Chancellor Says Racial Equity Plan Not CRT

Lincoln, NE (November 30, 2021)  University of Nebraska Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green replied to criticism from State officials today.  Green was criticized last week, and again Monday, by Governor Pete Ricketts.  The Governor compared the University’s newly developed plan for achieving racial equity to Marxism.  He also said Green misrepresented his position on the plan to the Board of Regents.

State Senators Steve Erdman and Steve Halloran issued an op-ed column suggesting that Green should resign over the matter.

Green’s statement, released late today, indicated a desire to continue working on the plan.  He also disagreed with the Governor’s charge that the plan labels UNL as a racist institution, and that it will attempt to “make up for past discrimination with current discrimination.”

“I do not believe that UNL is racist, nothing could be further from the truth. 

This campus is full of decent, incredibly talented and honorable people who work daily to provide an outstanding education to our students, who come here from virtually every county in Nebraska, across the U.S. and around the globe. People who conduct ground-breaking research that directly impacts Nebraska and helps its economic growth, and who engage in every corner of our state through Nebraska Extension.

Our Commitment to Action is the work of our UNL community. It is the result of more than a year of conversations on our campus among faculty, staff, students and our leadership. 

Critical race theory is not mentioned anywhere in this plan. We have said this before, CRT is not imposed on this campus, nor will it be. Nothing in this plan changes that. Recruiting more diverse candidates for faculty and staff has nothing to do with quotas. It’s about getting diverse candidates for a job and then hiring the most qualified person. 

I have apologized to our Board of Regents for not fully engaging them in the development of our Commitment to Action prior to it being rolled out to our UNL community, or of the work of our Journey since it was announced in the summer of 2020. I take responsibility for that. In retrospect, I should have engaged the Board in detailed dialogue about what we heard and learned in the extensive diligence and conversations at UNL which led to this plan, and to ensure clear articulation of our intentions, which we will do going forward.

It is critically important for the future of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to address racial equality, for all, to fully deliver on its mission of access to world-class higher education; research and innovation; and engagement with the people of Nebraska.  This includes identification of, and elimination of, any institutional barriers or obstacles where they may exist, or where they may not be fully recognized. 

I look forward to working transparently and in full coordination with our Board of Regents in this effort. And going forward, I will ensure they are more fully aware of and support the steps we are planning. And will also work to build better bridges between them and those in our UNL community for whom this is so very important. We need to be able to move forward with better dialogue and understanding.”