Chancellor Li: Honor the Journey, Embrace the Future

1 month ago 14
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Chancellor Joanne Li

In my archetypal connection to you arsenic UNO’s chancellor 90 days ago, I spoke astir however determination is an undeniable vigor that radiates from this university, and however it draws successful radical of each backgrounds and inspires them to bash unthinkable things.

That vigor has led this field to make a singular probe portfolio successful cutting-edge fields that see biomechanics, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, transgression justice, the arts, and truthful overmuch more. It has produced a ample and increasing fig of assemblage partnerships done efforts similar Career Currency, the Service Learning Academy, and the Community Engagement Center’s Community Engagement Partnership Initiative (CEPI). It has besides equipped the 2 thirds of Omaha Public Schools teachers who person astatine slightest 1 UNO grade with the tools they request to enactment our city’s K-12 students.

I constitute you today—after countless meetings with students, faculty, staff, alumni, assemblage partners, and stakeholders arsenic good arsenic ongoing field listening sessions underway—to accidental that present is the clip to harness that vigor and instrumentality our assemblage and assemblage to caller heights. We person the capableness to beryllium an adjacent greater unit for bully not lone connected the section stage, but crossed the authorities and astir the world.

This is however we volition bash it, together.

First, efficaciously archer the university’s communicative and advocator for its ngo successful the halls of power.

Stories are almighty things. They drawback attention, physique communities astir a acceptable of ideals, and animate action.

Everything we anticipation to execute arsenic an instauration starts with efficaciously telling our communicative with the extremity end of recruiting and retaining exceptional students, faculty, and staff. That is wherefore our Office of University Communications (UCOMM) – led by Chief Communications and Marketing Officer Makayla McMorris – has been tasked with processing and executing an over-arching communications strategy that volition acceptable the code for however we pass our imaginativeness and animate others to beryllium a portion of this community. This strategy volition reinvigorate the UNO marque and interaction each of our people audiences and stakeholders successful a mode that engages, informs, inspires. It volition springiness everyone successful the UNO orbit the playbook to beryllium storytellers successful their ain lives. UCOMM’s enactment laying the instauration of that communicative and however we stock it is underway.

To usage this communicative to its fullest potential, we volition turn our authorities and assemblage relations squad wrong the Office of the Chancellor. Armed with a wide and concise message, a much robust squad volition beryllium capable to efficaciously advocator for UNO successful metropolis halls, to assemblage boards, to authorities legislative bodies, to groups of alumni and donors, and more. They volition besides beryllium capable to physique caller partnerships with assemblage and firm groups portion strengthening the galore that already exist.

Second, we volition thrust a statewide civilization displacement astir topics of pupil safety, diversity, equity, access, and inclusion.

There is nary bounds to what we tin execute unneurotic if we each person the bid of caput to learn, teach, and enactment to our fullest potential. Sadly, this is an situation that each institutions of higher learning conflict to foster. A 2019 AAU survey recovered that 1 successful 4 undergraduate women experienced immoderate benignant of intersexual misconduct successful college. Incidents targeting students of colour and of antithetic sexualities and religions are connected the rise, according to a 2019 report.

If we perpetrate ourselves to marque our field a safer, much welcoming spot for all, we tin beryllium the catalyst that sparks alteration successful our authorities and crossed the country. This volition beryllium hard work, but enactment worthy doing is ne'er easy. We person already taken a foundational measurement by launching a nationalist hunt for a main diverseness officer. Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Sacha Kopp is starring this hunt alongside a divers radical of module and staff.

The idiosyncratic who takes connected this relation volition beryllium a large origin successful driving the civilization displacement that makes UNO a safer, much welcoming field situation and leads by illustration for a much equitable community.

Achieving our extremity end of becoming the person successful these spaces volition necessitate america to get comfy being uncomfortable successful immoderate regards.

There volition ever beryllium friction oregon hostility successful the speech of ideas that instrumentality spot each time connected assemblage campuses, successful committee rooms, and successful gathering spaces. To acceptable up our students for lifelong occurrence and hole them for enactment opportunities upon graduation, we indispensable each instrumentality connected an “iron sharpens iron” mentality astir hard conversations connected our field and successful our community. I number connected you to beryllium our catalyst to foster a harmless situation that is beloved to our hearts.

I genuinely judge that if we promote our students to beryllium thoughtful and assured successful their convictions, they tin make abstraction for others to stock and speech caller and antithetic ideas.

Third, we volition disrupt the accepted student-to-university narration to amended enactment the modern learner.

For acold excessively long, the narration betwixt students and their assemblage has been transactional. Students wage tuition, person an education, and with capable hard enactment and dedication, gain a degree. This is not acceptable for a pupil success-obsessed instauration similar UNO.

To conscionable the workforce needs of our state, we indispensable determination distant from the transactional exemplary to 1 that says: “If you person the courageousness to put successful your future, we volition bash everything successful our powerfulness to guarantee you are successful.”

We volition archer students that we beryllium to guarantee they volition gain a grade connected clip with minimal indebtedness and beryllium placed into a vocation they love. We volition code “bottleneck” courses truthful that the pupil travel progresses without immoderate roadblocks. We volition enactment to heighten each facet of the UNO field acquisition truthful that it is simply a dynamic, supportive, and engaging situation that inspires students successful their journey. We volition harvester high-tech information and investigation to place issues and instrumentality high-touch, person-to-person engagement to lick them. We volition clasp the lifelong learner mentality and supply opportunities for students to gain the skills they request to excel successful an evolving workforce done innovative grade programs, certificates, and credentialing. We volition marque in-person and online courses much accessible to radical similar moving parents, individuals who privation to alteration careers, progressive subject members, and truthful overmuch more. We are present to person transactions into relations

Finally, we indispensable judge successful ourselves and spot our process.

Organizations that spot each different are organizations that succeed. We volition beryllium an enactment that inspires spot wrong our field and passim the assemblage by mounting goals, measuring our success, and communicating openly with stakeholders. That spot is what volition alteration america to germinate our strategies successful bid to conscionable the needs of our students and our state.

I anticipation that this preview of our travel up inspires you successful the aforesaid mode that you person inspired me. This imaginativeness for UNO’s aboriginal volition proceed to instrumentality signifier successful the coming months arsenic I perceive and larn from everyone successful the Maverick assemblage astir their needs, goals, and ambitions.

I program to stock a clear, detailed, cohesive assemblage program built connected these 4 principals during my State of the University and Investiture lawsuit successful March – I anticipation you volition articulation maine successful celebrating our aboriginal that we volition physique together.

As overmuch arsenic things whitethorn alteration connected the roadworthy ahead, determination is nary shortage of endowment successful and retired of the schoolroom that volition pb america to wherever we privation to be.


Joanne Li, Ph.D., CFA

UNO Chancellor

Located successful 1 of America’s champion cities to live, enactment and learn, the University of Nebraska astatine Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With much than 15,000 students enrolled successful 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, postgraduate education, subject friendliness and assemblage engagement efforts. Founded successful 1908, UNO has served learners of each backgrounds for much than 100 years and is dedicated to different period of excellence some successful the schoolroom and successful the community.

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