Sept. 4, 2014
I hope the new academic year is off to a successful start for you. Since many of you may have been busy with other activities over the summer, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with a brief update on our search for the next president of the University of Nebraska.
The Board of Regents is working closely with two presidential search committees – one for outreach and advising, the other for screening and selection – in the search process. The committees represent a wide range of key university constituencies, including faculty, administrators and students. We have also engaged a leading executive search firm, Isaacson, Miller.
I’m pleased to tell you that the search is moving forward in an appropriate and timely fashion. In June we released a presidential profile which details the qualities and experience we’re looking for in the next president, as well as the key challenges and opportunities he or she will face. The profile was informed by interviews with members of the Board, university administrators and members of the search committees; collective input from the faculty senates and student governments; and input from more than 400 Nebraskans who weighed in on our presidential search website. Our search has benefited greatly from the feedback we’ve received and I thank all who have taken the time to share their thoughts.
The Outreach and Advisory Committee is responsible for ensuring we have a deep and rich pool of potential candidates. My colleagues who co-chair the committee are pleased with the number and qualifications of people who have expressed interest in the position and they have worked with the committee to provide an initial assessment of how well potential candidates meet the criteria we’ve laid out in the presidential profile. There is, however, no application deadline for the position; new candidates will be assessed if and when they emerge. All who express interest in the presidency will be treated equitably.
The Screening and Selection Committee will evaluate candidate materials, interview leading prospects, and ultimately recommend to the Board at least four candidates who agree to become public finalists for the position. At that point, each finalist will visit the university so that our faculty, staff, students and members of the public have an opportunity to engage with him or her and offer their feedback to the Board.
We are fortunate that our Interim President, Dr. Jim Linder, has agreed to serve until his successor is chosen – a commitment that will help ensure the university’s continued momentum while the search progresses. Our priority is finding the best possible individual to build on the great things you are doing, and we will keep working until we succeed.
I invite you to visit www.nebraska.edu/presidentsearch for the most up-to-date news and information on the search. Thank you for all you do for the University of Nebraska, our students and the state, and best wishes for a productive and rewarding fall semester.
Howard L. Hawks