James B. Milliken: 2004-2014
James B. Milliken was the first native Nebraskan and first University of Nebraska graduate to be named president of the university, a position he held from August 1, 2004, to May 2, 2014. He resigned to become chancellor of The City University of New York, the nation’s leading urban public university system. Milliken’s nearly 10-year tenure at NU was marked by unprecedented success for the university including expanded access for Nebraskans, growing enrollment, record research funding, significant physical expansion of the campuses, a highly successful capital campaign, creation of a number of university-wide institutes, an increased commitment to global engagement, and expansion of the university’s distance learning programs. The Board of Regents named him president emeritus of the University of Nebraska upon his resignation.
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L. Dennis Smith: 1994 - 2004L. Dennis Smith became president of the University of Nebraska in 1994 and stepped down in 2004. During Smith's tenure, which included the completion of the Foundation's successful $727 million Campaign Nebraska, more than 5 million square feet of facilities were renovated and constructed, including residence halls, classrooms and research laboratories. Unique public-private partnerships were also created during his service as president, including the Rural Initiative, Peter Kiewit Institute, and Center for Biosecurity. Smith's priorities included a stronger emphasis on research and faculty recruiting.
Martin Massengale: 1989 - 1993
Martin Massengale joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as vice chancellor for agriculture and natural resources in 1976, and became chancellor of the Lincoln campus in 1981. In 1989, he was appointed interim president of the University of Nebraska and was named president in 1991. He served in that capacity until 1994. Massengale was known as an effective leader and supporter of the concept of integrating research, education, and extension. He also authored or co-authored over 70 scientific papers and was a consultant to several foreign governments.