The University of Nebraska Board of Regents will meet Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, at Varner Hall, 3835 Holdrege St. in Lincoln. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will also be live-streamed at www.nebraska.edu. The meeting is open to the public.
A detailed agenda for the meeting is available here.
The meeting will lead off with an update from Sen. Mike Hilgers of Lincoln, Speaker of the Legislature.
Hilgers will be followed by Paul Umbach, founder and president of Tripp Umbach, a leading national firm with expertise in economic impact studies. Umbach will present his firm’s latest analysis of the significant and growing impact that the University of Nebraska System has on the state’s economy.
Regent Bob Phares of North Platte, vice chair of the Board, will take over as chair for 2022, succeeding Regent Paul Kenney of Amherst. The Board will elect its next vice chair.
The Board’s agenda includes consideration of two items related to the sale and consumption of alcohol at athletic events:
1) First, the Board will consider a change to its policy on alcohol on University of Nebraska property. Under the proposed change, the university president and chancellors would be permitted to authorize the sale and consumption of alcohol at athletic events on their respective campuses.
A 1999 Board resolution prohibits alcohol at athletic events conducted on university property. But over the years the Board has approved exceptions on a contract-by-contract basis, on multiple campuses and at multiple sites. The proposed policy change would create important consistency across the NU system at a time when the potential sale of alcohol at university athletic events is a frequent topic of discussion, NU System President Ted Carter said.
"Opening any university event to alcohol is a question that we will always approach with diligence and care," Carter said. "Our Board and administration have thoughtfully explored these issues for years, together with our athletics colleagues, business teams and others. This proposed policy change is a common-sense first step if we ultimately decide to consider alcohol at any additional athletic events.
"I want to be clear that beyond the Big Ten Wrestling Championships, we are not currently considering any proposals to introduce alcohol at University of Nebraska athletic events, including Husker football, basketball or baseball games. Any decision in that respect would come only after the respective chancellor and I have carefully considered the economic case, the impact on the fan experience, and what’s in the best overall interests of the University of Nebraska."
The proposed policy change also permits alcohol advertising and sponsorships on university property with the approval of the appropriate chancellor.
2) Second, the Board will consider an amendment to its agreement with the City of Lincoln for operation of Pinnacle Bank Arena to allow alcohol sales at the Big Ten Wrestling Championships on March 5 and 6, 2022.
The change applies only to the Big Ten Wrestling Championships. The sale of alcohol at any other university athletic events at Pinnacle Bank Arena would require an additional amendment to the Board’s agreement with the City of Lincoln, which would come to the Board for approval.
Other items for the Board’s consideration include:
- Demolition of the J.P. Lord, Munroe-Meyer Institute and Hattie B. Munroe Home facilities at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. (Addendum XII-B-8)
- Changes to the Board’s standing rules intended to expand the opportunity for members of the public to provide testimony to the Board. The proposed changes include an elimination of the existing 30-minute time limit for public comment, and a change from the maximum time for individual verbal testimony from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.
- The Board will also consider adding an option for members of the public to submit formal written testimony on university matters. Names of individuals submitting written testimony and the topic of their testimony will be included in official Board meeting minutes. (Addendum XII-C-1)