To the Students, Faculty and Staff of UNO and UNMC:
Later today I will announce that I have named Dr. Jeff Gold as the “priority candidate” for UNO chancellor. Following a public feedback period, I will bring the Board of Regents a recommendation to approve Dr. Gold’s appointment as chancellor through June 30, 2022. At that time we plan to launch a national search for a successor, with the intent for both UNO and UNMC to have their own chancellor.
In short: Given where our university is right now, we have the right person in the role. Removing the “interim” from Dr. Gold’s UNO title provides the clarity and stability we need for the near future.
Over the past 18 months, since Dr. Gold first agreed to assume leadership of UNO, both UNO and UNMC have experienced remarkable growth and momentum. It is particularly impressive that you have built this long list of achievements – progress in student success, enrollment and research records, facilities expansion, growth in philanthropic activity – during a difficult budgetary period for our university.
“Dr. Gold’s continued leadership of both campuses puts us in the best position to enhance student outcomes, grow our research portfolio and deepen the cross-campus collaborations.”
Some would have been tempted to hunker down and wait for the challenges to pass. You have instead kept your focus on the future, and on the potential that UNO and UNMC have – individually and together – to transform even more lives in Nebraska and around the world.
We now have an opportunity to build on our trajectory. It is clear to me that Dr. Gold’s continued leadership of both campuses puts us in the best position to enhance student outcomes, grow our research portfolio and deepen the cross-campus collaborations that have yielded efficiencies and expanded our impact.
Over the past several days I have sought feedback on this decision from UNO and UNMC student, faculty, staff and administrative leadership. I heard comments about Dr. Gold’s care for and commitment to students, about his relentless focus on economic growth and Nebraskans’ well-being, about the work he has done to create partnerships that may not otherwise have existed. Leading two campuses is no easy task, and I am grateful for his willingness to serve in this way.
Of course, not every comment I’ve heard has been positive. I know some of you have concerns about the shared leadership structure. Certainly our university has faced unique challenges in recent years that have demanded innovative solutions. I hope greater clarity about our path forward will address some of the concerns. At the same time, you should be proud of the work you’ve done together to enhance our students’ experiences and find more effective, more efficient ways of doing business. That work cannot and should not stop on any of our campuses, no matter what the leadership structure looks like.
I invite you to join me and Dr. Gold for an open forum at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 19 at the Thompson Alumni Center, where you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and share feedback. And I welcome your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your input throughout this process has been invaluable, and both the chancellor and I will continue to work closely with you as UNO and UNMC chart a path forward.
Thank you for all you do for the University of Nebraska. I am honored to serve alongside you.
By Hank Bounds
President, University of Nebraska