University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds issues chancellor profile

Today the University of Nebraska released a profile that details the qualities and experiences that President Hank Bounds is seeking in the next chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the key challenges and opportunities that person will face in leading the UNL campus.

The chancellor profile was developed by the president’s office with assistance from the search firm Isaacson, Miller, which conducted interviews with key stakeholders in September in order to develop a full picture of the leadership opportunity. It also was informed by input from more than 250 people who shared their thoughts via an electronic survey. Bounds then asked his 25-member search advisory committee to review and provide feedback to him and the search firm on the initial lists of qualities, challenges and opportunities developed. That was followed by a final review and approval of the chancellor profile by the president

“I am grateful to the many Nebraskans who took the time to share their thoughts with me about the type of person we need to recruit to lead the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,” Bounds said. “Our ideal candidate for chancellor will have experience in and familiarity with the complexity of a major public research university as well as a deep appreciation for, and working knowledge of, the significance of a land-grant institution’s role in strengthening a state’s intellectual and economic vitality.”

Bounds said candidates must have an earned Ph.D. or other relevant terminal degree with credentials sufficient for appointment as a professor with tenure in an academic department at UNL, teaching experience, and a personal record of research and scholarship. A summary of other key characteristics sought in the next UNL chancellor follows. The full list and narrative are available in the chancellor profile, which is available on the UNL chancellor search website at

  • An ability to provide intellectual leadership on campus and to play a significant role at the national level in shaping discussion on issues of importance to higher education;
  • A highly developed understanding of academic values and culture, an appreciation for scholarly work, and a history of support for academic excellence;
  • A demonstrated record of support for student success and support services, including first generation, international, and increasingly diverse students;
  • Tangible evidence of fostering diversity and inclusivity, affirmative action and equal opportunity for all students, faculty, and staff;
  • Support for academic freedom and shared governance and a commitment to transparent decision-making as well as a collaborative, consultative, and facilitative style;
  • Support for and encouragement of the university’s arts and cultural programs through which many Nebraskans engage with the institution;
  • Appreciation for the role of intercollegiate athletics that focuses on its integration into the greater campus, institutional control, academic excellence, sportsmanship, and success;
  • Outstanding record of effectively managing and influencing people along with a willingness to circulate widely, listen well, and motivate and empower others;
  • Demonstrated understanding of finances and a track record of effectively leveraging, managing and diversifying human, fiscal, and capital resources;
  • The ability to thrive in the public sector with well-developed political and diplomatic skills;
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative skills and the proven ability to build private sector partnerships, leverage external alliances, and develop strategic opportunities;
  • Demonstrated great character, personal and moral values, integrity and ethics;
  • A sense of humor and a deep sense of personal humility.

To be successful, the next chancellor will need to be an active steward for not only the faculty, staff and students of the Lincoln campus, but for the citizens of Nebraska. The overarching challenge for the chancellor is to embrace the culture of the state, work collaboratively with the other campuses of the University of Nebraska, and successfully achieve greater levels of academic and research distinction. With astute leadership and relationship building skills, the chancellor will have an opportunity to leave an enduring legacy by responding to the following opportunities and challenges:

  • Craft and execute a vision and strategy with campus constituents for future growth
  • Drive and support academic excellence
  • Promote diversity and inclusion at all levels
  • Ensure strong leadership and management of campus operations
  • Expand and leverage partnerships within the university, across the state, and beyond
  • Develop the necessary resources to achieve UNL’s many ambitions

The next chancellor will succeed Harvey Perlman who is stepping down in 2016 after a decade and a half of leadership during which the campus experienced significant gains in enrollment and research activity, investments in infrastructure and facilities, expansion of international partnerships, and formation of a 250-acre public/private research and development park.

Acceptance of applications and nominations for the chancellor position will begin immediately and continue until completion of the search process. Confidential inquiries, referrals, and resumes or curricula vitae should be submitted via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search at Electronic submission of application materials is strongly encouraged.

Media Contact:

Melissa Lee
University of Nebraska
Office: (402) 472-7127
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