New University President Hank Bounds to spend first week “Getting to Know Nebraska”

Hank Bounds, who begins his tenure as the seventh president of the University of Nebraska on April 13, will spend his first week on a “Getting to Know Nebraska” tour that will showcase the diversity of the state and introduce him to a wide range of university stakeholders.

President Hank Bounds
President Hank Bounds

During his tour, which begins Sunday, April 12, in Mead, and ends Friday, April 17, in Nebraska City, Bounds will stop in some 20 Nebraska communities. He will meet with leaders in agriculture, business, education, civic organizations and the news media, and will visit a number of high schools, community colleges and state colleges in addition to NU campuses and research and extension facilities.

Bounds will be joined on much of the tour by Ronnie Green, NU vice president and vice chancellor of the Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Brian Hastings, president and CEO of the University of Nebraska Foundation. Members of the Board of Regents and friends of the university will help host events and meetings across the state. Nebraskans are invited to follow updates from the tour at www.nebraska.edu/president, where Bounds will keep a travel journal, and by following Bounds on Twitter at @hankbounds.

Bounds, who recently wrapped up duties as commissioner of higher education in Mississippi, a role he had held since 2009, said his Nebraska tour is an opportunity to listen and learn from citizens of the state about how the university and its stakeholders can work together to build a stronger future for Nebraskans.

“One of the things that has struck me most about this state is how much Nebraskans care about their university. We have an incredible opportunity to harness that passion and build the University of Nebraska into a giant in higher education – an institution doing more than ever to serve students and people in the state and around the world,” Bounds said. “I’m excited to spend time with faculty, staff, students, farmers and ranchers, business owners, community leaders, educators and many other alumni and friends who have made the University of Nebraska one of the nation’s leading institutions. Their ideas will help shape a new era for Nebraska’s public university.”

The Board of Regents appointed Bounds as the next NU president on Jan. 12. A lifelong educator, Bounds has devoted his 25-year career to helping change students’ lives in the same way education impacted his own life. He grew up on a small farm in rural Mississippi, where his family raised pigs and cows and he hauled hay. His service in the Army National Guard helped him pay for college, and he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and a doctorate from the University of Mississippi.

Bounds began his career as a high school teacher, then rose to principal, superintendent and state superintendent before becoming higher education commissioner. In that role, he oversaw a complex system of eight public universities which together enrolled 85,000 students, employed 26,000 faculty and staff and operated with a combined annual budget of $4.5 billion. As commissioner, he built a demonstrated record of expanding opportunities for students, improving higher education outcomes and efficiencies, and building successful partnerships with policymakers, donors, business leaders and others.

Bounds and his wife, Susie, have two children, Will and Caroline. Bounds succeeds Interim NU President James Linder, M.D., who has served since May 2014.

The full schedule for Bounds’ “Getting to Know Nebraska” tour follows:

  • Sunday, April 12 (Mead, Fremont and Columbus)
    • 11 a.m.: Tour of UNL Agricultural Research and Development Center
      Location: 1071 County Road G, Mead

    • Noon: Stakeholder luncheon at Agricultural Research and Development Center
      Location: 1071 County Road G, Mead

    • 2 p.m.: Stakeholder reception
      Location: Gallery 92 West, 92 W. 6th St., Fremont

    • 4:30 p.m.: Roundtable discussion with local business and education leaders
      Location: The Evans House, 2204 14th St., Columbus

    • 5:30 p.m.: Stakeholder reception and dinner
      Location: The Evans House, 2204 14th St., Columbus

  • Monday, April 13 (Grand Island, Kearney, Lexington, Gothenburg and North Platte)
    • 7:30 a.m.: Stakeholder breakfast
      Location: Raising Nebraska site, 501 E. Fonner Park Road, Grand Island

    • 9 a.m.: Grand Island Senior High School visit
      Location: 2124 N. Lafayette Ave., Grand Island
      Note: Bounds will be joined by Kayla Lindell, a Grand Island Senior High graduate and first-generation student at the University of Nebraska at Kearney

    • 11:30 a.m.: Reception with UNK faculty, staff and students
      Location: Nebraskan Student Union, UNK

    • 12:30 p.m.: Stakeholder luncheon
      Location: Nebraskan Student Union, UNK

    • 2:45 p.m.: Interview and meet-and-greet with community leaders
      Location: KRVN radio station, 1007 Plum Creek Parkway, Lexington

    • 4 p.m.: Monsanto Water Utilization Learning Center visit
      Location: Gothenburg

    • 6:30 p.m.: Stakeholder reception and dinner
      Location: Golden Spike Tower, 1249 N. Homestead Road, North Platte

  • Tuesday, April 14 (North Platte, Curtis and Sidney)
    • 7:30 a.m. Breakfast with UNL West Central Research and Extension Center faculty and staff
      Location: 402 West State Farm Road, North Platte

    • 9 a.m.: Media availability at West Central Research and Extension Center
      Location: 402 West State Farm Road, North Platte

    • 10:30 a.m.: Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture visit
      Location: 404 E. 7th St., Curtis

    • Noon: Lunch with NCTA students and faculty
      Location: NCTA Student Union, Curtis

    • 1:30 p.m. MT: Stumpf International Wheat Research and Education Center visit
      Location: Grant

    • 2:45 p.m. (approx.): Stop at Lake McConaughy Visitor/Water Interpretive Center and Cedar Point Biological Station
      Location: Ogallala

    • 4:15 p.m. Cabela’s tour
      Location: 115 Cabela Dr., Sidney

    • 5:30 p.m.: Stakeholder reception
      Location: Buffalo Point Steakhouse, 638 Cabela Dr., Sidney

  • Wednesday, April 15 (Scottsbluff, Gering and Chadron)
    • 7:15 a.m. MT: Stakeholder breakfast
      Location: Farm and Ranch Museum, 2930 Old Oregon Trail, Gering

    • 8:45 a.m.: Meeting with Western Nebraska Community College President Todd Holcomb and senior staff and tour of University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing West Division with Assistant Dean Susan Wilhelm
      Location: Western Nebraska Community College Harms Advanced Technology Center, 2620 College Park, Scottsbluff

    • 10 a.m.: Gering High School visit
      Location: 1500 U St., Gering

    • 11:30 a.m.: Tour of UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center
      Location: 4502 Avenue I, Scottsbluff

    • 12:30 p.m.: Luncheon with Panhandle Research and Extension Center faculty and staff
      Location: 4502 Avenue I, Scottsbluff

    • 2 p.m.: Media availability at Panhandle Research and Extension Center
      Location: 4502 Avenue I, Scottsbluff

    • 4:30 p.m.: Fort Robinson State Park visit
      Location: Crawford

    • 6:30 p.m.: Stakeholder reception and dinner
      Location: Chadron State College Student Center, 1000 Main St., Chadron

  • Thursday, April 16 (Valentine, Ainsworth and Norfolk)
    • 11 a.m.: Valentine High School Visit
      Location: 431 N. Green St., Valentine

    • Noon CT: Rotary Club luncheon
      Location: Peppermill & E.K. Valentine Lounge, 502 E. Highway 20, Valentine

    • 2:30 p.m.: Ainsworth High School visit
      Location: 520 E. 2nd St., Ainsworth

    • 7 p.m.: Stakeholder reception and dinner
      Location: Norfolk Country Club, 1700 Riverside Blvd., Norfolk

  • Friday, April 17 (Norfolk, Wayne, West Point and Nebraska City)
    • 7:30 a.m.: Breakfast with UNL Northeast Research and Extension Center faculty and staff
      Location: Northeast Research and Extension Center, Northeast Community College, 601 E. Benjamin Ave., Norfolk

    • 9 a.m.: Media availability at Northeast Research and Extension Center
      Location: University Classroom, Northeast Research and Extension Center, 601 E. Benjamin Ave., Norfolk

    • 10 a.m.: Wayne High School visit
      Location: 611 W. 7th St., Wayne

    • 11 a.m.: Coffee with Wayne State College President Curt Frye and local business leaders
      Location: Wayne State College Student Center, Niobrara Room, E. 14th St., Wayne

    • 12:30 p.m.: Stakeholder luncheon
      Location: Nielsen Community Center, 200 Anna Stalp Ave., West Point

    • 4:30 p.m.: Tour of UNL Kimmel Research and Extension Center
      Location: 5985 G Road, Nebraska City

    • 6 p.m.: Stakeholder reception and dinner
      Location: Lied Lodge, 2700 Sylvan Road, Nebraska City


Media Contact:

Melissa Lee
Director of Communications, University of Nebraska
Office: (402) 472-7127
Cell: (402) 580-3297
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