The University of Nebraska’s campuses will offer assistance to the hurricane-affected regions and do “everything possible” to accommodate college students displaced by Hurricane Katrina, President James B. Milliken said today.
“Thousands of college students in the Gulf Coast – including many students from the Midwest – have seen their campuses closed indefinitely due to hurricane damage,” Milliken said. “This devastating storm has impacted countless families across the United States. Our faculty, administration and students stand ready to help in any way we can.”
Faculty members and student organizations on all four NU campuses are already organizing to help the stricken area through fund-raising and other outreach, Milliken said. “The immediate reaction of our university community has been to ask, ‘how can we help?'” Faculty and students are now discussing service-learning programs involving on-site assistance. NU students, faculty and staff whose hometowns are in the affected area will be encouraged to seek counseling and other assistance through existing university programs.
In addition, Milliken said, “For those students eligible for admission who are unable to return to their home campuses for an indefinite period of time, we will immediately accept as many as we can at our campuses. We will allow them to enroll this fall at in-state tuition rates, and provide assistance in quickly registering them for classes, finding housing and whatever additional help they need.” Classes began August 22 in Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney, so incoming students would have a reasonably small number of class days to make up. Milliken noted that a number of Nebraska students who were enrolled at Tulane University in New Orleans have already contacted the university. “This is temporary assistance, and when their institutions are able to re-open, we will also help facilitate an easy transfer back home,” Milliken said.
The university is also looking into providing space, to the extent available, to faculty at affected institutions.
Students seeking assistance are urged to contact NU via email at NUhelp@nebraska.edu. A 24-hour 800 # has also been set up to handle inquiries: 1-800-742-8800.
The University of Nebraska will work through higher education associations, e-mail and their web site to get word to those affected.