Nebraska’s state college system has a new leader

Nebraska’s state college system has a new leader
Paul Turman will be the chancellor of Nebraska’s state colleges. The South Dakotan has a doctorate from UNL and a son named Lincoln.

A South Dakotan with ties to Nebraska received the nod Monday to serve as chancellor of Nebraska’s state college system.

The State College Board of Trustees named Paul D. Turman its next leader late Monday afternoon. The trustees oversee Wayne, Peru and Chadron State Colleges, and Turman will be the CEO of that system.

“I’m just excited for the opportunity,” Turman, 46, said in a brief interview.

Turman will work out a contract with the trustees in the near future. He is currently system vice president for academic affairs for the South Dakota Board of Regents. The South Dakota regents oversee six colleges.

He has a doctorate in interpersonal communication from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He and his wife, Shelly, had twins when they were living in Lincoln about 20 years ago. Now one of those twins, William, goes to UNL. The other twin, named Lincoln, attends the University of Mary in North Dakota. The Turmans also have an eighth-grade son, Gabe.

Turman will replace Stan Carpenter as the state colleges’ chancellor. Carpenter announced this year that he would retire after 18 years as chancellor. He said he would stay on until his successor takes over.

Each college in the system has a president, and the chancellor oversees them. The three state colleges combined enrolled more than 7,750 students this fall.

Turman, who grew up in Fort Pierre, South Dakota, has a master’s degree in communication and a bachelor’s degree in general studies from South Dakota State University .

He was one of four finalists named by the trustees. The others were Dr. John Kuehn, a veterinarian, Nebraska state senator and Hastings College professor; Thom Chesney, president of Brookhaven College in Texas; and Rusty Monhollon, assistant commissioner for academic affairs at the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

Turman said he has written about leadership communication and sports communication, among other things. He has spent 12 years in the South Dakota system office.

Trustees Chairman Gary Bieganski said his board was pleased to select Turman.

“We are confident that he will lead the state colleges to a bright future and keep our mission to provide a high quality, affordable education to our students as a priority,” Bieganski said.

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