UPDATE: NU Board of Regents unanimously votes Dr. Hank Bounds as President

By: Lauren Fabrizi

The Board of Regents unanimously voted Dr. Hank Bounds as new University of Nebraska President Monday. 

“He covered the breath of the things that we were looking for the most completely,” board chairman Howard Hawks said.

Dr. Bounds is currently the commissioner of higher education for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. He’s also been a K-12 superintendent, among other educational roles, and has served in the military.

The board convened at 12:30 p.m. There was no public comment. A closed session followed. Afterwards, Regent Bob Phares made a motion to appoint Dr. Bounds as NU President, and the board unanimously voted in favor.

“He was the best fit of candidates in fulfilling the full world university place for the success of Nebraska, not only for students but for constituents,” Regent Jim Pillen said. “Then the importance of how important it is for jobs.”

“Bounds is living proof of the American Dream,” Regent Rob Schafer added. “He’ll help make college affordable. He understands agriculture.”

The search began in March after former president J.B. Milliken accepted a new role as the chancellor of the City University of New York. Interim President James Linder since assumed the role. Two special committees totaling 34 people were formed.

Four finalists were eventually named, Dr. Bounds being one of them. The others:
-Dr. Sally Rockey, deputy director for extramural research for the National Institutes of Health
-Dr. Michael Martin, chancellor of the Colorado State University System
-Dr. George Ross, president of Central Michigan University (withdrew Friday).

When asked why leave his home-state of Mississippi, Bounds replied, “It’s the University of Nebraska.”

“The university has world-class faculty, tremendous facilities, talented campus leaders, a board that is passionate and committed to the work that they do,” he said in a phone interview. “Campuses that really understand how to make a difference in the world.”

Bounds has a wife and children. Touring all campuses was part of the interview process, but he and his family visited Lincoln and other cities in addition to that. In the phoner, he noted Lincoln has a “culture where family values matter,” which he said will help with their transition.

Bounds’ contract takes effect April 13, 2015, and expires June 30, 2018. It’s worth $480,000 a year. There’s no set date on when he’ll move, but a plan to meet with the governor and other elected officials is in the works for the near future.

To read Bounds’ full bio, click here.