UNL colleagues, friends and stakeholders,
It is an unbelievable honor, privilege and responsibility to have been designated as your next chancellor. I am grateful to be presented with this opportunity to give back to an institution that has meant so much to my family and me, and I want to thank so many people from all over the world who have offered kind words and good wishes in the past hours. It has meant more to Jane and me than you can possibly imagine – and a major part of what makes Nebraska and its people’s university a wonderful place.
So many words race through my mind in trying to describe my reaction to this nomination. They include eager, thrilled, energized, blessed, enthused … but most of all, I am thankful to be in this place at this special time. As I – and our university – begin a new chapter, I would ask for your continued support, enthusiasm, commitment and readiness to get to work.
We are a profoundly good land-grant comprehensive research university and we are known around the world as a place growing in stature. UNL is not the same university that entered this century; we owe Harvey Perlman deep gratitude for his stewardship in leading us to new heights. He is a valued mentor and friend, and he will be a difficult act to follow.
This is a significant phase in our university’s history. We are larger and more perse than ever before. Our faculty continues to conduct greater levels of life-changing research and creative activity. We are increasingly seen as leaders on issues of global importance. And we have engaged stakeholders who care deeply about our future.
But as we come up on our 150th anniversary and look out over the next decade, I firmly believe that our best days are yet ahead. Our momentum is palpable and without a doubt we are poised to move to a new playing field and level of play among our peers.
We are poised to grow substantially in the coming years; accordingly, one of our top priorities will be to serve students more effectively by underlining their path to graduation while preparing them for an ever-changing global society. We also need to significantly increase the size and scope of our graduate programs. We should aspire to become a place known for our perse, inclusive, innovative, challenging and rigorous educational environment and community.
There is no doubt that we have much building to do to reach the levels of excellence to which we aspire as a research university. We lead in key areas of importance to Nebraska and the world while contributing in major and important ways across all of our fields. The progress of the past 15 years is a phenomenal foundation upon which to build, but we have much work to do ahead as we aspire to build UNL – together with what I will work very hard to be seamless partners in our sibling campuses in the NU system – into a top-tier public research university. Our goal should be no less.
None of this would be possible were it not for the dedication, talent and commitment all of you bring to UNL every day. You have brought this university to the point where we are on our way to becoming a distinctive Big Ten university in ways that matter to Nebraskans.
I am looking forward to hearing from and learning with you as we roll up our sleeves and take on the work of building a world-class University of Nebraska–Lincoln. My thanks go out to you for all that you have done – and that you will continue to do – to enable us to continue fulfilling our tri-partite land-grant mission.
Ronnie D. Green Chancellor-Elect, University of Nebraska–Lincoln