Board of Regents to establish, appoint presidential search committees

At its meeting on March 21, the Board of Regents will consider agenda items to establish and appoint the initial members of two committees that will assist with the national search for the next president of the University of Nebraska.

Both committees, the Presidential Search Outreach and Advisory Committee and the Presidential Search Screening and Selection Committee, will be comprised of representatives of key constituencies with which the NU president interacts including students, faculty and administrators, supporters and donors, the public, and members of the Board of Regents. The committees will work with consultants from Isaacson, Miller, the executive search firm that has been retained by the Board, to help identify, recruit, assess and recommend candidates for the university presidency.

Regent Howard Hawks, Chairman of the Board of Regents, said nominations for the committees were sought from the student regents, faculty senate presidents, campus chancellors, University of Nebraska Foundation leadership, and members of the Board.

“The Board of Regents is interested in increasing the involvement of key stakeholders in the process that will lead to the identification and selection of the next president of the University of Nebraska,” Hawks said. “This is a critical leadership position, not only for the university but for the entire State of Nebraska, and the search will benefit from enhanced participation by more constituency representatives.”

The Presidential Search Outreach and Advisory Committee will work with the professional search firm to solicit stakeholder input on issues facing the university and qualities the university should seek in the next president, conduct a broad and inclusive search, seek nominations and applications for the position, and determine how well potential candidates meet criteria that will be established by the Board.

The Presidential Search Screening and Selection Committee will review and evaluate application materials, select and interview leading prospects, conduct and/or review reference checks, and recommend to the Board of Regents no fewer than four candidates who agree to become public finalists for the position. Final selection of the next president will be made by the Board of Regents following university visits and public forums by the finalists that will provide opportunities for Nebraska citizens and university constituents to meet the candidates and provide feedback to the Board.

The Presidential Search Outreach and Advisory Committee will be co-chaired by Regents Tim Clare of Lincoln and Bob Phares of North Platte. Other proposed members are:

  • Renaisa Anthony, Assistant Professor of Health Promotion and Deputy Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Gail Baker, Dean of the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Juan Casas, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Hal Daub, Board of Regents, District 8, Omaha
  • Herbert O. (Dele) Davies, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Helen Abbott Feller, President of Churn Thoroughbred Farm, Inc., Wisner
  • Ronnie Green, Vice President of Agriculture, University of Nebraska and Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Barry Kennedy, President of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lincoln
  • Kevin Knudson, Student Regent-elect, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, junior majoring in political science, Omaha
  • John Massey, Director and President of J.G. Elliott Insurance Center and member of the Board of Directors of the University of Nebraska Foundation and Foundation Trustee, Scottsbluff
  • Dawn Mollenkopf, Associate Professor, Department of Teacher Education, College of Education, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Joseph Oravecz, Dean of the Division of Student Affairs, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Tonn Ostergard, President and CEO of Crete Carrier Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the University of Nebraska Foundation, Lincoln
  • Harvey Perlman, Chancellor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Jim Pillen, Board of Regents, District 3, Columbus
  • Connor Schulte, Student Regent-elect, University of Nebraska at Kearney, junior majoring in advertising and public relations, Kearney
  • Judy Walker, Aaron Douglas Professor and Chairperson of Department of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Charles (Chuck) Wilson, retired physician and former member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, Lincoln
  • Gail Walling Yanney, retired physician, community volunteer and philanthropist, Omaha

The Presidential Search Screening and Selection Committee will chaired by Regent Howard Hawks of Omaha. Other proposed members are:

  • Susie Buffett, Chairman, Sherwood Foundation, Omaha
  • Jeffrey Gold, Chancellor, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Brian Hastings, President and Chief Executive Officer, University of Nebraska Foundation, Lincoln
  • Jordan Koch, Student Regent-elect, University of Nebraska at Omaha, senior majoring in elementary education, Yankton, South Dakota
  • Marjorie Kostelnik, Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Steve Nelson, President, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Axtell
  • Krupa Savalia, Student Regent, University of Nebraska Medical Center, M.D./Ph.D. Scholars Program, West Orange, New Jersey
  • Rob Schafer, Board of Regents, District 5, Beatrice
  • Kent Schroeder, Board of Regents, District 6, Kearney
  • Julie Shaffer, Professor of Biology, College of Natural and Social Sciences, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Thomas Warren, President, Urban League, Omaha
  • Bob Whitehouse, Board of Regents, District 4, Papillion

The Outreach and Advisory Committee is expected to convene soon, and work over the spring into the summer. The Screening and Selection Committee likely will begin its work in the summer and continue into the fall.

The Board of Regents continues to invite input from the public on the presidential search, as well as nominations of potential candidates, at www.nebraska.edu/presidentsearch. All news and information related to the presidential search will be housed at this web site.

Contact: Melissa Lee
(402) 472-7127
(402) 580-3297 (cell)
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