By Doug Cunningham, Contributor
Dr. George Ross, candidate for University of Nebraska President, visited campus on Nov. 18. While visiting, he participated in a forum open to all university faculty, staff and students. Also included were members of news media and public.
“I believe that the role of the president is to provide vision and leadership,” Ross said. “The president needs to lead, but stay flexible while at the same time motivating and bringing people together.”
Ross currently serves as Central Michigan University’s President. Ross began his visit early Tuesday at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Milo Bail Student Center. He also visited the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Noting that he had hoped for more questions from students, Ross said he was still happy to hear from many professors.
Some topics, Ross commented, were too early for him to give an opinion on such as money. Ross said he is still listening and that constant communication is key. Ross spoke about how he is impressed with financial support the university pulls from the private sector and cited the UNO arena and Buffet Early Childhood Institute as examples.
Students still had an ear open toward the visit, even though Ross has hoped for more input. “A new president can impact UNO quite a bit,” said Michael Bouas, UNO student. “It might have a bigger impact on our state or university programs.” Our previous president worked to promote the benefits of the university can do for students and residents. Ross noted simply being visible on campus is a good start for the new president, but telling the university’s story while encouraging promotion of strengths in and amongst all campuses is the best way to keep everyone invested.
When asked about his passion, Ross said it is the students. “At the end of the day, this university is judged by the students you produce.”
“Whoever is elected I hope does right by us,” said Ally Teacher, a UNO student.
The second candidate for the presidency will visit the state Dec. 7-11. Hank Bounds, commissioner of higher education for the Mississippi institutions of higher learning, will make stops at each NU campus and participate in open forums. The rest of the candidates are being scheduled before the end of the year. Following Dr. Ross’ visit, Nebraskans are invited to submit their feedback through an online form available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/Ross-G.