LINCOLN, NE — University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds is stepping down after leading NU for four years.
Bounds announced his decision in a letter to students, faculty and staff on Monday. He said his family plans to return to the south late this summer but no specific timeline was given for his departure. Bounds is from Mississippi and was previously commissioner of higher education at the Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning.
Bounds said the president job was rewarding but personally demanding and he wants to recharge and reconnect with his family. He is married and has two kids.
The Board of Regents appointed Bounds as the seventh president of the University of Nebraska on January 12, 2015. He replaced James Milliken who served in the same role from 2004 to 2014.
COPY OF BOUNDS’ LETTER TO FACULTY, STUDENTS AND STAFF
March 25, 2019
To the Students, Faculty and Staff of the University of Nebraska:
I am writing to let you know that together with my family, I have made the difficult decision to step down as president of this great university.
The four years that I have spent serving alongside you have been among the most exciting and enriching of my career. Growing up, I never dreamed I would even go to college, much less have the opportunity to work with some of the most talented students, faculty and staff in the world. To have been entrusted with this role by the Board of Regents is the privilege of a lifetime.
While rewarding, this job has also been personally demanding. I have done everything I could to serve our students and the people of Nebraska effectively. Now, after more than 20 years in executive roles, it’s time for me to recharge and reconnect with my family.
We plan to return to the South, where much of our family lives, late this summer. I won’t be walking away from education, as one of the major goals in my career has always been to bring quality educational opportunities to all. Education transformed my own life, and I will continue to work to help young people experience that same transformative power.
I will leave knowing the University of Nebraska is in good hands. The President’s Office leadership team, and Chancellors Gold, Green and Kristensen and their teams, are a talented group. The Board of Regents has high expectations for our continued growth and momentum. Our faculty members are changing lives every day through their work in our classrooms, labs and fields.
And our students – the reason we come to work every day – convince me that Nebraska’s future is bright. I only wish I could have personally learned and told each of their 52,000 stories.
When I began this job, I said the University of Nebraska had the power to change the world. I believe that is more true today than ever. I can’t wait to see what you continue to achieve.
Thanks to each of you, and to all the people of Nebraska, for so warmly welcoming Susie, Will, Caroline and me as one of your own. We are forever grateful.
Hank M. Bounds, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska