity, and that we will individually and collectively rise above vile hate, indecency, racism and bigotry wherever it might exist. If you observe any behavior that appears to be outside these values I encourage you to report it through TIPS immediately.
At any point in time, and perhaps now more than ever, returning to classrooms, lecture and performance halls, and labs—or starting anew—can bring a certain amount of apprehension. Will I connect with others? Will I find support? Will I accomplish what I set out to do? Does my work or my study here make a difference?
Let me assure you: you will, and it does.
On our first day of the ’17-'18 academic year—one for the ages under the total solar eclipse —let’s make sure we jump start with renewed vigor our focus on our tri-partite land-grant university mission, and elevate our work. Let’s join together, and pursue like never before, our shared interest in being a bold, engaged, accessible, and vibrant people’s university.
I’m so excited for what’s to come here. To witness firsthand the learning, the breakthroughs, and the connections made across our state and around the world is a real privilege. I’m looking forward to meeting new students, interacting with new faculty, and reconnecting with all who are already intrinsic to our mission. Thank you for being here, and for the enormity of your amazing contributions through your diligent and focused study, your hard work, and by living our shared values.
I am always accessible through firstname.lastname@example.org, so please reach out to me if I can be of help, and keep up with many happenings at Nebraska by following me on Twitter @RonnieDGreen.
Have a great fall semester—and—Go Big Red.