NU reprimands Husker coach for comments at LGBT hearing
March 8th, 2012
Omaha, NE – The Chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has reprimanded Assistant Husker Football Coach Ron Brown for comments he made at a public hearing in Omaha this week.
Brown made his comments at a hearing before the Omaha City Council on Tuesday, which was set to debate a controversial ordinance that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Brown testified against the ordinance, saying it contradicts Christian principles.
Those on the council who “have a relationship with Christ” will be “held to great accountability” for the decision they make, Brown said.
In a letter to be published in the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and Daily Nebraskan, UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman reprimanded Brown for not making clear that his statements did not reflect the values of the University.
In his letter, Perlman said “The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska has made it clear that the university does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. And only the board can speak on university policy and practices.”
Perlman said he’d received several letters after Brown’s statements, asking if they represent University position. “I want to be clear they do not,” he said.
The Omaha City Council is expected to vote on the ordinance next week.
Harvey Perlman’s letter in full, provided by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln:
The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska has made it clear that the university does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. And only the board can speak on university policy and practices. Recently Ron Brown, a Nebraska football coach, talked before the Omaha City Council in opposition to an ordinance that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Several people have written me asking if his remarks represent the position of the university. I want to be clear that they do not. The university defends the right of its faculty and students to participate in public dialogue and to express their personal views. I understand that there were also faculty and students from the university who testified in favor of the ordinance.
We do ask individuals associated with the university to make it clear in their public statements that they are speaking only as an individual, and not on behalf of the university. Unfortunately in this instance Coach Brown did not make it clear in his comments that he was asserting his personal viewpoint and not representing the university. I have asked him to make that clarification explicitly in the future.
Harvey Perlman, chancellor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln