IANR Liaison Committee Meeting
April 22nd, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
MS Teams

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VC Mike Boehm, AVC Rich Bischoff, Azzeddine Azzam, Mary-Grace Danao, Maria de Guzman, Ron Lewis, Carlos Urrea, Stephen Wegulo, Deborah Weitzenkamp, Anna Lowe (recorder)

Agenda Items:

  1. Filling future vacancy of Liaison Committee Members – Carlos Urrea
  2. Review of IANR Documentation Request for Promotion and/or Tenure – Rich Bischoff
  3. Update on Extension Dean Search – Mike Boehm
  4. COVID-19 Update – Mike Boehm
    1. Plans for operations as Covid-19 restrictions ease
    2. Travel Guidelines
  5. Update on other items of interest – Mike Boehm
    1. Update on infrastructure initiatives
    2. update on salary increases
    3. Others
  6. Update on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Journey – Rich Bischoff

VC Boehm and AVC Bischoff expressed appreciation for the Liaison Committee. VC Boehm thanked the members for all of their contributions. A special thank you to Maria and Carlos as they will be ending their time with the committee in June.

Filling future vacancy of Liaison Committee Members

Committee members reviewed the nomination and voting procedures for filling vacancies on the committee. They will proceed with seeking nominations to fill two open positions. To achieve heterogeneity in work location, division/unit of IANR, and academic function, the committee is particularly interested in nominations of faculty members whose work location is in the western part of the state or with a disciplinary expertise in social sciences/human sciences. The ballot will launch in mid-May to finalize the results by June.

Review of the IANR Documentation Request

AVC Bischoff shared the IANR Documentation Request for Promotion and/or Tenure and asked the committee to provide feedback. This document is shared with candidates preparing to submit their materials, unit leaders, engagement zone coordinators, program leaders, promotion/promotion and tenure committee chairs and is posted to the IANR P&T webpage, https://ianr.unl.edu/policies/promotion-and-tenure.

Update on Extension Dean Search

VC shared that Chancellor Green and President Carter have approved it as a mission critical position. VC Boehm has been working on the position description and speaking with various groups including the advisory group in PHREEC, faculty and extension professionals, etc. to obtain feedback. VC Boehm and AVC Bischoff are in the process of contacting search advisory committee members. Dean Tiffany Heng-Moss and Dean Sherri Jones will serve as co-chairs of the committee. A general timeline: VC Boehm will give the charge to the committee in early May and will proceed with advertising the position in late May. The goal is to bring in candidates for interviews in August, extend an offer end of October/beginning of November.

COVID-19 Update

VC Boehm shared that the Veterinary Diagnostic Center has processed over 175,000 saliva tests. Extension personnel are continuing to use saliva tests across the state. Rates of infection continue to be very low. While it is highly encouraged for the entire UNL community to participate in receiving a vaccine, it is a personal choice and it will not be mandated that one needs to receive the vaccine. Chancellor Green and President Carter would like the fall semester to look as much like it did pre-pandemic-restrictions as possible.

We will continue to analyze practices we did because of COVID-19 restrictions to determine if any/what should be retained.


UNL has been relaxing the number of people that can travel in University owned vehicles. Visit the fleet management website for further details. We still want to remain diligent in practicing health and safety measures.

Chancellor Green will be communicating additional guidance regarding travel in the coming month(s).

Update on other items of interest

The university is requesting to create a deferred maintenance pool as part of the university’s budget request to the state.

East Campus Union dining hall is open to all including visitors. The CY Thompson Library will now be called the Dinsdale Learning Commons and is not fully complete yet. Miller Hall will be demolished in the next 4-5 weeks. This will open up campus with the installation of a wrap-around porch put on the south side of the East Campus Union. The area where the ice cream used to be made in the UNL Dairy Store has been transformed into a collaborative space for faculty, staff, and students.

A family gave their 2,000-acre ranch in Wellfleet, Nebraska to NCTA in partnership with IANR. This is a fantastic addition to the living and learning laboratory.

The Board of Regents approved two new centers: Center for Agricultural and the Center for Resilience in Agricultural Working Landscapes. The Board of Regents Bylaws have been updated to indicate that graded notification of discontinuation of employment for Extension Educators is consistent with that of other non-tenure line faculty memberstime needs to be adhered to.

Update on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

AVC Bischoff shared updates related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The DEI advisory group to the IANR senior leadership team has been an active group addressing many issues that affect initiatives within IANR. While increasing the value of awareness is important, the goal is always towards action.

Earlier this semester, IANR hosted the screening of the film Picture a Scientist. A bias towards action has been reflected on in conversations had in each unit.

In Fall 2020, each one of the unit leaders/supervisors received a diversity profile of their faculty, staff, and students. The goal is to engage in conversations among the unit with a bias towards action. IANR continues to place an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion among search and hiring practices and promotion and tenure decision making. Part of the profile that each unit received includes a diversity profile about applicants and those that were actually hired from those pools.

IANR continues to coordinate efforts among the institute and with the large UNL community as well as the system-wide community. AVC Bischoff is a member of various groups that VC Marco Barker leads and at the system level, including the Diversity Officers Council that Dr. Stancia Jenkins leads.

One of the greatest challenges in the DEI space, is how do we make our efforts more visible? Currently, many of our efforts in this space are invisible to within our own system and especially outside our own system.

Meeting adjourned at 5:02 PM
Distributed electronically to the IANR Liaison Committee for review.