More NU President Milliken Spiniken

September 2, 2013


NU President Milliken writes: “True to our land-grant tradition, we believe the university should be accessible to all Nebraskans who are qualified and want to attend…”

The critical point that the Good President fails to mention here – and it is completely germane and life-altering for students – is that while NU may still be accessible to all Nebraskans, Nebraskans are NOT getting into The NU Programs of their Choice.

You know: the popular programs like, for example, MFA Writing Programs, The Johnny Carson School of Film + Theatre etc. I personally know three supremely talented Nebraskans – who got into NU – but who were DENIED admission into Johnny Carson, the PROGRAM of their choice. Those slots now go to well-off out-of-state students. FACT.

And so I ask you, President Milliken, is not NU still DENYING the DREAMS of Nebraskans – in violation of the Land Grant Act – if they want to major in theatre but those spots are reserved for NU’s heavily RECRUITED students from the Midwest + Mideast, California, New York and Texas. The last time I checked, I was told by JCSFT that “most of our students are from out of state.” VERBATIM quote.

As you well know, President Milliken, in 2006, I applied for a UNO MFA in Writing Program that I was indisputably qualified for; nonetheless, I was denied admission and later learned that this UNO Program – in its 2004 Founding Documents – declared that “This [UNO] Program is specifically designed for out-of-state students” who just so happen to pay more than twice the tuition of Nebraskans who qualify for in-state tuition as I did.

After I challenged this violation of the Land Grant Act, that NU Regents language was mysteriously deleted. From NU’s archives. Not a “Best Practices” academic action. In fact, it’s considered a big no-no in the world of truth and letters.

NU then engaged in extreme retaliation against me simply because I pointed out NU’s OWN violations of federal/Morrill Land Grant law. NU messed up by putting IN WRITING what NU does IN SECRET but rather than admit their mistake, NU engaged in further wrong-doing by libeling and slandering me: the mere messenger of NU’s own misdeeds.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that in 2006, I was admitted into UNO – IN GENERAL – and I was informed I could attend UNO graduate school “in some other discipline.” But I’m a writer, you see. Why would I want to get a graduate degree in business, architecture, or engineering?

NU denied me admission into a UNO WRITING program despite the FACT that I’d spent my entire working life as a successful writer wherein I penned a best-selling biography of Bob Kerrey and served a two-year stint as a Writer-in-Residence for Eunice Kennedy Shriver where I wrote: “A Change for All Seasons: A History of the Kennedy Foundation” and more.

To recap: President Milliken, it’s not just about getting in to NU; it’s about getting into NU and THE PROGRAM OF a Nebraskan’s CHOICE.

If a fifth-generation Nebraskan from Grand Island wants to be an actor, film director, or writer and he cannot get into The Johnny Carson School of Film + Theatre, NU might as well have denied him admission. Same with me, I needed an MFA in order to teach writing at the Community College level and NU denied me that opportunity in 2006.

I’ve got an idea. I will apply again at UNO’s MFA in Writing Program and let’s see if I get in this time, Mr. President.

Oh, and for the record, Johnny Carson left Nebraska right after his stint in Omaha never to actually live in the state again. Yet, NU – to this day – still considers him a NEBRASKAN, right? And NU would let him into NU as a Nebraskan, correct? Kinda like Bob Kerrey’s Senate bid. Nebraska’s intelligentsia all recognized Kerrey as a bona fide Nebraskan.

Just sayin’ my Friend.

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