By: Bill Schammert
The University of Nebraska Board of Regents voted against privatizing the University Health Center at UNL's downtown campus. The regents voted 3-5 against the measure with all four student regents voting against the proposal.
UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman announced last September to build a new center to replace the aging one located near the center of campus. The current center is run by UNL. Perlman proposed privatizing a new center to save money. Bryan Health submitted a bid, but on Friday the Board of Regents rejected it.
Director of the University Health Center, Dr. James Guest, says it comes with an overwhelming sense of relief.
"We would've gone forward either way, because our mission is the students, we just wanted to know who we were answering to," Dr. Guest said.
The Health Center lost 18 employees, roughly 20-percent of its staff during the time of uncertainty. Dr. Guest says the hiring process will pick-up now.
"Now we're able to hire you and say yes you will work for the University of Nebraska, this will be your job, etc."
UNL students currently pay just under $300 per year for health center services. Bryan Health's services would cost students approximately $322 a year.
In a student election held in March, more than 5,000 students voted in support of Perlman's plan.
In other action, the regents voted in favor of freezing tuition for state residents. Non-residents will see a 3% hike.
Bryan Health released this statement:
We're disappointed in the Regents' decision, but thank them and University of Nebraska administration for requesting and considering our proposal. We wish the University of Nebraska well as it determines how best to meet the health and wellness needs of their students. Bryan Health enjoys a strong collaborative relationship with the University of Nebraska on many fronts, and we know this will continue. This certainly includes the treatment of students, staff and faculty that come directly to Bryan Health for care.