University of Nebraska Establishes the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of People of Color

Chancellor Harvey Perlman of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has appointed the inaugural members of the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of People of Color. The commission has been established to advise the chancellor on issues pertaining to the specific concerns of faculty, staff, and students who are members of underrepresented minority groups on campus. Blacks make up 2 percent of the undergraduate students at the university.

combsGwendolyn M. Combs, associate professor of business administration and chair of the commission’s faculty council stated that “many of the issues and concerns of the broader society often surface in the university community. The commission provides an excellent and necessary opportunity for the chancellor to be informed and advised regarding the challenges and disadvantages experienced by people of color at UNL. The members of the commission are very capable and dedicated to enhancing the diversity and inclusion climate on this campus.”

Dr. Combs holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She earned an MBA at Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from the University of Nebraska.

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  1. Here we go again, another HWCU(e.g., the University of Nebraska-Lincoln[UN-L]) creating another “Commission” to study “Status of People of Color” in an effort to address long withstanding institutional racism. Keep in mind, such an initiative could have been part of a descent decree as part of a legal settlement. Just think, UN-L has a Black population of 2 percent while the entire state has a Black population of “4.8 percent along with the White population for the state hovering at 89.7 percent” (Census 2010). In lieu of that, the overwhelming majority Whites in the state of Nebraska and UN-L still feel threaten by the sparse numbers of Blacks strolling across the campus and let alone within the university employee cadre.

    The most intriguing part about this so-called “Commissions” is that President Perlman had the Chutzpah to place a Black woman as the titular head. Thereby, it will make it facially appear as if UN-L is going seriously rectify these ongoing university problems. Nothing could be future from the truth because I am most confident Dr. Combs probably encountered racism at UN-L while suffering in silence or amongst her close colleagues.

    In close, until the professionally and intellectually insecure personnel at UN-L began to treat Blacks with a modicum of humanity and dignity, UN-L will not reach its full potential as a university.
    White alone, percent, 2013 (a) 89.7% 77.7%
    Black or African American alone, percent definition and source info Black or African American alone, percent, 2013 (a) 4.8%

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