Over 50 percent of the students who attend the University of Nebraska are women, yet the Board of Regents is currently comprised of 8 men. Of the 127 Regents who have served in Nebraska's history, only four have been women. As a mother, grandmother, former educator, and trained social worker, Barbara will provide a new and much-needed perspective on the Board. She will seek greater consensus and improved communication within the board and with the public, while remaining a passionate advocate for the University in the face of continued budget cuts.
Making Education Affordable
Rising tuition costs and the increasing burden of student debt are deeply disturbing. When Barbara taught in the UNO School of Social Work, students would come to her office in tears, telling her that they needed to leave school because they had maxed out their credit cards and taken on too much debt to pay for tuition, books, and fees. No student should have to face such overwhelming barriers to receiving an education.
As Regent, Barbara will work hard to make tuition affordable by identifying new revenue streams and ensuring students do not bear the burden of decreasing tax revenues to the state and continued budget cuts for the University. The Board of Regents must explore public-private partnerships, cost-sharing, and other innovative ideas to keep tuition costs as low as possible. Education must be attainable for Nebraska's future workforce and we must ensure that budget cuts do not put education out of reach for so many.
Increasing Transparency and Communication
Nebraska's taxpayers - parents, students, NU faculty members, and staff - deserve greater transparency and communication from the Board. Important decisions about the direction of the University must take place with input from all Nebraskans. That's why, as Regent, Barbara will hold regular "office hours," where every Nebraskan is invited to ask questions about governance of the University, share their experiences and suggestions, and simply learn more about what the Board of Regents does. Barbara pledges to make communication with the public about the role of the Board one of her highest priorities.