Interim President Kabourek leads the University of Nebraska and its four campuses. He is the university's chief executive officer and reports to the Board of Regents, who are elected to govern the university.
The President is the spokesperson of the University as a statewide institution.
The President is responsible for university administration, operation and implementing Board policies and goals—and works with the university’s campus chancellors and vice presidents to do so. He also provides educational leadership, direction and strategy to the university and policy direction and oversight to Husker Athletics.
Interim President Kabourek is the spokesperson for the university as a statewide institution, helping to communicate NU’s achievements and potential to the leadership and citizens of the state.
Chris Kabourek, a Nebraska native, first-generation college student and 26-year veteran of the University of Nebraska, assumed the role of interim president on January 1, 2024. Kabourek also serves as the University of Nebraska’s senior vice president and chief financial officer.
As president, Kabourek leads a four-campus university system that enrolls nearly 50,000 students and employs 16,000 faculty and staff on campuses in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney, plus academic divisions and research and extension centers across the state. Reporting to the elected Board of Regents, Kabourek is the chief spokesman and chief executive officer for the system, which operates on a $3.3 billion annual budget and includes a flagship Big Ten university, home to the Husker Athletics program; a renowned academic health sciences center; a metropolitan institution; and a residential campus serving the central and western parts of the state. The university also includes preeminent institutes focused on water and agriculture, national security and defense, and early childhood education.
Raised in David City, Kabourek earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nebraska Wesleyan University and MBA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He joined the university in 1997 as a budget and research analyst and rose through progressive leadership roles before being named CFO in 2018. In that role, he oversees all financial and administrative services supporting the University of Nebraska’s operating budget. Throughout his tenure, he has worked closely with the Board, president, chancellors, and campus chief business and academic officers, as well as the Governor, elected officials and other leaders within and outside the university on areas including budgeting, facilities and capital planning, accounting, procurement and human resources.
Kabourek was the chief architect of the University of Nebraska’s new deferred maintenance strategy that will address more than $800 million in facility needs while saving more than $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars and ultimately positioning the university to become self-sustaining in maintaining its buildings. Also under Kabourek’s leadership, the University of Nebraska has consistently achieved high marks from credit ratings agencies, allowing the university to save taxpayer money while meeting student, faculty and staff needs. Kabourek played a lead role in the creation of the Nebraska Promise financial aid program, which has helped more than 18,000 Nebraska students attend the university tuition-free since its launch in 2020. He has also provided leadership on strategic planning efforts and numerous legislative and capital budget requests.
Kabourek serves as treasurer of the National Strategic Research Institute, the University Technology Development Corporation and the University of Nebraska Facilities Corporation.
Kabourek is active in the community as an NCAA and Nebraska School Activities Association basketball referee and youth sports coach. He and his wife, Jamie, have three sons, the oldest of whom is a freshman at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.