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Varner Hall

Varner Hall in Lincoln houses the University of Nebraska central administration offices and is the usual meeting site for the Board of Regents. 

As Nebraskans and young professionals, we are proud of the University of Nebraska’s decision to hire a Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion. In order for our state to achieve its greatest potential in economic vitality and quality of life, it is paramount that our institutions facilitate a welcoming environment for all.

This is not just a moral issue; it is an economic one. Recruiting and retaining young Nebraskans is one of our state’s greatest challenges. Young professionals consistently prioritize diversity and inclusion when choosing a place to live.

Don’t take it from us; take it from young professionals who, in a recent study by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, listed diversity and inclusion as a critically important priority.

The university’s leadership during World War II serves as an example of how Nebraska’s institutions can uphold the values of inclusion during times when society is tried by the noticeable forces of anxiety, polarization and mass misinformation.

At the height of United States involvement during the Second World War, countless Japanese-American college students were forcibly removed from their universities and placed into internment camps. In order to leave the camps and resume their academic programs, Nisei students needed to study at universities east of the exclusion zone.

Unlike the supermajority of schools that refused to permit these students from attending, The University of Nebraska and Lincoln community welcomed them with open arms -- from 1942 to 1945, 100 Nisei students were enrolled.

We believe that this is another moment for Nebraskans to be responsible stewards of our economy and take the moral high ground by supporting the university’s proactive decision to create the Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion. This position is a clear step forward in ensuring that people of all walks of life are welcomed in our state.

Sens. Anna Wishart and Adam Morfeld, Lincoln, and Lincoln Young Professionals Group

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