NU president leadership profile released, applications due Jan. 1

By: - November 16, 2023 3:42 pm

Regent Tim Clare, at right, joins Jay Lemons, leader of the consulting firm Academic Search, during an advisory committee meeting to find NU’s next president. Clare leads the advisory committee Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in Lincoln. (Zach Wendling/Nebraska Examiner)

LINCOLN — The University of Nebraska Board of Regents is officially seeking applications and nominations for the university system’s ninth president.

University of Nebraska President Ted Carter, at center. (Zach Wendling/Nebraska Examiner)

Regent Tim Clare, board chair, announced the next phase of the search Thursday in an email to NU faculty and staff. Applications or nominations are due to [email protected] by Jan. 1. 

Clare said that after hearing from the community, the board’s goal is to find a leader deeply committed to Nebraska and willing to remain as president for a decade or more.

Both outgoing NU President Ted Carter, who is leaving at year’s end, and his predecessor, Hank Bounds, led NU for just over four years. The national average for college or university presidents is about five years, according to Academic Search, the search firm assisting NU.

“We have the crucial task of finding exactly the right person who will lead our university to its next phase of growth and excellence,” Clare said.

Desired attributes and qualities

A leadership profile released Thursday serves as an advertisement to prospective candidates and expands upon nine core leadership pillars initially developed during the 2019 search that brought Carter to Nebraska. 

Gov. Jim Pillen, at the time a regent, led development of those pillars, which the Presidential Search Advisory Committee and Board of Regents have each since expanded on.

For NU’s next president, the regents are seeking “an authentic, humble proven leader and strategic thinker” who brings a “proven record” in financial leadership during challenging times.

A major goal of the next president will be addressing a projected $58 million shortfall over the next two fiscal years.

The next president, according to the profile, should also prioritize students in decisions and commit to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

Next steps in the process

The 22-member advisory committee, chaired by Clare, will select final candidates for the Board of Regents to consider. All eight regents also serve on that committee.

Following state law, only a priority candidate will be announced and all other candidates will remain anonymous. The priority candidate will be subjected to a 30-day public vetting period before a final vote among the regents.

The board is slated to consider at its Dec. 1 meeting appointing Chris Kabourek, the system’s chief financial officer, to fill in as interim president after Carter leaves Dec. 31.


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Zach Wendling
Zach Wendling

Zach Wendling recently graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a double major in journalism and political science. He has interned for The Hill and The News Station in Washington, D.C. He reported for the Nebraska News Service and The Daily Nebraskan before joining the Nebraska Examiner staff as an intern.