University of Nebraska Offers Assistance

By: Mr. Wilson on September 1, 2005
NU President J.B. Milliken announced today that the University of Nebraska would make efforts to assist students and faculty affected by Hurricane Katrina. That's to be expected. This, however, seems awfully generous:
"For those students eligible for admission who are unable to return to their home campuses for an indefinite period of time, we will immediately accept as many as we can at our campuses. We will allow them to enroll this fall at in-state tuition rates, and provide assistance in quickly registering them for classes, finding housing and whatever additional help they need." Classes began August 22 in Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney, so incoming students would have a reasonably small number of class days to make up. Milliken noted that a number of Nebraska students who were enrolled at Tulane University in New Orleans have already contacted the university. "This is temporary assistance, and when their institutions are able to re-open, we will also help facilitate an easy transfer back home," Milliken said.
To some degree the offer is in the University's self-interest. But consider how much of a pain in the neck this could be for NU's faculty and staff. Surely there are no built-in mechanisms to deal with a large influx of students during a semester, so those mechanisms will have to be created on the fly. If you know anything about bureaucratic behavior, you know that "we'll just make it up as we go" is rarely heard. More often heard is "Let's create a committee!" Milliken knows all that. That he is willing to try to make something like this work makes this a very kind gesture. I wonder how many students will actually accept the offer? Update: I found an online version of the full text of the announcement


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