We are very much looking forward to welcoming students back to campus in the fall, perhaps this year more than ever. As a land-grant institution, supporting access and achievement for our students, from across Nebraska and the world, is very much the heart of who we are. While COVID-19 may be changing how we do this, this mission remains central. We are committed to preserving the high-quality educational experience that our students expect and the global impact of our research and creative activity. We are equally committed to reducing safety risks in the interest of protecting both the campus and the larger communities of which we are all a part.
I am thrilled that we are continuing to advance the important work of identifying the “Grand Challenges” for our university. Even as we chart our path forward to fall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important we not lose sight of taking the necessary next steps to pursue our long-term vision for the future.
I wanted to provide you with some additional updates related to the university’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As has been discussed, there has been and will continue to be an economic impact to our university due to lost revenue and potential impacts on state funding. While Nebraska’s economy seems to be weathering the economic downturn somewhat better than many other states, we must be pragmatic about the loss of state revenues as we plan for the future. In order to help decrease the need for programmatic or staffing cuts, there will be no merit-based salary increases from any funds for Fiscal Year 2020-21. Promotional increases will be awarded.
Thank you! I have been so humbled and proud this semester as I witnessed you take on the herculean task of moving nearly our entire academic enterprise to one of remote learning — in a matter of two weeks. We accomplished this feat as smoothly and successfully as any institution in the nation – and that is thanks to you.
None of us will soon forget the spring of 2020. As we approach the final week of this historic semester, I want to express my incredible pride in how this community has rallied to lead through the unprecedented levels of change brought quickly by COVID-19. Your innovation, grit and “can do” spirit are truly inspiring.