University of Nebraska President Named (University-wide email from Board of Regents Chairman Howard Hawks)
Jan. 12, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

As a new academic semester gets underway, we have exciting news to share. The Board of Regents this afternoon voted to appoint Hank M. Bounds, Ph.D., as the seventh president of the University of Nebraska. He begins his tenure on April 13, 2015.

Dr. Bounds is a highly respected and lifelong educator who since 2009 has served as Commissioner of Higher Education for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, a public university system whose institutions enroll 85,000 students and employ 26,000 faculty and staff. Previously, he was state superintendent of education in Mississippi. Dr. Bounds began his career as a high school teacher and, in the 25 years since, has built an impressive record of expanding opportunities for students, improving outcomes and efficiencies in higher education, and building partnerships focused on the link between education and economic growth. We believe that record positions Dr. Bounds exceptionally well to lead the University of Nebraska at a time of tremendous momentum.

Hank grew up on a family farm in rural Mississippi and is a first-generation traditional college student whose service in the Army National Guard afforded him the opportunity to earn his degree. He has dedicated his career to helping change students’ lives in the same way education impacted his own life. As an educator and administrator, he has earned a reputation as an honest and transparent leader, a hard worker and a quick study. He is capable of being diplomatic or tough-minded depending on the circumstance, skilled at building collaboration and collegiality among those with competing interests.

He has an inspiring vision of the University of Nebraska’s world-class potential and ability to have a meaningful impact across the globe, particularly through the work of the multi-campus institutes which are focused on solving crucial challenges that span national borders. He also understands the importance of the university to Nebraska and appreciates its unique role as a catalyst of regional economic development and as a major contributor to the cultural, social, health and educational fabric of the state. And he has a strong commitment to increasing access, improving educational attainment and maintaining the affordability of a university education.

Dr. Bounds was selected from among four public finalists following a national search that was ably assisted by two search committees whose members represented key university constituencies including faculty, staff and students. On behalf of the Board of Regents, we thank those who gave their time and energies to service on the committees. And we thank all who participated in the presidential search process by offering input on the qualities the Board should seek in the next president or by attending forums during the finalists’ campus visits and sharing your feedback with us. We are pleased with the results and look forward to Dr. Bounds’ leadership of this great institution.

We hope you will join the Board of Regents in welcoming Hank and his wife, Susie, and their children, Will and Caroline, to the University of Nebraska.


Howard Hawks
Board of Regents

Bob Phares
Vice Chair
Board of Regents
University of Nebraska
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