May 5, 2014
I am pleased to write to you on my first day as interim president of the University of Nebraska. Over the last month I worked closely with President Milliken, learning more about the great things happening on each of the campuses and the many opportunities that lie ahead for us. My respect for President Milliken, which was already high, has only grown as I learned more about the complexities of leading a multi-campus university. He deserves our sincere thanks and we wish him well as he begins his new job in New York.
Some colleagues have asked why I would take on the task of leading the university during this time of transition. The answer is simple. As a member of the faculty for more than 30 years, my institutional loyalty runs deep. Like most Nebraskans, I take great pride in the many contributions the University of Nebraska makes to the state. I know you share that pride, since it is your work – educating our students, conducting important research, and performing outreach activities in each Nebraska county – that advances the university’s fundamental mission to serve the people of the state. Our university focuses the energies and ideas of 13,000 talented faculty and staff to change Nebraska and the world, and together we are making great progress. I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to work with you in the months ahead.
The Board of Regents, in collaboration with a leading executive search firm and two search committees whose members represent a wide range of university constituencies, has begun the task of selecting the next permanent president. Much work is ahead, but I have full confidence that they will identify the right person to build on our impressive momentum. In the meantime, our commitment to doing work that serves Nebraskans and others will remain.
Thank you for all you do for the University of Nebraska.
James Linder, M.D.