UNO chancellor search advisory committee named; public listening sessions scheduled for Nov. 29

November 21, 2016

University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds said today that he has named an advisory committee to assist him in the national search for the next chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Current Chancellor John Christensen has announced his plans to step down after more than a decade of leadership of UNO, the state’s premier metropolitan university.

The 15-member search committee includes representatives of the faculty, staff, students and the community – all key constituencies with whom the UNO chancellor regularly interacts. Bounds selected the committee members after reviewing nearly 250 nominations submitted by the UNO community.

The search committee will be co-chaired by Theresa Barron-McKeagney, associate dean of UNO’s College of Public Affairs and Community Service, and Michael Yanney, chairman emeritus of The Burlington Capital Group LLC and a leader of Omaha’s business and philanthropic communities.

Other committee members are:

  • Phani Tej Adidam, chair, UNO Department of Marketing & Entrepreneurship
  • Alex Bauer, graduate assistant, UNO Service Learning Academy
  • Heidi Blackburn, assistant professor, UNO Criss Library
  • Patrick Davlin, UNO student body president and student regent
  • Nancy Edick, dean, UNO College of Education
  • Washington Garcia, director, UNO School of Music
  • Cecil Hicks Jr., UNO assistant vice chancellor for human resources
  • Jay Irwin, UNO associate professor of sociology
  • Jaci Lindburg, UNO assistant director for digital learning
  • Mitch Pirnie, energy group general counsel, Kiewit Corp.
  • Yong Shi, UNO professor of information systems and quantitative analysis
  • Deborah Smith-Howell, UNO associate vice chancellor for academic and student affairs and dean of graduate studies
  • Bob Woody, UNO Faculty Senate president and professor of psychology

The committee will work with a professional search firm, yet to be named by Bounds, to identify, recruit, assess and recommend candidates for the chancellor position. Bounds said he expects the committee to work to assure a rich and diverse pool of candidates that exemplifies the values of the University of Nebraska and UNO’s metropolitan university mission.

The search committee, together with Bounds and NU Executive Vice President and Provost Susan Fritz, will host a series of upcoming public listening sessions on Tuesday, Nov. 29, to gather input from UNO stakeholders on what qualities and characteristics they would like to see in the next chancellor. Input from the listening sessions will inform the development of a position profile which will be used to help attract candidates.

Details on the listening sessions follow. While sessions are generally targeted to specific stakeholder groups, all sessions are open to all members of the UNO community and public. The sessions will be held in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom.

  • 8:30-9:15 a.m.: Faculty listening session
  • 9:30-10:15 a.m.: Student listening session
  • 10:30-11:15 a.m.: Staff listening session
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Community listening session
  • 12:30-1:15 p.m.: Open listening session

Bounds will ultimately select a priority candidate for UNO chancellor who will be subject to a public vetting period prior to the Board of Regents’ consideration of his or her appointment. Nebraskans are invited to visit for updated information on the search.

Media Contact:
Melissa Lee
Director of Communications,
University of Nebraska