University of Nebraska President-Designate Hank M. Bounds, Ph.D.
On January 12, 2015, the Board of Regents appointed lifelong educator Hank M. Bounds, Ph.D., as the seventh president of the University of Nebraska. Dr. Bounds, a first-generation traditional college student who has devoted his entire 25-year career to education, has served as commissioner of higher education for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning since 2009.
Dr. Bounds was selected for the NU presidency following an extensive national search that engaged hundreds of Nebraskans. He will begin his tenure on April 13, 2015.
We invite Nebraskans to join the conversation welcoming Dr. Bounds and his family to the university by using #NewNUPrez.
Dr. Hank Bounds has spent his career helping change students’ lives in the way education impacted his own life. He began as a high school teacher, then rose to principal, superintendent and state superintendent before becoming Mississippi’s commissioner of higher education. There, he has been committed to expanding opportunities for students and building partnerships with key constituents.
He and his wife, Susie, have two children, Will and Caroline.
News about NU's President-Designate
"Dr. Bounds is a highly respected educator who has focused his career on helping to change lives in a way that education impacted his own opportunities. His experience as a high school teacher and principal, district and statewide school superintendent, and now chief executive of a large and diverse higher education system has prepared him exceptionally well to lead the University of Nebraska."
—Howard Hawks, Chairman
University of Nebraska Board of Regents
“While we certainly hate to lose his talents in our state, we understand why the Nebraska Board of Regents has selected him to lead the university. He will bring to them the same kind of dynamic, strategic and innovative leadership that he has provided here.”
—Aubrey Patterson, President
Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning
“His personal philosophy that university leaders must make decisions based on what is best for students will resonate well with most Nebraskans, as will his commitment to students’ success.”
—Bob Phares, Vice Chairman
University of Nebraska Board of Regents
“With his proven track record as a leader and administrator, Dr. Bounds brings an impressive resume to the University of Nebraska. We are excited to welcome him, and we are looking forward to working with him at UNMC.”
—Jeffrey Gold, M.D., Chancellor
University of Nebraska Medical Center
“I am delighted that Hank Bounds agreed to become the next president of the university. He has the experience and the commitment to the academic enterprise that will serve Nebraska well.”
—Harvey Perlman, Chancellor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
“My heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Hank Bounds on his selection as the next president of the University of Nebraska. Susanne and I welcome him and his wife Susie to our state. I look forward to working together with him to build on the strong foundation that President Milliken laid for the institution.”
—Governor Pete Ricketts
“From an agricultural perspective, it’s important the president fully understand and have the ability to carry out the mission of the land-grant university. Dr. Bounds’ extensive experience in leading a university in Mississippi and his understanding of the importance of agriculture in that role makes him an excellent selection.”
—Steve Nelson, President
Nebraska Farm Bureau
New NU President Bounds begins transition
“To recruit top students and faculty, court donors and research partners, Bounds said he wants to understand what drew current students to the university’s flagship campus.”
— Lincoln Journal Star (January 28, 2015)
New university president Hank Bounds centers his attention on students
“As a first-generation college student coming from a rural background, Bounds said he feels confident in handling a student population that balances rural and urban backgrounds.”
— Daily Nebraskan (January 28, 2015)
Hank Bounds is a good pick
“Nebraskans can look forward to the Hank Bounds era at the University of Nebraska with excitement and optimism.”
— Lincoln Journal Star (January 15, 2015)
New NU president, new opportunities
“In unanimously selecting Hank Bounds as the next president, NU regents now have positioned the university for the future.”
— Omaha World-Herald (January 14, 2015)
Interim President Linder Speeches & Statements
Husker Football Halftime Interviews With President Linder
Husker Volleyball Halftime Interviews With President Linder
May 28, 2014: Statement from Board of Regents Chairman regarding the governor’s candidacy for president
“The Board of Regents has an established process in place for recruiting and selecting the next president of the University of Nebraska which involves equal treatment and consideration of all individuals who wish to be considered for the position. My colleagues and I, as well as the other members of the presidential search committees, will respect and maintain the confidentiality of the search process until four finalists are publicly identified in accordance with Nebraska law.
“Our immediate focus is on attracting a deep, rich and diverse pool of applicants from throughout the country. It would be most unfortunate for the citizens of the state if any particular person’s interest in the position resulted in undermining the legitimacy of the search and kept any highly qualified individuals from applying for the presidency.
“Let me be very clear. This is a fair and competitive process and the Board of Regents seeks and welcomes the candidacy of any person, including the governor, who believes he or she has the qualifications and experiences necessary to effectively lead the University of Nebraska. Our objective is to seek, vet, and hire the most qualified candidate.
“Now that the governor has publicly announced his candidacy for the position, his current requests for one-on-one meetings with the members of the Board of Regents, chancellors and other administrators, and search committee members are inappropriate and will not be honored. To do so would present a problem of fairness and it is not practical to track and offer comparable opportunities to all candidates.”
May 22, 2014: Statement from Board of Regents Chairman Howard Hawks regarding the presidential search
“The Board of Regents has launched a national search to identify and recruit the most highly qualified and capable candidates for the position of president of the University of Nebraska. Although it is still quite early in the process, we are pleased with the significantly growing national interest already being shown in the position. Our goal, with the assistance of our search consultants, is to build as deep, rich and diverse a pool of applicants as is possible from throughout the country.
“There has been a level of attention given to public comments made by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman this week regarding his possible interest in being considered for the presidency. Obviously, the Board of Regents would welcome the governor’s application for the position, just as we will the candidacy of any other individual who believes he or she has the qualifications and experiences necessary to effectively lead our university system and to continue its positive momentum and trajectory.
“We have every expectation that this nationwide search will attract a wide range of candidates from varied backgrounds. Should the governor decide to apply for the position, his candidacy would be considered and evaluated like that of any other applicant. This will be an open, fair and competitive search for the best person possible to lead the University of Nebraska. The search process is designed to be confidential until four finalists are publicly named, in accordance with Nebraska statutes. On the other hand, it is obvious that potential candidates may choose to reveal their interest.
“In my view, it would be inappropriate for the Board of Regents to comment or to speculate regarding the possible candidacy of any individuals. It is in the best interest of the University of Nebraska that the confidentiality of the search process be respected and maintained. The Board of Regents does not intend to reveal the names of any nominees or applicants for the position until four finalists are publicly identified.
“We look forward to having a large and robust pool of applicants from which to choose the best candidate to be the next president of the University of Nebraska.”
Interim President James Linder
James Linder CV
Welcome to the University of Nebraska. For nearly 150 years, we have served the people of the state through affordable access to excellent education, research that grows the economy, and outreach in all 93 counties. We are proud to be the state’s only public university, rooted in the land-grant traditions of service and accessibility.
In the 21st century, our mission is more important than ever. Our focus on serving Nebraskans first remains, but today we are globally engaged, providing rich opportunities for students and faculty on our four campuses to help address the complex challenges facing Nebraska and the world: water and food security, disease, hunger, poverty, human capital development. Our faculty are widely recognized for their work in agriculture, public health, early childhood education, rural issues, national security and defense, cancer research and care, engineering and information sciences, and other important areas.
Our first priority is affordable excellence – and we’re proud of our record. Each of our campuses provides high-quality education for a great value. Our investments in financial aid have never been higher. At a time when demand for college-educated workers in Nebraska is expected to grow significantly, we are more committed than ever to expanding access to education to all who can benefit from it.
The University of Nebraska focuses the energies and ideas of 50,000 diverse students and 13,000 talented faculty and staff for the benefit of the state. Our campuses – which have been transformed in recent years with new facilities for student life, research and education – are hubs of innovation, creativity, cultural activity and economic growth. This is an exciting time in the university’s history, and I am grateful to be a part of it. As a Nebraskan myself and a member of the faculty for more than 30 years, I take great pride in the vital role the university plays in ensuring the state’s success. I believe that role has never been more important.
I invite you to contact me with your comments or questions, and to visit our campuses to witness our momentum firsthand. Thank you for your interest in the University of Nebraska.
James Linder, M.D.
Interim President Linder
Dr. Linder is very familiar with the university, having served in faculty and administrative positions at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and in the Office of the President on a full- or part-time basis for more than 30 years. Currently, he is senior associate to the president for innovation and economic competitiveness and president of the University Technology Development Corporation. He also recently chaired the successful search for the new UNMC chancellor.
Dr. Linder holds an appointment as professor of pathology and microbiology at UNMC, where he received his medical degree and has served on the faculty since 1983. During that time, he has held a number of administrative positions, including vice chair of pathology, director of surgical pathology and cytopathology, associate dean for academic affairs, interim dean of the College of Medicine, associate vice chancellor for research and CEO of UNeMed. He also has extensive experience in the private sector.
Dr. Linder is widely published and holds multiple patents. He and his wife, Karen Linder, founded and manage Linseed Capital, which supports early-stage startup companies in the Midwest.