Nebraska responds to flooding

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is working to support the needs of students, faculty and staff affected by devastation wrought by recent storms across the state and region. Here are resources currently available to assist Huskers through the recovery process.

How to Help Info for Current Students Info for Prospective Students Info for Faculty and Staff

How to help

How to give

The NU Foundation has established a University of Nebraska Emergency Assistance Fund, which enables the university to help currently enrolled students and current university employees who face financial hardship resulting from emergency or crisis situations such as natural disasters, home displacement and food insecurity. These circumstances include the 2019 flooding that has significantly affected people and the state.

To donate or to request assistance, see the University of Nebraska Emergency Assistance Fund page at the NU Foundation.

The State of Nebraska has established a Nebraska Strong website, with information on how to donate, to request resources, and on current support commitments for statewide needs.

How to volunteer

Join the Nebraska Disaster Recovery Service Corps on GivePulse to learn about service opportunities as they become available.

Groups or organizations that would like to volunteer can reach out to Linda Moody, assistant director for civic engagement, via email to lmoody2@unl.edu. She is working with Chuck Hibberd, dean and director of Nebraska Extension, and his flood recovery response team.

Assistance for students

Currently-enrolled undergraduate, graduate and professional students

To simplify the process of getting help and support, the university has named two key staff members students and families are encouraged to contact with questions:

For assistance navigating academic issues and connecting to campus resources:

Kara Brant
Associate Director for Student Support and Advocacy
karabrant@unl.edu or 402-472-7030

For scholarships, financial aid, and enrollment services

Anna Plank
Assistant Director of Husker Hub
anna.plank@unl.edu or 402-472-2030

Currently-enrolled University of Nebraska–Lincoln students affected by recent storm damage will receive the following services:

  • We are encouraging faculty to be sensitive to the needs of affected students who are helping their families and communities recover from the damage created by floods. Affected students should be granted flexibility in how they complete course requirements for spring 2019 and should not have to worry about strict attendance policies. Students are encouraged to work with their professors or to contact Kara Brant for assistance in setting up accommodations.
    • Instructors are encouraged to offer flexibility in class assignments, including offering students the ability to complete coursework requirements online via Canvas (where it is appropriate).
    • If affected students are unable to complete all of the course work by the end of the term, instructors are encouraged to assign a grade of incomplete and allow students up to one year to complete remaining course requirements (more info: guidelines for incomplete grades).
  • If some currently enrolled students determine they ultimately cannot continue their enrollment, UNL may grant an enrollment eligibility extension for up to one year (please contact Anna Plank in Husker Hub for more information).
  • If affected students are unable to make payments due to the impact on banking or financial services, they may qualify for a waiver of late fees or assistance with enrollment registration holds (contact Anna Plank for more information).
  • Regarding scholarships and financial aid, affected students can contact Anna Plank in Husker Hub to receive individual financial aid advising and assistance in assessing their financial situation.
  • If students are recipients of Federal Student Aid, they may qualify for a special circumstances re-evaluation of their financial situation for additional financial assistance. Limited emergency grants may be available. We encourage all students to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov. Current students receiving university scholarships who are concerned they may not meet scholarship renewal criteria for next year can appeal for reinstatement in summer 2019. (more info: scholarship appeal process; or contact Anna Plank).

Additional student support services

Self-care and compassion are essential during times of extraordinary stress. The university invites students to engage with our extensive support network, including the following services:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (402-472-7450): CAPS offers access to an on-call counselor after hours and on weekends. During business hours, counselors may be able to schedule phone sessions to speak with students who are at home.
  • Well-being Coaching (402-472-8770): Students who return to campus can schedule appointments with student peers trained to provide support, empathy and care for those who feel disconnected, overwhelmed, or unsupported.
  • Academic Success Coaching: Students can schedule, free one-on-one coaching sessions with professional staff to discuss alternative plans and transition support.
  • Student Advocacy and Support (402-472-3755). Students can schedule appointments to speak with staff (Jake Johnson and Kara Brant) who will assist them in navigating the university’s resources, policies, and procedures. If you are unsure how to resolve a problem, please contact the advocacy and support staff.
  • Military and Veteran Success Center (402-472-4130): Veterans, active duty, military-dependent students and those related to active duty personnel or veterans can arrange an appointment with the Joe Brownell, director of the center or the veterans affairs coordinator to discuss resources available (additional resources).
  • Women's Center (402-472-9428) Students can schedule appointments or walk in to the Women’s Center, 340 Nebraska Union, to meet with counselors who provide therapy focused on empowerment, personal growth and equality.

For our students and families in locations across the state

Safety is priority at this point. Please take weather and disaster warnings seriously. It is also important that you stay connected during these challenging times. If you or someone you know needs help managing stress or would like to talk to someone confidentially, please take advantage of the resources Nebraska offers:

  • The Nebraska Counseling, Outreach and Mental Health Therapy (COMHT) Program, 800-464-0258, offers no-cost vouchers for confidential mental health services for persons affected by the rural crisis
  • Nebraska Farm Hotline/Rural Response Hotline - 1-800-464-0258

Nebraska Extension has created a Flood Resources website with key resources and science-based information.

For students interested in supporting relief efforts

We know many are eager to help. At this time, the best form of assistance is financial. The Lincoln Journal Star has compiled a list of organizations you can help support. If you’re eligible, you also can give blood.

The Center for Civic Engagement is working with flood recovery authorities to ensure an efficient and lasting impact within affected communities. While there is a desire to help immediately, the campus community has been asked to be patient. To learn about service opportunities as they become available, “Become a Member” of the Nebraska Disaster Recovery Service Corps on GivePulse. Members will receive regular and timely messages about disaster recovery initiatives. For questions, contact the center at civic.engagement@unl.edu, 402-472-6150, or stop by 222 Nebraska Union.

Admissions assistance to students affected by the floods

New, first-year and transfer undergraduate students planning to enter fall 2019

Prospective Student Flood Response

To make getting assistance more accessible, the Office of Admissions has named a staff member to support prospective students and their families

Georgia Gleason
Associate Director of Admissions
402-472-4471
georgiagleason@experience.unl.edu

Affected students should reach out Georgia with any questions or concerns.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln will provide academic and scholarship accommodations for students who need alternative options to proceed with their education. We will work with each student individually to determine the best plan. This plan may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • UNL has extended the May 1 enrollment deposit deadline for students planning to start in the Summer or Fall 2019 terms until June 1, 2019. Affected students may choose to request an enrollment deposit deferral by June 1, 2019. Requesting a deferral will confirm their enrollment, secure their spot in our incoming classes, and will apply their $250 deposit onto their first student bill due in September 2019.
  • Affected students who are admitted for Fall 2019 (classes starting in August 2019) may choose to defer their admission and scholarship offers until Spring 2020 (classes starting in January 2020).
  • UNL will waive the $45 admission application fee for new applicants.
  • • If students are recipients of Federal Student Aid, they may qualify for a special circumstances re-evaluation of their financial situation and may receive additional financial assistance. Limited emergency grants may be available. We encourage all students to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at The FAFSA website.

Graduate students planning to enter fall 2019

The Office of Graduate Studies will work with each student on a case-by-case basis, in coordination with the academic departments, to determine admissions and enrollment support.

  • UNL will waive the admission application fee for new applicants.
  • Affected students who are admitted for Fall 2019 (classes starting in August 2019) may choose to defer their admission and scholarship offers until Spring 2020 (classes starting in January 2020).
Contact the Office of Graduate Studies

Alisha Hanshaw
Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies
402-472-2869
alisha.hanshaw@unl.edu

Law students planning to enter fall 2019

The College of Law will work with each student on a case-by-case basis to determine admissions and enrollment support.

  • The College of Law will extend the enrollment deposit deadline for students planning to start in the fall 2019 term.
  • Affected students may choose to request an enrollment deposit deferral. Affected students who are admitted for Fall 2019 (classes starting in August 2019) may choose to defer their admission and scholarship offers until Spring 2020 (classes starting in January 2020).
Contact the College of Law

Tracy Warren
Assistant Dean of Admissions
402-472-1526
tracy.warren@unl.edu

Information for faculty and staff

Resources for faculty and staff directly impacted by recent flooding are available through the university’s Employee Assistance Program.

Details about university-led opportunities for faculty, staff and students to assist with flooding recovery efforts will be announced.

On Thursday, March 21, Executive Vice Chancellor Donde Plowman sent the following email to all faculty and instructors of record.


Colleagues,


I am writing to ask for your help in supporting our students who have been affected by the flooding in our region. These floods may be the most devastating we have seen in history. Roads, bridges, and homes have been destroyed. Even as flood waters begin to recede, many communities continue to be surrounded by water. Initial estimates indicate that more than 4,000 of our students are from counties in Nebraska and surrounding states that have been declared disaster areas. 

We expect some of these students will likely be delayed in returning to campus. Some may not return at all because of the need to stay home and help their families and communities who have lost so much. With five weeks left in the semester, it would be unfortunate if any had to withdraw from their classes. We are reaching out to these students and asking them to contact Kara Brant, Associate Director for Student Support and Advocacy, at karabrant@unl.edu or 402-472-7030 as soon as possible to make arrangements for how they can complete their coursework. 

Please consider the following suggestions for helping these students complete their semester, while being mindful that some may have limited access to electricity and internet at this time. As I ask you to be compassionate and flexible with their circumstances, know that I also expect you will hold them to the same standard of work as their peers. 

  1. Allow assignments to be completed through Canvas and all remaining assignments to be submitted digitally.
  2. Allow students who were expected to make in-class presentations to be given a substitute assignment that can be completed digitally.
  3. Replace in-class exams with an assignment that can be completed from a distance.
  4. Waive attendance and related policies for the remainder of the semester for students affected by the flood.
  5. Be flexible with course policies for students who may not return to campus.
  6. Encourage these students in every way to work collaboratively with you to complete their coursework.
  7. Consider an alternative to an in-class final exam. Perhaps something that can be completed digitally could be considered.
  8. Allow for a grade of Incomplete if necessary.

I realize this places a hardship on you to alter your course and classroom plans. We all need to be sensitive to the loss and disruption that many of our students have experienced as we work to help them stay on their path to graduation. This is especially important for first-year students who are at the beginning of their college career. We need to provide the support they need now for their scholarly success in the coming years. 

If students have questions about registration, financial aid, scholarships or enrollment services, please direct them to Anna Plank, Assistant Director of Husker Hub, at anna.plank@unl.edu or 402-472-2030. Once back on campus, they can visit Anna at Husker Hub on the first floor of Louise Pound Hall. 

I also realize that while I am making this request on behalf of students that you may be affected by the floods, as well. If so, please check in with your department heads for support and remember that the Employee Assistance Program is available to you and your immediate family members. More information and additional resources will be available soon. Please know the university is here for you. 

Thanks in advance for helping us help our students.

Donde

Donde Ashmos Plowman
Executive Vice Chancellor & Chief Academic Officer
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
@DondePlowman
Excellence. Community. Impact. Inclusion

On Monday, March 25, Executive Vice Chancellor Donde Plowman sent the following email to all faculty and instructors of record.


Colleagues,


Last week I asked for your help in supporting students affected by the flooding in our region with a digital approach to finishing their coursework for this semester if need be. Thank you for the overwhelming positive responses and offers to help.

Students affected by the flooding who need assistance have been encouraged to contact Kara Brant, associate director for student advocacy and support. When she knows of students with concerns, she will contact their instructors. However, you will likely hear from students, as well. Feel free to contact Kara if you are not clear on the student’s need or situation. She can be reached at karabrant@unl.edu or 402-472-7030.

If you already work with an instructional design technology specialist within your college, you can reach out to them directly. If you aren't sure what resources are available, contact Beverly Russell, associate director of instructional design, at brussell1@unl.edu or 402-472-4358. She can help you navigate creating digital assignments, coursework, and exams.

Additionally, Tawnya Means, assistant dean and director of the College of Business Teaching Learning Center, has volunteered the services of the center to assist all instructors, regardless of college, with support for creating digital assignments. She can be reached at tawnya.means@unl.edu or 402-472-2328.

The following website, which is continuously updated, contains assistance and resources for students: unl.edu/flood-response. You'll also find resources for faculty and staff. Please check it often and share with those who may need it.

Attached is the letter we sent to students last week instructing them on available resources and how to proceed.

Again, thank you for helping us help our students and please feel free to reach out to me with suggestions, concerns, and questions.

Sincerely,

Donde

Donde Ashmos Plowman
Executive Vice Chancellor & Chief Academic Officer
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
@DondePlowman
Excellence. Community. Impact. Inclusion

Chancellor's Email to the University Community

MARCH 29 | Chancellor Ronnie Green's latest email to the university community regarding the spring floods alerts faculty, staff and students to the actions the university is taking to support current and prospective students, as well as faculty and staff, who are experiencing hardships due to these unprecedented weather events. The full text of the email can be read here.