Volleyball interview vs. Michigan
Ronnie Green talks about fans recently regaining the ability to attend sporting events in some capacity. Green also talks about plans for fall semester on campus largely to be back to normal with some level of COVID-19 guidelines expected to remain in place.
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[00:00:00.000]Welcome back, everybody.
[00:00:01.190]The Big Red getting ready to play the Big Blue.
[00:00:03.300]The Huskers and the Wolverines shortly,
[00:00:05.070]but a special guest, we have the chancellor
[00:00:06.890]of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
[00:00:08.350]Chancellor Ronnie Green.
[00:00:09.510]And Chancellor, great news we learned this week,
[00:00:12.230]the Huskers actually get to have fans at athletic events.
[00:00:16.410]How exciting is this for really the campus
[00:00:18.970]and for the the Husker fan base,
[00:00:21.010]especially with Penn State coming to town?
[00:00:23.940]Well, it's another big step, John,
[00:00:25.390]and our kind of returned back to getting
[00:00:27.760]on the other side of the pandemic.
[00:00:29.362]And we've been talking about this obviously for,
[00:00:31.728]feels like going on a year,
[00:00:33.450]but really seriously since last fall.
[00:00:35.780]And there have been several of us in the Big 10 leadership
[00:00:40.140]that have thought that we should be at this point earlier,
[00:00:43.102]to be able to be using local health guidance.
[00:00:46.780]We actually felt that way during football season
[00:00:49.210]here in Nebraska last fall,
[00:00:50.890]but the decision the earlier this week for the Big 10 now
[00:00:57.030]for the rest of our competitive seasons,
[00:00:59.430]starting immediately, to be able to have fans
[00:01:02.980]under local health guidance is a big deal
[00:01:05.070]and we're excited about that for volleyball, obviously,
[00:01:07.960]that the last two matches of the season
[00:01:11.440]against Penn State at home
[00:01:12.840]that will create a wonderful atmosphere for our fans
[00:01:16.620]to be able, some of our fans to be able to be in Devaney.
[00:01:21.240]And, of course, it's the end of the senior season too
[00:01:24.890]and be senior night as part of that two-match series.
[00:01:29.220]So really excited about that opportunity.
[00:01:31.160]And, of course, for women's softball, baseball,
[00:01:34.112]that is also at that front-end
[00:01:36.140]of opening their home seasons as well.
[00:01:39.270]I just excited to be able to re-engage our fans
[00:01:43.720]at this level with the rest of our seasons.
[00:01:46.120]And Chancellor, isn't it fair to say
[00:01:47.590]that other Big 10 locations had a tougher go of it
[00:01:52.210]versus the virus?
[00:01:53.210]And whereas here in Lincoln,
[00:01:54.640]we've just been in a better and safer spot versus the virus.
[00:01:58.195]So we just had to wait
[00:01:59.610]until the rest of the Big 10 caught up?
[00:02:02.380]Yeah, that's absolutely true, John.
[00:02:06.535]We're a 14 institution conference
[00:02:10.260]that goes across nine states, right?
[00:02:12.400]So we always refer to ourselves
[00:02:14.550]as the Lewis and Clark of the Big 10.
[00:02:16.635]We're on the western frontier of the Big 10, so to speak.
[00:02:20.170]But when you span New Jersey across to Nebraska
[00:02:24.530]and different environments, and different population bases,
[00:02:28.210]and the different conditions
[00:02:30.931]that we've had to deal with through the pandemic,
[00:02:35.315]we've been fortunate here in a lot of respects
[00:02:38.500]in the way that pandemic's been difficult for us,
[00:02:41.930]but not as difficult as it has been
[00:02:44.170]for some of our peers across the conference.
[00:02:47.150]And the local health guidance
[00:02:48.500]that they've had in those environments
[00:02:51.080]has been challenging for them in a lot of respects.
[00:02:54.500]So it's a great thing to be at the point now
[00:02:58.360]where we can confident and feel safe
[00:03:00.870]and being able to bring fans back into our venues.
[00:03:04.957]And I can imagine that there will be a lot
[00:03:07.070]of excitement here next weekend
[00:03:09.940]when we're in that two-game Penn State match up
[00:03:14.440]for our volleyball team.
[00:03:15.300]And Chancellor, what can you tell high school seniors,
[00:03:17.830]right now, who are thinking about what college to attend
[00:03:20.520]and your existing undergraduates
[00:03:22.410]and graduate students at UNL,
[00:03:23.720]about what you expect life will be like next semester,
[00:03:27.280]this coming fall?
[00:03:29.760]Well, we're really pleased, John,
[00:03:31.555]that we are at a point,
[00:03:32.920]even in our vaccination uptake for COVID-19,
[00:03:37.910]where we're ahead of where we thought we would be
[00:03:41.110]in that process locally here in Nebraska,
[00:03:44.050]particular with the education sector, and that's great.
[00:03:47.260]So we had been seeing earlier than we thought
[00:03:50.180]we would have the opportunity for most of our campus
[00:03:53.400]to have opportunity to be vaccinated by late summer.
[00:03:58.800]We're in advance of that now, which is wonderful.
[00:04:02.010]And we're pretty confident that our community as a whole
[00:04:06.500]will have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated
[00:04:09.900]by the mid to late part of the summer.
[00:04:12.640]So that puts things in a really good context for us
[00:04:16.150]for fall semester to start in August,
[00:04:19.030]to be largely back to normal operations for our campus,
[00:04:24.172]with our classes
[00:04:25.960]and the level of instruction of our classes.
[00:04:28.330]While we've been the most in-person in the Big 10
[00:04:31.680]during this past a couple of semesters,
[00:04:34.410]and even more so this semester,
[00:04:37.000]to be able to be back really close to normal,
[00:04:40.080]where we will have our classes in full,
[00:04:42.829]is going to be a great thing to be at that point
[00:04:47.050]and we're looking forward to that.
[00:04:48.480]Looking forward to welcoming our students back
[00:04:52.230]on a regular schedule, is our plan in August,
[00:04:56.450]and back to a full campus environment.
[00:04:59.600]We likely will still be under some health guidance.
[00:05:02.010]I think we can all anticipate and expect that
[00:05:04.340]as we continue to confront and stamp out
[00:05:07.600]the pandemic that we've been under.
[00:05:09.370]So we'll continue to follow health guidance
[00:05:13.440]around personal protection and employ those practices.
[00:05:17.970]But we're excited to be looking
[00:05:19.730]at a robust, full, academic semester ahead.
[00:05:25.112]UNL is, I think, going to be looked back on for a long time
[00:05:30.140]as a national leader in this arena
[00:05:32.420]because we were able to continue our operations
[00:05:37.130]at a much higher level
[00:05:38.420]than most institutions around the country have been
[00:05:41.390]this past year both on the research side,
[00:05:43.700]on the teaching side, and on the outreach side to our state.
[00:05:48.400]So bouncing back for us is going to be, we're ready.
[00:05:54.690]We have been ready to be back in full.
[00:05:57.730]So really excited about the fall ahead
[00:05:59.950]and looking forward to where Zoom classes will be a rarity
[00:06:04.670]rather than the norm.
[00:06:07.108]And we're excited about that.
[00:06:08.891]That's the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
[00:06:09.980]Chancellor Ronnie Green.
[00:06:11.260]We're just ahead
[00:06:12.093]of Nebraska and Michigan volleyball, the rematch.
[00:06:16.330]When we come right back,
[00:06:17.260]a conversation with the head coach, John Cook,
[00:06:19.980]and you're listening to Big Red volleyball.
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