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The Antelope

The Antelope

Regents hear faculty requests, vote on proposals

The last time community members attended a Board of Regents meeting in Kearney was 2018. Photo provided by Kylie Schwab / Antelope Staff

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents heard from William Aviles, UNK National Education Association president, during the public comment portion of the meeting in regards to pay increases being below inflation. The Board of Regents met Friday in the UNK Ponderosa Room to address the university operations at the start of the school year. 

“I find it ironic for the faculty and staff at UNK — who provide the best education for undergraduate students in this state — not only makes substantially less than our colleagues  that UNO and UNL, but the board has also chosen not to raise our salaries in line with cost of living,” Aviles said.

The UNK NEA and the Board of Regents negotiate a collective bargaining agreement every two years. This year is a renegotiation year.

One of Aviles’ claims was over the high pay that administrators receive. UN president Ted Carter didn’t comment on the speech, but he defended salaries within the UN System.

“The chancellors manage their budgets on every campus,” Carter said. “Obviously their faculty are unionized so we deal with unions for what happens on faculty pay. We design our budgets so that everybody could get a 3% pay increase. Now some people have to show how they earn that, and some people who go a bit above and beyond will do a bit better. We’re very careful about making sure that we are retaining faculty and staff based on the available amount of money that we can get.”

Chancellor Doug Kristensen had no comment.

The proposal for alcoholic beverages to be sold at Pinnacle Bank Arena was approved. A two-year test will run for alcoholic beverages to be sold during Husker basketball games. The regents have allowed for alcohol to be sold at Pinnacle Bank Arena and Memorial Stadium on a case-by-case basis.

UNK building contracts were also updated. 

The previous budget for the Warner Hall renovation was $5.1 million, and regents approved an increase to $6.5 million. The Regents also approved an addition to University Village, with a 252-acre plot west of the development.

Chancellor Doug Kristensen presented at the beginning of the meeting on all the various infrastructure upgrades during his tenure. Kristensen highlighted additions to the Bruner Hall of Science, upgrades to the Health and Sports Center and the new Greek housing that is currently under construction. Larry Gossen, dean of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture had a presentation on the agricultural programs at the college.

The last time the regents met in Kearney was October 2018. Regent chair Bob Phares, a Kearney State College graduate, likes the perspectives shared outside of Lincoln.

“I think it’s good for us on the board to go and physically see,” Phares said. “We’ve got the paper of what’s going on at UNO, what’s going on at UNK, at (Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture),  but that’s not the same as seeing it personally.”

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