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Chancellor Gold

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Photo by unomaha.edu

Charlotte Reilly

Dr. Jeffery Gold is the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s interim chancellor taking over for John Christensen. Many UNO students and faculty members are optimistic about the transition.

“I think we’re all excited to find out how the new leadership is going to affect UNO. It’s a new type of arrangement for UNO, so there’s really no precedent, at least locally, for what comes next,” said associate professor Todd Richardson. “I’m excited for more cooperation between UNO and UNMC because I always found it kind of foolish that the two schools, considering their proximity, weren’t more closely associated.”

Some think his experience will minimize the challenges universities face during times of change.

“There is usually some turbulence when someone new takes office in this sort of situation,” said junior Kian McIntosh. “That being said, he has had experience being the chancellor at UNMC already, so I think that will help minimize any turbulence.”

The change will be used to build positive relationships, said Chancellor Gold.

“At a time of tight budgets and state constraints, I believe that we will have a number of healthy and successful relationships,” Gold said. “We will leverage the strength of both universities to do things that can only be done when campuses work together.”

President Bounds is putting in a number of organizational changes and cuts that will affect all campuses. Instructor Melodae Morris said she believes Chancellor Gold’s experience will help him keep the university afloat.

“Obviously there are financial concerns that are weighing heavily on everyone,” Morris said. “He seems to have the experience necessary to pull teams together to examine systems and processes that can streamline operations, and then make logical decisions to garner the most benefit.”

Chancellor Gold said he wants to focus on building a reputation of distinction for UNO as a prominent metropolitan university. He plans to create more opportunities for students through research and community engagement.

“I would like every high school student within 300 to 500 miles to at least have one night when they wake up in a cold sweat thinking, ‘If I could only go to UNO,’” Gold said.

Some of his goals are: for students to be able to register for classes on both campuses, faculty members to be able to apply for research grants without having to go to two separate grant offices, commercialization of technology transfer use and for resources of the medical center to help research scientists and scholars at UNO.

UNO students, faculty and staff should expect to see Chancellor Gold on campus, he said.

“I’m not someone that stands on ceremony. I want to be accessible and involved,” Gold said. “I’m still actively learning where the opportunities for excellence and growth at UNO are. If I see something that needs to be fixed, I’ll do it. If I see an opportunity, I’ll go for it.”

His top priority is to serve the students and staff, Gold said. He hopes he can use his position to make an impact on UNO and UNMC.

“At the end of the day, when you graduate, I want you to be able to look back at your alma matter and be incredibly proud,” Gold said.

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Chancellor Gold provided updates to the UNO community in a June 21 town hall meeting
photo courtesy UNO communications

Charlotte Reilly
News Editor

Chancellor Jeffrey Gold updated University of Nebraska at Omaha faculty, staff and students on the university budget at a town hall meeting on June 21, 2017.

Hundreds of UNO affiliates attended the event at the Strauss Performing Arts Center. Those who could not attend watched a livestream.

The University of Nebraska system’s budget will be cut by $27 million over the next two years, Chancellor Gold explained. More than 100 University of Nebraska positions will be cut. About $5 million in cuts are expected in the first year, and the rest in the second.

Chancellor Gold said UNO can continue to grow with the help and input of the Maverick community.

“You can’t cut your way to greatness. We have remarkable untapped growth potential to get through this and to come out of this budget cycle far greater, far stronger than we have ever been,” Chancellor Gold said.  “The long and the short of it is I need to hear from you. The strength of our university is the strength of our people.”

Chancellor also discussed the possible merge of UNO and UNMC. He said the campuses may collaborate in research, data and faculty sharing, but believes the missions of both schools will stay separate.

“I don’t see a lot of overlap in academic programs, at least today. I see synergies. I see opportunities to bring people and programs together.”

He advised the UNO community not to be discouraged by the budget cuts and to continue growing in quality and numbers.

Chancellor Gold invited anyone concerned about the university budget to visit nebraska.edu/budgetplanning or email him directly at jeffrey.gold@unomaha.edu.



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photo courtesy UNO communications

Charlotte Reilly
News Editor

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved the appointment of Jeffery P. Gold, M.D. as the interim chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha on June 1, 2017.

“Jeff Gold is a proven leader who, together with talented faculty, staff and students has put UNMC on a remarkable trajectory,” said University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds.

“He knows Omaha and our state well, he has built deep connections with university stakeholders, and he appreciates the unique- and in many cases complementary- missions of Nebraska’s public academic health science center and its metropolitan university.”

Chancellor Gold said he plans to expand opportunities for UNO and UNMC through collaboration.

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Chancellor Gold walks along UNO campus with former student body president Patrick Davlin
Photo courtesy UNO Communications

Charlotte Reilly
News Editor

Chancellor Jeffery Gold began his first day as the interim chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha on May 8, 2017.

UNO staff and students received an email on April 27, 2017 stating Chancellor Gold was selected to replace UNO Chancellor John Christenson as the interim chancellor of UNO. Chancellor Gold has been the chancellor at The University of Nebraska Medical Center since 2014.

“UNO’s student-focused, metropolitan university mission will remain the bedrock of everything we build together,” Chancellor Gold said in a speech during his first day as the UNO chancellor. “Together, we will continue UNO’s rich history of prioritizing not just excellence in education, but also access and opportunity.”

Chancellor Gold listed some of the accomplishments of UNO and UNMC, including education programs that lead to research and health professions, dual degree programs, expanded outreach and advances in biomedical technology programs.

On May 11, 2017, University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds announced that the Nebraska Legislature might be conducting a study to determine if combining the UNMC and UNO campuses is possible and advantageous. The university did not know of or request the study, Bounds explained.

“We’ll be pleased to have conversations with interested senators about the reasoning behind our decision to name Dr. Gold to lead both UNMC and UNO,” Bounds said. “We will make the same points we have shared with all of you: That this appointment opens exciting opportunities for student and faculty collaborations, that we think can find additional fiscal efficiencies, and that while it makes sense for our Omaha-based campuses to work more closely together, UNO and UNMC also each have distinct and important missions to serve our state.”

If the study proceeds, Bounds says he will use the opportunity to show the legislators the role each campus plays in Nebraska communities and explain the decision behind the leadership transition.