Good evening, Vice Chair Albrecht, members of the Education Committee. My name is Chris Kabourek. I serve as the interim president of the University of Nebraska. And I'm here to share the university's opposition to LB1330.
We've heard a lot of dialogue this afternoon and this evening—and I don't need to tell you this is what democracy looks like. I'm proud to say that at the university, each and every day, this is what you hear in our classroom: dialogue dealing with difficult, challenging issues. That's what we do when we educate.
I appreciate Senator Murman opening this dialogue and I look forward to working with him more on the bill.
I don't want to repeat what others have already said—probably more articulately than I could have said. I'm just going to say a few remarks about our viewpoint from the university.
From the university's perspective, I share Chancellor Turman's concern. We are concerned about how this bill would impact our ability to compete for students, for faculty, and staff. In addition, as already mentioned, we are concerned about what impact the bill would have on our board's constitutional authority to govern the university.
I think we all value diversity and the benefits of being welcoming. Certainly, that's the kind of environment we strive for and want to create on our campuses. We all want our university to be the best it possibly can be. And our job is to support every single student, no matter what their background.
That's my goal as president and as someone who was the first in his family to go to college. That's near and dear to me. And I want to pass that opportunity on to the next generation.
I think all Nebraskans are aligned around the idea that every single young person should be able to chase their dreams right here in Nebraska. I know our board shares that vision, and I have confidence in our regents to chart our path forward.
We'd ask you to oppose LB1330 and allow us to work with our board to do what's best for the university.
With that, I'd be happy to answer any questions. Thanks for all that you do.