NU Regents Reject Ban On Critical Racial Theory


      The University of Nebraska Board of Regents Friday rejected a resolution banning the introduction of Critical Race Theory in curriculum, training, and programming at any NU campus.

The vote was 5-3 with the 4 student regents also opposing the resolution with their unofficial votes. 

     The action came after several hours of often impassioned debate from both members of the public on both sides of the issue. Regent and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen crafted the resolution, which praises the University of Nebraska system for being a place for open reflection, discussion, study, and free speech

     Pillen said the plain language of the resolution was intended to let the regents affirm their commitment to opposing discrimination, and supporting academic freedom and free speech and that  nothing in the resolution prevents students from learning about CRT voluntarily. 

     Pillen said “academic freedom applies on both sides of the desk, it’s not one-sided. It demands a free, fair exchange of ideas between instructors and students (with) no fear of consequences for voicing a different opinion.”

     Regent Tim Clarke opposed the resolution, saying the regents should trust the expertise and judgement of university President Ted Carter and the chancellors in setting management policies.

      Clarke said it means “allowing students to have robust discussions in the classroom, with civility, and fully discuss all sides of an issue,” with students to agree or disagree with what they are taught in the classroom, to state their case, to try to change the minds of others.”

     Governor Pete Ricketts expressed disappointment after the vote but said it was an important step in the journey towards ensuring taxpayer dollars aren’t funding ideologies that divide people along racial lines and silence people’s voices.

      Ricketts, who earlier in the week called CRT a new form of Marxism, repeated his commitment to continuing the fight to keep it from being imposed at Nebraska schools and institutions of higher education.