NU Board of Regents appoint presidential search committee; UNK listening sessions set for Oct. 25

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents on Thursday named a 22-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee to assist in the national search for the NU System’s ninth president.

The committee will work with the Board to identify potential candidates, solicit input from key constituencies with which the president interacts, and determine desired qualifications and characteristics of the next president. The Board is also being assisted in the process by Academic Search, a professional executive search firm.

Two public listening sessions will be hosted Wednesday (Oct. 25) at UNK to gather input on the search. All members of the university community and the public are invited to attend and share their thoughts on what they think the Board should look for in the next president. Details on the listening sessions are as follows:

Wednesday, October 25
– UNK Session #1: 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Ockinga Conference Room
– UNK Session #2: 1 to 2:30 p.m., Ockinga Conference Room

The sessions are in-person only.

For those unable to attend a listening session or who prefer to share feedback electronically, the Board has created an online submission form at Submissions are anonymous.

Feedback gathered from the listening sessions and electronic survey will inform the development of the “position profile” that will be used to recruit potential candidates. In a letter to all faculty, staff and students Thursday, Clare said the Board’s goal is to “cast as wide a net as possible” and consider a range of candidates before ultimately bringing a priority candidate forward for vetting by NU stakeholders.

Clare stressed the importance of stakeholder participation in the search process and urged as many Nebraskans as possible to provide input.

“The presidency of the university is one of the most important leadership positions in the state,” Clare wrote. “I believe we have a great opportunity to attract a candidate who recognizes our university’s unique role in transforming lives and can rally all Nebraskans around a shared vision for excellence.”

The next president will succeed Ted Carter, who is stepping down Dec. 31.

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee will be chaired by Tim Clare of Lincoln, chairman of the Board of Regents and the Board’s District 1 representative.

The group also includes UNK Student Body President Temo Molina and Chris Exstrom, UNK’s faculty senate president.

Other members are:

  • Leah Barrett, president, Northeast Community College, Norfolk
  • Paul Kenney, Board of Regents, District 6, Amherst
  • Kelli Kopocis, Faculty Senate president and assistant professor of practice in the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Hakim Lotoro, student body president and regent and molecular biology and biomedical sciences major, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Scott McPheeters, ag producer and vice chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, Gothenburg
  • William Melanson, Faculty Senate president and associate professor of philosophy, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Heath Mello, president and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber, Omaha
  • Jane Miller, chairwoman-elect of the University of Nebraska Foundation, Omaha
  • Amar Natarajan, Faculty Senate president and professor in the Eppley Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Elizabeth O’Connor, Board of Regents, District 4, Omaha
  • Rob Otte, general counsel at US Property Inc., Lincoln
  • Paul Pechous, student body president and regent and 7-12 special education major, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Rob Schafer, vice chairman of the Board of Regents, District 5, Beatrice
  • Jim Scheer, Board of Regents, District 3, Norfolk
  • Katie Schlutis, student body president and regent and medical student, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Jack Stark, Board of Regents, District 2, Omah
  • John Stinner, president and CEO (retired) at Valley Bank & Trust Co., Gering
  • Barbara Weitz, Board of Regents, District 8, Omaha
  • Kathy Wilmot, Board of Regents, District 7, Beaver City