Keeping Tuition Affordable
The price of tuition is one of the largest worries for college students and their families. Undoubtedly rising tuition around the country places families in a bind when sending their children off to college. As a parent of five UNL students I know how tuition affects students and families. Since the day I took office I have been advocating for predictable and affordable tuition for in-state students.
In an eleven-year span from 1998-2009 the University of Nebraska increased tuition over 112 percent, with an average annual increase of nearly 8 percent. These moves showed a lack of foresight. During this time the University of Nebraska also lost sight of its mission: provide outstanding and affordable education for all Nebraskans. During my tenure on the Board of Regents there have been no tuition increases over six percent. During my eleven years on the Board of Regents, tuition increases have averaged 3.5 percent.
When looking across the country at what other state colleges are doing it is not uncommon to find tuition increases well over 10 percent. Not only have we limited tuition increases during my term on the Board of Regents, we have also collaborated with the NU Foundation to increase scholarships money for high achieving students to help keep our best and brightest here in the state.
Keeping tuition low, while only increasing tuition in manageable amounts for families has positioned the University of Nebraska well. The University of Nebraska boasts the lowest in-state tuition rates in of all Big Ten institutions. In fact, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s out of state tuition is comparable to the University of Michigan’s in-state tuition rates. Nebraskans are currently receiving a bang for their buck at the University of Nebraska and I am committed to keeping it that way.
Keeping Students in Nebraska
The people of Nebraska dedicate a portion of their tax dollars to the University expecting affordable education that will keep the youth of Nebraska in Nebraska. A top priority of mine has been attacking the brain-drain Nebraska has experienced for decades. In only three years on the Board of Regents we are starting to see incredible results. First and foremost, the keep Nebraskans here and to draw others to Nebraska we have to increase enrollment. During my term we have experienced increased enrollment across all campuses.
We are recruiting and keeping the best students in state for their education, but I am also leading the charge to ensure the students are getting meaningful experience through internships. I have worked to build public/private partnerships with companies in Lincoln to encourage the businesses to hire interns from the University of Nebraska. If students can get meaningful work experience here in Nebraska, they are more likely to leverage their professional network after graduation to become employed in the state. A student who receives an internship is more likely to get hired after graduation and the income difference is staggering. I’ve worked with Governors Ricketts and Heineman, as well as the Nebraska Legislature to bolster our internship programs. Further, I’ve worked with career services divisions across the campuses to prioritize and publicize internship opportunities for our students.
Guiding the University
The University of Nebraska is experiencing a change in leadership at the top. Following an efficient and effective search process, Ted Carter has been hired as the new President of the University of Nebraska system. Now, more than ever, it is important the Board of Regents have the institutional knowledge at their disposal to ensure President Carter’s transition is as seamless as possible. When Tim is re-elected, he will be the longest tenured member of the Board of Regents. During his eleven years, Tim has helped transition positions of leadership with great success, limiting the learning curve of new leaders as they gain the traction needed to implement their vision. The University of Nebraska is on the doorstep of another decade of unparalleled growth and success. Tim’s knowledge of the university and history of service will help fill the void and make NU’s latest leadership transition a success.
Working to meet Nebraska’s workforce needs
Tim has been on the leading edge of working with the private sector to address Nebraska’s workforce shortages in vital fields. Industries across the state are needing talented young people to fill important roles in their companies. Without the talent pipeline provided by the University of Nebraska, many businesses would not be able to grow, and some would be forced to relocate. Tim has worked directly with Nebraska business and University of Nebraska administrators to address our workforce issues with the kind of grit and determination Nebraskans expect. Tim has worked with Governor Ricketts to propose new scholarship funds for students seeking degrees in much-needed fields. Tim worked with Governor Heineman to provide internship opportunities for companies and students alike. Tim has established groups throughout the university that meet with business leaders to understand their needs. Nebraska needs our students to be prepared to step into these roles and Tim is laser-focused on ensuring we meet the challenge.