As the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged every aspect of our lives, I am very grateful for the 'we can do this' spirit in our students, faculty and staff. As we approached the fall semester, we refused to put distance between our students and their educational success, or between our research and its impact. When faced with a challenge, we found a way to safely achieve our mission. Through our tenacity and resilience, today we are wrapping up a successful fall semester like none other. I couldn't be more proud of the commitment and adaptability of our students, faculty and staff, thank you.
Across the country, campuses are once again recognizing First-Generation College Celebration Day, and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has filled this week with special events leading up to a special “Grab ‘n Go” celebration on Friday, Nov. 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Willa Cather Dining Center, Red Cloud A Room.
As a fellow first-generation college student and alumnus, I am proud that our university offers so much support to help first-generation students successfully navigate and thrive on campus. I hope you can participate this week:
It has been our tradition and privilege each fall to celebrate your talent and dedication by highlighting the hundreds of faculty and staff marking important milestones in service. Due to the current restrictions on large gatherings, we got creative with how we could celebrate in a different way than our usual big event.
I invite you to visit this website to join in our virtual Celebration of Service, which includes videos, a complete list of award honorees and more: Celebration of Service
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have continuously worked to effectively plan for, react to and mitigate the impacts to our campus. As we learn more, we have opportunities to enhance our efforts. In that spirit, I wanted to let you know about expanded COVID-19 diagnostic testing we will be conducting on our UNL campus.
Earlier this week we announced steps taken to implement Phase 1 of the budget reductions brought about by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of $16.38 million. Yesterday, we presented the university’s recommendations for Phase 2 of the budget reductions to the Academic Planning Committee (APC).
This week, additional steps were taken to address our $38.2 million budget shortfall in state-aided funding in the next three fiscal years.
As I mentioned in a June communication to campus and discussed in our fall campus-wide town halls with faculty and staff in July, the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to date on our institution is substantial. While we are doing better financially than many other institutions, addressing this shortfall is requiring us to make tough choices and to take very difficult immediate and proactive financial adjustments.
Today we are releasing data related to the COVID-19 cases among our UNL community and will be providing daily updates going forward. We have had 107 positive cases reported to us by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) since Aug. 12, among 889 tests. This includes tests done on campus, at the UNL TestNebraska facility and at the University Health Center, as well as those done elsewhere.