01/12/2015 President
President Bounds
University of Nebraska President-Designate Hank M. Bounds, Ph.D.

On January 12, 2015, the Board of Regents appointed lifelong educator Hank M. Bounds, Ph.D., as the seventh president of the University of Nebraska. Dr. Bounds, a first-generation traditional college student who has devoted his entire 25-year career to education, has served as commissioner of higher education for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning since 2009.

Dr. Bounds was selected for the NU presidency following an extensive national search that engaged hundreds of Nebraskans. He will begin his tenure on April 13, 2015.

We invite Nebraskans to join the conversation welcoming Dr. Bounds and his family to the university by using #NewNUPrez.

President Bounds
Presidential Background

Dr. Hank Bounds has spent his career helping change students’ lives in the way education impacted his own life. He began as a high school teacher, then rose to principal, superintendent and state superintendent before becoming Mississippi’s commissioner of higher education. There, he has been committed to expanding opportunities for students and building partnerships with key constituents.

He and his wife, Susie, have two children, Will and Caroline.

"In addition to boasting a rich history, the university is poised for an even brighter future as a giant in higher education and I look forward to working with the university family as it continues to serve as a catalyst for change…I am humbled
to have the opportunity to lead this prestigious university."
—Dr. Hank Bounds, University of Nebraska President-Designate
Media Coverage
New NU President Bounds begins transition
“To recruit top students and faculty, court donors and research partners, Bounds said he wants to understand what drew current students to the university’s flagship campus.”
— Lincoln Journal Star (January 28, 2015)
New university president Hank Bounds centers his attention on students
“As a first-generation college student coming from a rural background, Bounds said he feels confident in handling a student population that balances rural and urban backgrounds.”
— Daily Nebraskan (January 28, 2015)
Hank Bounds is a good pick
“Nebraskans can look forward to the Hank Bounds era at the University of Nebraska with excitement and optimism.”
— Lincoln Journal Star (January 15, 2015)
New NU president, new opportunities
“In unanimously selecting Hank Bounds as the next president, NU regents now have positioned the university for the future.”
— Omaha World-Herald (January 14, 2015)
Date Recipient
08/11/2014 Interim President Linder Speeches & Statements
05/22/2014 May 22, 2014: Statement from Board of Regents Chairman Howard Hawks regarding the presidential search
“The Board of Regents has launched a national search to identify and recruit the most highly qualified and capable candidates for the position of president of the University of Nebraska. Although it is still quite early in the process, we are pleased with the significantly growing national interest already being shown in the position. Our goal, with the assistance of our search consultants, is to build as deep, rich and diverse a pool of applicants as is possible from throughout the country.

“There has been a level of attention given to public comments made by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman this week regarding his possible interest in being considered for the presidency. Obviously, the Board of Regents would welcome the governor’s application for the position, just as we will the candidacy of any other individual who believes he or she has the qualifications and experiences necessary to effectively lead our university system and to continue its positive momentum and trajectory.

“We have every expectation that this nationwide search will attract a wide range of candidates from varied backgrounds. Should the governor decide to apply for the position, his candidacy would be considered and evaluated like that of any other applicant. This will be an open, fair and competitive search for the best person possible to lead the University of Nebraska. The search process is designed to be confidential until four finalists are publicly named, in accordance with Nebraska statutes. On the other hand, it is obvious that potential candidates may choose to reveal their interest.

“In my view, it would be inappropriate for the Board of Regents to comment or to speculate regarding the possible candidacy of any individuals. It is in the best interest of the University of Nebraska that the confidentiality of the search process be respected and maintained. The Board of Regents does not intend to reveal the names of any nominees or applicants for the position until four finalists are publicly identified.

“We look forward to having a large and robust pool of applicants from which to choose the best candidate to be the next president of the University of Nebraska.”
05/28/2014 May 28, 2014: Statement from Board of Regents Chairman regarding the governor’s candidacy for president

“The Board of Regents has an established process in place for recruiting and selecting the next president of the University of Nebraska which involves equal treatment and consideration of all individuals who wish to be considered for the position. My colleagues and I, as well as the other members of the presidential search committees, will respect and maintain the confidentiality of the search process until four finalists are publicly identified in accordance with Nebraska law.

“Our immediate focus is on attracting a deep, rich and diverse pool of applicants from throughout the country. It would be most unfortunate for the citizens of the state if any particular person’s interest in the position resulted in undermining the legitimacy of the search and kept any highly qualified individuals from applying for the presidency.

“Let me be very clear. This is a fair and competitive process and the Board of Regents seeks and welcomes the candidacy of any person, including the governor, who believes he or she has the qualifications and experiences necessary to effectively lead the University of Nebraska. Our objective is to seek, vet, and hire the most qualified candidate.

“Now that the governor has publicly announced his candidacy for the position, his current requests for one-on-one meetings with the members of the Board of Regents, chancellors and other administrators, and search committee members are inappropriate and will not be honored. To do so would present a problem of fairness and it is not practical to track and offer comparable opportunities to all candidates.”

05/05/2014 Interim President James Linder
Interim President Linder

Interim President
James Linder

James Linder CV

Welcome to the University of Nebraska. For nearly 150 years, we have served the people of the state through affordable access to excellent education, research that grows the economy, and outreach in all 93 counties. We are proud to be the state’s only public university, rooted in the land-grant traditions of service and accessibility.

In the 21st century, our mission is more important than ever. Our focus on serving Nebraskans first remains, but today we are globally engaged, providing rich opportunities for students and faculty on our four campuses to help address the complex challenges facing Nebraska and the world: water and food security, disease, hunger, poverty, human capital development. Our faculty are widely recognized for their work in agriculture, public health, early childhood education, rural issues, national security and defense, cancer research and care, engineering and information sciences, and other important areas.

Our first priority is affordable excellence – and we’re proud of our record. Each of our campuses provides high-quality education for a great value. Our investments in financial aid have never been higher. At a time when demand for college-educated workers in Nebraska is expected to grow significantly, we are more committed than ever to expanding access to education to all who can benefit from it.

The University of Nebraska focuses the energies and ideas of 50,000 diverse students and 13,000 talented faculty and staff for the benefit of the state. Our campuses – which have been transformed in recent years with new facilities for student life, research and education – are hubs of innovation, creativity, cultural activity and economic growth. This is an exciting time in the university’s history, and I am grateful to be a part of it. As a Nebraskan myself and a member of the faculty for more than 30 years, I take great pride in the vital role the university plays in ensuring the state’s success. I believe that role has never been more important.

I invite you to contact me with your comments or questions, and to visit our campuses to witness our momentum firsthand. Thank you for your interest in the University of Nebraska.


James Linder, M.D.
Interim President
University of Nebraska

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