Going Green: UNL students eager to see change

LINCOLN, Neb. – Jack Housenga, Matt Rigby, Seth Korte and Kellan Heavican

University of Nebraska-Lincoln President Hank Bounds introduced Ronnie Green on April 6 as the twentieth chancellor in school history.

Some say the chancellor of a university is the most prominent role, but some UNL students feel disconnect between the position and themselves.

A NewsNetNebraska poll asking 35 UNL students if they knew whom the new chancellor was, found only three students who could correctly identify Green.

UNL freshman Becky Villamonte says she doesn’t care about the hire.

UNL students lounge outside of the Nebraska Union.

UNL students lounge outside of the Nebraska Union.

“I’m not sure what he does. Does he do stuff that principals do? I mean he’s the overseer, but does he actually enforce anything?”

The university notified students of the hire via email, however, most respondents say they deleted it.

Junior Shaina Short says, “I had the email but I didn’t read it. I’m sure he does things we don’t see, but he doesn’t do much for me as a student.”

One thing respondents say they do know about chancellors is they help decide snow days. Senior Paige Garber says she hopes the transition from Harvey Perlman to Ronnie Green will help change the stereotype.

“I knew nothing about Harvey except that he controlled snow days. But I think he (Green) is going to be more connected and involved. He knows the university. He knows Nebraska.”

Since 2010, Green has served as the Harlan Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Green also currently serves as the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, a role he received in 2015. He earned a doctorate from UNL in 1988.

Green has four children, three of which attend UNL. Garber says this will help him connect with the student body.

“Because he has kids at the university, his involvement will be huge. I think once the university gets to know him, they will like him.”

Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film Professor William Grange says Green will help the university grow.

Ronnie Green addressing the crowd at his introductory press conference.

Ronnie Green addressing the crowd at his introductory press conference.

“I’ve talked to him before. The biggest thing is academic freedom. We don’t deal with him entirely as professors; it’s too big of a role. But, he has to set policies.”

UNL Board of Regents member Jim Pillen says that Green is the right fit for the school.

“I found him to be an excellent leader and he’s engaging. People want to be on his team and that part is extremely important.”

Pillen adds that Green has an opportunity to make UNL even better then it currently is.

“The UNL campus has lots of opportunities to make some major improvements. There are empty seats to be filled. Ronnie has the ability to fill those seats.”

In his opening press conference, Green said growing the university is important.

“This place in 10 years will be a very different university, and I want to be the person that helps lead it there.”

Green is scheduled to take over the chancellor position on July 1.

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