Heineman applies for NU presidency

LINCOLN — Gov. Dave Heineman has applied for the University of Nebraska presidency, little more than a week after he publicly expressed interest in the job.

The term-limited governor announced today that he has asked the university’s Board of Regents to consider him for the position. The presidency came open with the departure of J.B. Milliken, who became chancellor of the City University of New York.

“Yesterday, I notified the University of Nebraska Board of Regents of my intention to pursue the position of president,” Heineman said. “One of Nebraska’s greatest assets is the University of Nebraska. The next president will have an opportunity to build upon President Milliken’s successes and to lead the University of Nebraska to an even more successful future.

In a letter to the Regents, Heineman stated that “Nebraskans know the value and the importance of access to a high quality, affordable higher education.”

Heineman said the university should continue to offer affordable tuition rates for students. He said that he worked closely with Milliken and the Legislature to increase state funding for the university when most states were cutting funding to their higher education institutions.

“I worked with President Milliken and the Legislature to fund a two-year tuition freeze for Nebraska students,” he said. “Reaching student enrollment goals is critical to the university’s financial stability.”

Heineman said he would like to expand the university’s research activity, capabilities and opportunities.

“The potential for funding educational research is enormous,” he said. “I am prepared to work with our federal partners and our donor community to increase research funding. We secured $25 million for Innovation Campus in Lincoln, $50 million for the Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha, $15 million for an allied health professions college at UNK and $6 million for a veterinary diagnostic lab at UNL.”

Heineman also praised the faculty at each of the University of Nebraska campuses.

“It is essential to the success of the University of Nebraska to recruit and maintain outstanding faculty, and to encourage increased faculty development opportunities,” he said. “Faculty are one of the most important assets of the university and the key to academic excellence. I look forward to partnering with them to enhance the university’s academic reputation.”

The university is conducting a national search for applicants, and will announce four finalists before making their selection.

Heineman, a Republican, is leaving office in January.

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