To the Students, Faculty & Staff of the University of Nebraska Medical Center:
I’m writing with an important leadership update for the University of Nebraska.
As many of you know, Chancellor Jeff Gold has led both the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha since 2017, when we asked him to add UNO leadership duties to his role as UNMC chancellor.
Chancellor Gold has been exactly the right person to lead our Omaha campuses through this period of momentum and change. Together with our talented faculty, staff and students, Chancellor Gold has taken both campuses to new heights in student access and success, academic quality, research, collaboration and so many other areas.
We have said all along that our ultimate plan is to have separate chancellors at UNMC and UNO. Dr. Gold and I agree that time is now. The new and exciting initiatives underway at both UNMC and UNO demand that we have a leader fully devoted to the unique needs and opportunities of each campus.
That is one reason why today, I’m announcing that we are launching a national search for the next chancellor of UNO. I wanted you to be among the first to hear the news, given the close relationship between UNO and UNMC.
Chancellor Gold will remain UNO chancellor through June 30, 2021, at which time he will step aside to assume system-wide duties as NU executive vice president and provost. He will continue as chancellor of UNMC.
The “stars have aligned” to make this transition. With UNO on a remarkable upward trajectory, the timing couldn’t be better to find the next outstanding person to lead our metropolitan campus. In addition, the pending retirement of our current executive vice president and provost, Dr. Susan Fritz, creates an opportunity for Dr. Gold to assume a new system-wide role that will leverage his invaluable counsel and deep expertise.
You may ask what will happen to the shared leadership positions between UNMC and UNO. The colleagues in these roles have done exceptional work, and the need for collaboration and operational efficiency – not just in Omaha, but across our entire university system – is only growing. However, no decisions have been made on this front, and we expect the new UNO chancellor will want to be part of these conversations.
You may also be wondering how I could ask Dr. Gold to balance his UNMC chancellorship with a high-ranking position in Central Administration. In the latter role, he will serve principally as a strategic advisor and partner to me, less a manager of day-to-day operations in the provost’s office. The remarkable work being done at UNMC – including the NExT project – will require, and receive, Dr. Gold’s full engagement.
I hope you will join me in congratulating Chancellor Gold on his new role. The future of our university is bright, and I thank each of you for what you do for our 52,000 students and the people of our state.
President, University of Nebraska