Ted Carter to step down as NU System president Dec. 31 to lead Ohio State

LINCOLN – University of Nebraska System President Ted Carter announced to faculty and staff Tuesday that after four years of leadership, he will step down from his Nebraska post on Dec. 31 to become the next president of Ohio State University.

Ohio State’s Board of Trustees formally voted to appoint Carter to the presidency during a Tuesday meeting on the university’s Columbus campus. He will assume that role on Jan. 1, 2024.

In a letter to Nebraska colleagues, Carter hailed recent achievements of the NU community – including the creation of Nebraska Promise financial aid program, strengthened public and private partnerships, and proactive management of fiscal challenges, all while the university navigated the COVID-19 pandemic – and praised the team of chancellors, vice presidents and other leaders who will steer NU forward.

“In our four years here, we have come to treasure Nebraska as our own home state,” Carter said of himself and his wife, Lynda. “In every community we’ve visited, Nebraskans have welcomed us with open arms and genuine love for their university. This is a special place, with special people, whose university is achieving great things for the state and the world.

“Ultimately, Ohio State offers the opportunity to continue to advance the work and mission of public higher education at another leading Big Ten university. Just as Lynda and I saw the University of Nebraska four years ago as the next calling in our lives of service, we now see Ohio State as a calling that we will do our best to answer.”

Carter pledged to spend the next 4 1/2 months “fully engaged” in the work of moving the “Five-Point Plan” he unveiled in June forward. The plan includes goals to manage short- and long-term budgetary challenges while also enhancing the university’s competitiveness, efficiency and academic stature.

That time will also provide the Board of Regents a runway to determine next steps for leadership of the University of Nebraska System. Board Chairman Tim Clare of Lincoln said he expects regents will immediately begin formulating a process for a national search for Carter’s successor. Details will be forthcoming.

“Ted Carter has provided transformational leadership for the University of Nebraska. We are incredibly grateful that he and Lynda answered the call to serve our university at such an important period in our history,” Clare said. “While this news is bittersweet, we understand Ted and Lynda’s decision to take on this new opportunity.

“It is the highest priority of the board to ensure a seamless transition of leadership so that we do not lose momentum in advancing our plans to move the University of Nebraska to an even higher level of excellence. We thank President Carter for giving us time to be thoughtful about our next steps and for his commitment to doing all he can to set up our next leader for success.”

Carter has served as NU System president since Jan. 1, 2020. He previously was superintendent of his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy.

“I congratulate President Carter and wish him and his wife Lynda all the best as they move on to their next challenge. It’s a tremendous opportunity. President Carter has made a lasting impact on Nebraska,” said UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen. “The university is in a position of strength and stability as we begin the 2023 academic year and beyond. We stand ready to carry out our mission and vision.”