Students dream for a crack as UNL chancellor

Ronnie Green

UNL Chancellor-elect Ronnie Green is the current Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources in the University of Nebraska system.

Being the Chancellor of the UNL comes with great responsibility.

On April 6, UNL President Hank Bounds announced Ronnie Green as the university’s chancellor, replacing the often humorous, interactive incumbent Harvey Perlman.

The chancellor makes direct decisions to the university’s faculty, staff and students. Yet, some students around UNL are unaware exactly what the chancellor does.

UNL freshman Chase Thompson says, “The chancellor has the power to do whatever he wants. Whether he calls off school, or messes with kids on Twitter.”

Perlman gained popularity with students when he posted snow-day school cancellations via his Twitter account.

UNL sophomore Brian Gould says of the chancellor, “That’s the guy that calls the snow day right? I guess if he can do that he must be pretty powerful.”

Sure, the chancellor calls off school. It’s usually the most popular decision among students, but the chancellor does plenty more.

The chancellor also acts as the ceremonial head for the university, making commencement speeches to the incoming freshmen or the graduating class.

Chancellor Harvey Perlman speaks during the All-University Commencement at Pinnacle Bank Arena on August 16, 2014.

Chancellor Harvey Perlman, wearing his traditional cap and gown, speaks during the All-University Commencement at Pinnacle Bank Arena on August 16, 2014.

Gould says, “But you’d think with all that power, he could stop having to wear that dress thing and weird hat at all the ceremonies.”

It wouldn’t hurt the chancellor if he or she is keenly aware of the university, and Chancellor-elect Green, being a UNL employee, knows the ins-and-outs of Nebraska’s largest university.

Gould says, “I think he’ll do a great job, I mean he’s from UNL already, so as long as he doesn’t mess up the whole “Calibraska” thing we have going, he should be a good fit.”

“Calibraska” refers to the football recruiting pipeline Nebraska football coach Mike Riley established with California.

Other students are excited about the potential advancements Green could make to the university, mainly the agricultural department, which Green currently heads.

So, if you think the chancellor’s position is fairly easy, you’d be surprised. But UNL students can’t help but ponder what they would do if they were chancellor — just for one day.

Thompson says, “I would make (UNL) a wet campus. I really think it would cause less problems than what the people say it would.” He pointed out the profits the university could make if they sell alcohol on campus.

Other students say they’d have fun if they ran the university for a day. Sophomore Zach Geist says, “I’d shut down all of the streets on campus and use it as a giant tailgate party. The green space can have concerts.” Sophomore Brett Whorley says he’d put a giant slip-n-slide down Vine Street.

Gould says he would swim in the fountain outside UNL’s city campus union. “I mean, sometimes walking back from class it’s hot and I need to cool down. Why do I get yelled at for taking off my clothes and sitting in the water for a bit? Who am I hurting?”

In an even more hypothetical response, UNL junior Will Dudley says, “I would throw a campus-wide party in Memorial Stadium, with a bouncy house. All funded by the university, of course.”

It’s a good thing Chancellor Green is a qualified chancellor.

For more on what UNL Director of Communications Melissa Lee says about Chancellor-elect Green, click here.

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