Rob Schafer becomes NU Board of Regents chair for 2024; Paul Kenney elected vice chair

LINCOLN – Regent Rob Schafer of Beatrice, representing District 5 on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, today assumed the role of chairman of the board after serving as vice chair in 2023.

Regent Paul Kenney of Amherst, representing District 6, was elected vice chairman of the board. In accordance with board policy, he will assume the chairmanship in 2025.

Schafer is a managing partner at Smith Schafer David Gaertig LLC and a livestock owner and operator. He is a staff judge advocate and lieutenant colonel in the Kansas Air National Guard. Schafer was appointed to the board in 2013, elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018, the year he first served as chair.

A native of Pawnee City, Schafer earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Nebraska. He and his wife, Andrea, have two daughters.

“I think 2024 is shaping up to be another fantastic year for the University of Nebraska,” Schafer said. “As we’ve been hearing from President Kabourek and as we detailed in our Five-Point Plan, we have an opportunity to decide what we want to go be great in, and then invest in those areas.” Schafer cited agriculture, medicine, athletics and the military as areas of historical strength for Nebraska where there are opportunities for future growth, investment and impact.

Kenney is an agribusinessman, farmer and rancher, working a homestead farm that has been passed down through his family for more than 100 years. He has served on the Amherst Public School Board, Kearney Area Ag Producers Alliance and Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce Board. He earned his degree in agricultural economics from the University of Nebraska.