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NU President visits Norfolk to promote

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Ted Carter wants to continue building on the three pillars of the University of Nebraska system: affordability, accessibility, and success.

The NU president, who was in Norfolk on Friday, said students will have their tuition frozen for the second year in a row and will return in August for the next academic year.

Carter said he feels lucky to have met many Nebraskans who have a deep interest in the college system as he travels around the state.

In the single college system, Carter said he spends most of his time in the Nebraska unicameral system.

“Nothing happens in a country that the university doesn’t touch. I often say, ‘If the university goes, the country goes too.'” And it goes vice versa. But like states go, so do colleges. “

Carter said the university has expanded student internships and workforce development. It is hoped that more Nebraskans will stay in the state as they find job opportunities.

In the NU system, 70% of graduates remain in the state after graduation. At UNL, 65% stay in-state and 35% go out-of-state. The highest is UNMC, with 90% staying in-state.

And for out-of-state graduates, he said it’s somewhat reassuring that 50% of UNL’s graduates remain in-state.

Nebraska is a great place to live because it’s affordable, well-educated, and doing unique things like coming out of the pandemic and freezing tuition fees, so there’s an opportunity for improvement.

Additionally, Nebraska has programs for graduates from households with incomes under $60,000. These students can sign up for free tuition. Carter says many students in the Norfolk area take advantage of it.

Also, the university has a four-year graduation guarantee. If a student learns all the basics and does not graduate in four years, the rest of the education will be covered by the university.

“We are one of the best and least valuable college systems in the country,” said Carter. “We deserve more than any of the Big Ten schools.”

Rather than competing with state universities and community colleges, the university system hopes to work together to help educate the people of Nebraska and improve the quality of life for all.

Carter’s visit included a meeting with community leaders from the Action Council of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and a tour of Northeast Community College.

Carter spent most of his career in the military, spending nearly 40 years in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from “Top Gun” school and was there when the original film was made in the 1980s. In fact, he was assigned to accompany movie star Tom Cruise as an escort and help him learn about school.

Carter grew up on a lake in Rhode Island in a place called “a small town about half the size of Norfolk.” He played hockey, including at the Naval Academy where he played center. A native of New England, his favorite NHL team is the Boston Bruins, and he still follows them, although he also lives close by geographically. He grew up watching players like Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr in his late 1960s and his 1970s.

Carter credits his military and hockey background with helping prepare him for his job as president of NU Systems today. In his life, he has had three careers: Navy jet his pilot, nuclear engineer, and admiral.

There are 307,000 adults in Nebraska who do not have a four-year degree. Carter hopes they can go back to school and graduate. He said there are 30 million such adults in the US population, so this is not just a Nebraska problem.

Carter said he hopes there will be more companies like Union Pacific, which provides funds to help some of these adults get back to school, so they can afford it. Even if you don’t have one, you can still graduate.