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Senator Tom Brewer
Late last Friday afternoon the 17th of November, President Hank Bounds sent a letter to Governor Pete Ricketts and Speaker Jim Scheer and all 49 State Senators which finally recognized that the University has a problem with anti-conservative bias on campus. This effects the freedom of speech of conservative students and faculty. They do not feel comfortable/safe to express their opinions on campus.
Of course this abrupt admission only came on the heels of a freedom of information request which revealed university emails which document their concerns and even a strategy to bury the story using surrogates to write op-ed pieces.
Last Thursday the 16th of November, I met with President Hank Bounds and Chancellor Ron Green along with Senators Halloran and Erdman. At that meeting they continued to deny there was a problem. The date of the emails released Friday clearly show that they were aware of the problem BEFORE our meeting and were taking active steps to bury the story.
It’s unclear what President Bounds knew and when he knew it. That however is not the case for Chancellor Green as he was copied on the aforementioned emails as far back as August. I’ll give President Bounds the benefit of the doubt and assume Chancellor Green did not share his deceptive tactics with him and kept him in the dark.
As a result of his deceitful conduct toward myself and my colleagues, I have lost confidence in Chancellor Green’s ability to lead the University of Nebraska Lincoln Campus. He should be ashamed of himself.
If you or a family member have personally felt that the universities culture was unwelcoming to your beliefs, or you were ever apprehensive about freely expressing your points of views without fear of retribution, I want to hear your story. I also strongly encourage you to contact the University of Nebraska Board of Regents and share your concerns. They are elected to serve you and they need to be made aware of these issues too. For those of you in my district (43), your elected board of regent’s member is Mr. Bob Phares. He can be reached at (308) 532-3180 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are unsure as to who your regent is you can contact Carmen Maurer, Corporation Secretary of Nebraska at email@example.com, 402-472-3906. She is listed as the key contact on the Nebraska Board of Regents website.
The University of Nebraska is your university. Your tax dollars substantially fund the University of Nebraska system. The legislature appropriates over $600 million to the University every year. The university should reflect and respect the beliefs and values of all Nebraskans. It should champion and encourage the free flow of all ideas and perspectives without the slightest hint of apprehension. We all grew up loving our University. We need to get these problems addressed and restore it to it’s former glory. I personally believe we need a change in leadership to do that, but that is up to President Bounds and the Board of Regents.
I want to make a correction to something I wrote in my 17 November update. I said I had a bill about State government collecting Union Dues stuck in the Judiciary Committee. This is incorrect. My bill LB 503 is stuck in the Business and Labor Committee. The bill I meant to say was stuck in the Judiciary Committee was LB 505. This bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to make some data concerning refugees the federal government re-settles in Nebraska available on their website so Nebraska taxpayers could see and understand the burden placed on them by this program.
Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at; firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail a letter to; Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1202, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509 or call us at (402) 471-2628.