University of Nebraska Advocates


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Welcome to NU Advocates

The University of Nebraska Advocates program is a coalition of individuals who are passionate about their University, informed about the issues impacting higher education and prepared to raise awareness of the University’s contributions to the state of Nebraska and beyond.

Membership allows you to receive the latest updates on what's happening at the capitol, provides an opportunity to share your concerns and ideas, and prepares you to effectively engage with your representatives and other policy makers.

Thank you for your interest in building a stronger University of Nebraska for years to come!

Heath Mello's signature

Heath Mello
Associate Vice President for University Affairs
Director of State Relations

Our Challenge Today

Your University is experiencing remarkable momentum in impacting the lives of students and people across the state and around the world. But we’re faced with reductions in state funding that could impact the affordability of a University education and the depth and breadth of our academic programming.

  • Under the current budget proposal being considered by the Legislature, the University’s appropriation would be reduced by $11 million this year, and next year’s appropriation would be cut by $23 million. These would come on top of the $13 million cut we took during midyear adjustments in the last fiscal year.
  • The University makes up 13% of state spending, yet is being asked to shoulder one-third of the proposed cuts. Over the biennium, no other agency takes a larger dollar cut than the University.
  • These cuts follow decades of unequal growth in government spending in which the University’s funding has not kept pace with other agencies’. In the last 20-plus years, appropriations to the University have increased 75%, compared to 122% for K-12 education, 202% for Medicaid, 246% for corrections and 137% in overall state spending.

The impact of additional cuts would be significant. We’re asking you to consider becoming a University of Nebraska Advocate today and help chart a course for the future of our University and state.

How Can I Help?

University of Nebraska Legislative Priorities

The State Relations team closely monitors all legislation that could impact the University of Nebraska and works with policymakers to promote NU priorities during session.

LB 944 – State’s Budget Package

This bill will provide, change, and eliminate provisions relating to appropriations and reduce appropriations.

LB 945 – State’s Budget Package

This bill will Provide for transfers of funds and change transfer provisions.

LB 946 – State’s Budget Package

This bill will change provisions relating to the Cash Reserve Fund.

Touching Lives Across Nebraska

Simulation Truck

Mobile Simulation Rural Initiative

Mobile, high-tech simulation trucks are coming to rural Nebraska to provide training opportunities on life-saving procedures for emergency medical providers and hospitals.

This rural initiative includes four, customized mobile simulation training trucks and 20 high-fidelity patient simulators that will be available to rural emergency medical services, hospitals and universities for training on advanced trauma and cardiac life support.

Hudl employee working on laptop

Cultivating a Thriving Startup Culture

Welcome to Silicon Prairie, where the support of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Raikes School of Computer Science and Management helped three students transform an idea into Hudl, a multi-million dollar startup.

Also at play: an incredible network and vibrant community that Hudl won’t find on either coast. In turn, Hudl is doing for local innovators what it’s done for coaches and players: changing the game.

Rachel Flaugh

From Family Farm to Harvard Medical School

Rachel Flaugh’s love of science began as a child on her family’s farm with a curiosity about the health of animals. That curiosity took her on a journey to explore the medical field as a certified nursing assistant in HS and as a chemistry major at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Her journey continued as she headed to Harvard Medical School this past fall after graduating with a B.S. in chemistry with an emphasis in health sciences. While at UNK, she had an internship in a hospital in Norfolk and volunteered as a medical scribe at the Help Care Clinic in Kearney.

Nurse washing hands

A Unified Battle Against Cancer

When great minds come together, great things happen. That’s the driving force behind the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. Here, scientists and doctors will work side-by-side with patients to find breakthroughs in cancer therapy.

This unified approach to treatment doesn’t just redefine cancer care—it redefines cancer hope.

Three girls at the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Code Crush

Helping Girls Define Their Own Code

Information technology. One of the fastest-growing job sectors in the U.S. is experiencing a deficit in qualified college grads, particularly female grads. In 2015, only 18% of all computing and information science degrees were earned by women.

This is where “Code Crush,” an immersion experience for middle- and high-school girls at UNO's College of Information Science and Technology, comes in. The four-day program introduces girls from across Nebraska to information technology in a friendly and engaging environment—at no cost. This is just one way that NU is working to diversify the IT landscape—and help fill the IT workforce deficit.

Tips for Sharing your Story

Share on Social Media

Sharing your story on social media is an effective way to communicate with legislators. Find the handles of your elected officials and tag them to start a dialogue, share your opinion, or ask a question. Think about including any relevant hashtags available, like #NUforNE.

Attend a Hearing at the Capital

Visit the Nebraska Legislature’s hearing dates listing to find your bill of interest. Attend a hearing in person to show support for or against a specific bill. You don’t need to testify to make an impact! Citizens in the audience are able to sign in and mark their stance on any piece of legislation during its hearing. All hearings are also streamed online courtesy of NET.

Write an Email or Letter

Sending a thoughtful and concise email or letter to your representative is another way to share your story. Find your senator, indicate if you are a constituent and that you would appreciate a reply. If you are concerned about a specific bill, give the bill number and subject. State your position on the bill and a brief reason for that position.

Make a Phone Call

This is a very easy and effective way to reach your senator. You may not always talk directly with your legislator, but you will be able to leave a message or talk with a staff member. Leave your name, number, note if you are a constituent and share your thoughts on why the University of Nebraska is important to you!


Returned to Nebraska for every $1 invested in NU

1 in 7

Working Nebraska’s hold a University of Nebraska degree

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50% +

of Nebraska’s doctors, dentists & nurses are trained at NU