Board of Regents to establish Presidential Search Advisory Committee

Dawn Mollenkopf
Steve Nelson

Following a public nomination process that generated almost 200 names, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents will consider the appointment of a 23-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee that will help guide the search for NU’s next leader.

The list includes four people with direct ties to the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Kearney area:

  • Tom Henning, president and CEO, Cash-Wa Distributing Co., Kearney
  • Gilbert Hinga, dean of student affairs, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Dawn Mollenkopf, associate professor of teacher education and 2019-20 Faculty Senate President, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Steve Nelson, president, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Axtell
Gilbert Hinga
Gilbert Hinga
Tom Henning

The Board will also consider the following committee – representing students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters, the business and agricultural communities, and members of the public – at its June 28 meeting:

  • Jim Pillen of Columbus, District 3, Board of Regents (Committee Chair)
  • Theresa Barron-McKeagney, associate dean, College of Public Administration and Community Service and professor of social work, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Susie Buffett, chairman, The Sherwood Foundation, Omaha
  • Matt Davison, associate athletic director for football, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Kwame Dawes, Chancellor’s Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Mike Flood, entrepreneur, attorney and former Speaker of the Legislature, Norfolk
  • Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., chancellor, University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Bruce Grewcock, chairman and CEO, Kiewit Corp., Omaha
  • Sarah Hotovy, third-year medical student from York, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Stancia Jenkins, associate to the president and assistant vice president for diversity, access and inclusion, University of Nebraska
  • JoAnn Martin, CEO, Ameritas Mutual Holding Co., Lincoln
  • Tonn Ostergard, chairman and CEO, Crete Carrier Corp., Lincoln
  • Lance Perez, dean of the College of Engineering and Omar H. Heins Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Bob Phares of North Platte, District 7, Board of Regents
  • Rob Schafer of Beatrice, District 5, Board of Regents
  • Bryan Slone, president, Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Omaha
  • Tanya Storer, owner, Rocking J Ranch, Whitman
  • Barbara Weitz of Omaha, District 8, Board of Regents
  • Aya Yousuf, University of Nebraska at Omaha student regent and junior political science and economics major

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee will help gather and provide stakeholder input on the profile for the next president and the priority issues facing the university in the coming years, as well as work with the executive search firm AGB Search to help promote the position and nominate candidates or solicit applications.

The Board announced last month that it was seeking nominations for the committee. Chairman Tim Clare of Lincoln, Regent Elizabeth O’Connor of Omaha, Regent Howard Hawks of Omaha and Regent Paul Kenney of Kearney reviewed the nominations and are recommending the committee’s membership to the full Board.

“It was difficult to narrow our list, but I believe we’ve identified an outstanding group of individuals who care deeply about the University of Nebraska and who collectively reflect the diverse range of constituencies we serve,” Clare said. “This group has a critical task ahead: Help us find the best possible president to lead the University of Nebraska forward. We will benefit greatly from their advice and engagement. I thank each of them for their willingness to serve in this vital role.”

The Board and AGB Search are concluding today an initial series of 20 public listening sessions across the four NU campuses on the qualities, characteristics and skills that Nebraskans would like to see in the next president. Additional listening sessions will take place Aug. 27-28.

Stakeholders may submit feedback anytime during the process to

Current NU President Hank Bounds is stepping down in August. Executive Vice President and Provost Susan Fritz will serve as interim president during the search for a permanent successor.