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NCTA Joins NU Disaster Response
Nebraska Ag Connection - 04/09/2019

A coordinated, long-term response to Nebraska communities and families devastated by recent flooding will include NCTA in Curtis, along with the other four campuses of the University of Nebraska system.

In a report presented on Friday to the NU Board of Regents, college leaders were told an estimated recovery from the natural disaster could take nine years or longer.

NCTA Dean Ron Rosati echoed comments from NU President Hank Bounds stating that the University, which includes the two-year campus in Curtis, is committed to putting its resources and expertise to work in helping Nebraskans rebuild over the long term.

"Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint," Bounds said. "The University of Nebraska has an opportunity to develop a thoughtful, coordinated, system-wide effort to support our students, affected colleagues and fellow citizens. We're going to be engaged however we can, for as long as Nebraskans need."

The university-wide effort is being coordinated by Chuck Hibberd, dean and director of Nebraska Extension, which has a long history of supporting disaster relief.

Hibberd and his statewide team will help facilitate volunteer opportunities, connect with community experts and coordinate other efforts to ensure that support is provided where and when it's needed.

Current NU efforts include:

- The university's highest priority is making certain impacts of the flooding do not impede any student's ability to continue their coursework. NCTA joins the other campuses in providing leniency for students whose families, homes, communities or financial situation has been impacted. We are making flexible coursework, admissions and enrollment options available for incoming and current students who have been affected, including:

- NCTA instructors have been encouraged to offer flexibility in class assignments and attendance where appropriate.

- NCTA will assist students in need of emergency housing.

- Waiving the $45 admission application fee for new applicants.

Students who are admitted for fall 2019 at NCTA may choose to defer their admission and scholarship offers until spring 2020. Contact Tina Smith, NCTA admissions coordinator.

The NU-wide team is exploring opportunities to engage students who want to volunteer, with student safety being paramount. Those opportunities will be shared as they are developed.

Nebraska Extension is providing resources and advice to affected individuals and families, homeowners, businesses, and farmers and ranchers at https://flood.unl.edu/

The University of Nebraska Foundation started a new University of Nebraska Emergency Assistance Fund that will support students and employees who face sudden financial hardship resulting from natural disasters, home displacement, food security or other crises.

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