The University of Nebraska is launching a national search for the next chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, aiming to build on the growth and momentum of the state's metropolitan university, System President Ted Carter announced Thursday.
Current UNO Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., will step aside from UNO and will add the system-wide role of executive vice president and provost to his title on July 1, 2021, pending Board of Regents approval. Dr. Gold will remain chancellor of UNMC, a role he has held since 2014.
Dr. Gold's new role -- timed to the coming retirement of current NU executive vice president and provost Susan Fritz, PhD -- opens an opportunity for the university to fulfill its plan to have separate chancellors for UNO and UNMC a year earlier than initially planned, Carter said. The move also ensures strategic depth within the president's senior leadership team at a time when the university is navigating a period of unique challenge and opportunity.
Carter praised Dr. Gold's tenure as UNO chancellor, which began in 2017.
"Leading both of our Omaha campuses has been an incredible undertaking. Jeff Gold has been the right person, at the right time, for the job," Carter said. "Thanks to Chancellor Gold's leadership, along with the work of UNO's talented faculty, staff and students, UNO is on a remarkable upward trajectory. We're expanding access to an increasingly diverse student body, the research enterprise is growing in scale and stature, and the campus is a national model for engagement and service to its community.
"The timing couldn't be better to find the next 'rock star' to lead UNO into a new chapter of growth and success. This is good news for the UNO family and our entire university system, as we will continue to benefit from Jeff Gold's strategic thinking, his connections and his deep expertise across all facets of higher education."
The NU system will partner with the national firm AGB Search for the UNO chancellor search. Carter will immediately assemble a committee to guide the search, which will include students, faculty, staff, community members and other key UNO constituencies. Further details, including opportunities to provide public input on the search, will be announced at a later date.
Carter said he intends to have a chancellor named in time to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.
Dr. Gold said: "It's a true privilege to be a part of the Maverick family, and it has been a high point of my career to serve alongside the students, faculty and staff of UNO over the past four years. This university is poised for more great things. The next chancellor of UNO will have the opportunity of a lifetime to lead one of the country's exceptional metropolitan campuses.
"I thank President Carter for this new opportunity and look forward to continuing to work closely with colleagues and friends across the NU system, in the state and beyond. I am both humbled and excited to help guide all of our university forward."
UNO's recent successes span enrollment and student outcomes, academic program development, research, private philanthropy and more. Notably:
- UNO has its highest enrollment in almost 30 years, with a record-high year-over-year retention rate and broad gains in diversity and inclusion. True to its access mission, enrollment of first-generation students in UNO's freshman class is up 30 percent over last year.
- Research funding reached a record-high $27 million this year, a 55 percent increase from last year. Grants are supporting key research projects in biomechanics, teacher education and other areas important to Nebraska's economic growth and quality of life.
- Following a highly competitive selection process, UNO was chosen as the national headquarters for a Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism center. The National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology and Education Center (NCITE), funded with a $36.5 million federal grant, cements UNO's status as a leader in national security and defense work.
- UNO online programs continue to be ranked among the nation's best. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Master of Science in criminology and criminal justice program in the top five nationally, among other highlights.
- UNO also consistently ranks as a top destination for military learners, most recently ranking No. 3 among four-year institutions by Military Times. Rankings are based on academic quality, student support, cost and financial aid, and other factors.
- Private philanthropy is helping to expand student access as well as UNO's physical footprint. A new privately funded addition to Mammel Hall, for example, will expand learning space and engagement opportunities for future generations of business leaders.
Dr. Gold's appointment as executive vice president and provost will be considered by the board at its December meeting. The executive vice president and provost is the ranking academic officer for the NU system, reporting to the president and serving as the chief liaison to the Board's Academic Affairs Committee.
In the role, Dr. Gold will become a key member of Carter's executive cabinet and will work in collaboration with university leadership across the four campuses on system-wide matters.