Ricketts plague the Chancellor of the U. of Nebraska, race plan
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Governor Pete Ricketts on Monday denounced the chancellor of the flagship campus of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, saying he was misled about a plan designed to tackle racial disparities on campus , even as the president of the university system tried to defuse the situation.
Ricketts said he had “lost all faith” in University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green, who endorsed the plan as a way to make the campus more diverse and inclusive.
Ricketts said Green told him the plan was an effort to increase the number of faculty, staff and minority students on campus, which Ricketts said was “a good thing.”
But Ricketts said Green hadn’t told him about other parts of the initiative, including a “call to action. Statement which says that structural racism in society is the cause of racial disparities and is not limited to individual beliefs or actions. The statement says the plan aims to transform the university into a place where everyone matters and achieves “equitable results.”
Ricketts, a Republican, called the idea “ideological indoctrination” that will encourage people to see themselves through the prism of race rather than as individuals with unique strengths. He said he values diversity and has worked to increase minority employment in state government, including hiring more black agency managers, but that he strongly disagreed with the university’s approach.
“I have lost all faith in Ronnie Green,” Ricketts said at a press conference in response to a question on the matter. “I no longer believe anything he says. I don’t know how you get this back. I couldn’t be more disgusted with what just happened.
His statement came hours after University of Nebraska President Ted Carter issued an open letter supporting the plan. A spokeswoman for Green said he was unavailable for an interview and referred to Carter’s letter.
Carter acknowledged in the letter that the university’s rollout of the plan was flawed and should have included previous conversations with the university’s board of trustees. Some regents, including Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen, have said they oppose the plan and have criticized the way the university has handled it.
Carter said his partnership with Ricketts “means a lot to me personally and professionally. I hope he accepts my promise that we will do everything possible to maintain our positive working relationship in support of his goal of developing Nebraska. “
He also said the university would not hire applicants based on their skin color, close its doors to any qualified students, and limit the exchange of ideas on campus.
But he argued that the university can do more to create a welcoming and accessible atmosphere for all students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“These are uncomfortable conversations, with heated opinions on many sides,” he said. “Not all Nebraskans, all members of the university community will agree with all elements of the plan.
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