Board of Regents launches search for 8th University of Nebraska president

April 19, 2019

Board of Regents Chairman Tim Clare and Vice Chairman Jim Pillen announced today that the Board is taking the first steps in the search for the eighth president of the University of Nebraska.

In launching the presidential search, regents invited Nebraskans to begin considering the qualities, characteristics and skills they would like to see in NU’s next leader. Students, faculty, staff, Nebraskans and all stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments to

Clare and Pillen also said the Board plans to host a series of listening sessions soon to hear directly from stakeholders on what the Board should look for as it selects a successor to President Hank Bounds. Bounds announced last month his plans to step down late this summer to transition to other educational work.

“The Board intends to conduct a timely national search to find the best possible person for the job.” Board of Regents Chairman Tim Clare

Dates, times and locations of the listening sessions will be announced when they are determined. All sessions will be open to the public.

“The University of Nebraska presidency is one of the best jobs in the country. The Board intends to conduct a timely national search to find the best possible person for the job,” Clare said, pointing to records in enrollment, research funding and graduation rates, along with increased efficiencies, collaboration and public-private partnerships, during Bounds’ four-year tenure.

“A successful search requires a good process, guided by feedback and engagement from Nebraskans across the state who care about the continued success of their University. Because of Hank Bounds, the University of Nebraska is on an incredible trajectory. We’re excited to begin a conversation with Nebraskans about how we keep that momentum going.”

Next steps for the Board include directing university staff to engage a consulting firm to assist the Board in the search.

In accordance with Board bylaws, the Board will also move quickly to appoint one or more advisory committees to help identify candidates for the presidency. Clare said the Board will soon begin to solicit nominations for committee members. He said the committee or committees will comprise key constituencies including students, faculty, staff, stakeholders and Nebraskans.

As required by state law, the Board will identify a priority candidate for president whose appointment will be subject to a public vetting period of at least 30 days before her or his selection goes to a vote of the Board. The vetting period will include a public forum at each NU campus where students, faculty, staff, the news media and members of the public can meet, ask questions of, and provide feedback on the candidate.

Clare said that when the Board’s Executive Committee determines a recommendation for interim NU leadership, the appointment will be brought to the full Board for a public vote.

Reporting to the Board, the president is the chief executive officer of the University of Nebraska, leading a system of four campuses plus the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture that together comprise 52,000 students, 16,000 employees and a $2.6 billion annual operating budget. The president is responsible for carrying out the strategic priorities of the Board and is the primary advocate to the Nebraska Legislature and other constituencies. Direct reports to the president include the campus chancellors and NU-wide chief academic, business, legal and information technology officers.

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