Grace Gorenflo: Hello and welcome to The Daily Nebraskan’s weekly news podcast. Here we take you through our top three stories of the week in case you missed them. My name is Grace Gorenflo, assistant news editor, and this is Your Week on Campus.
First we have reporter David Bartle here to provide an update on the University of Nebraska’s search for its next president. So, David, where are we at with our search?
David Bartle: Well, on Sept. 30, and then before that on Sept. 25 — so the last two weeks — the Presidential Search Advisory Committee of the University of Nebraska, which is a committee appointed by the NU Board of Regents to help find a new president, met. They mostly were assessing the current candidate pool for the new University of Nebraska president. They were also reviewing the feedback from the listening sessions that happened Sept. 3 through Sept. 9.
Gorenflo: Awesome. So, can you tell us a little bit about what they’re looking for in a candidate and how they feel about the candidates they have so far?
Bartle: Yeah, great question. So, according to the University of Nebraska spokesperson Melissa Lee, she said that the committee is pretty happy about their current candidate pool. And Jim Pillen, who is a Board of Regent member and the chair of this committee, also said the same thing; he’s really happy with the candidate pool. They said they took the feedback from the listening sessions, and they more so used it to to enrich the current leadership profile that they have for a new president to take over. They didn’t add any more pillars to their leadership profile, mostly. An example I can think of off the top of my head was, they want to find a candidate who doesn’t just value diversity and inclusion but has demonstrable evidence in their past that they do value diversity and inclusion because they did X, Y and Z.
Gorenflo: Okay, so, lastly, David, is there any sort of timeline that we can look at for when they might be choosing an applicant as our next president?
Bartle: Well according to Jim Pillen, the chair of the committee, there is no official timeline. Earlier in the search, they created a timeline to more so help the committee members focus on their tasks. In that initial timeline, they were hoping to have a final candidate by Nov. 1. That being said, Jim Pillen said it’s too close to call;, however, they do have a candidate pool. I’m not sure how many people are on the candidate pool; according to the Omaha World-Herald, there is anywhere from three to four to several people within that pool.
Gorenflo: Great. I guess we’ll just have to keep an eye out. Thanks, David.
Bartle: Thanks, Grace.
Gorenflo: Next we have reporter Faith Idachaba with us to tell us about the first of four presentations by a candidate for the spot of UNL’s executive vice chancellor. Faith, what can you tell us about Laurie Nichols?
Faith Idachaba: So, Laurie Nichols currently serves as the interim president at Black Hills State University in South Dakota.
Gorenflo: Great. So, if Nichols was chosen as our next executive vice chancellor, what would she want to do in her time at UNL?
Idachaba: So, she simply wants to strengthen faculty and student success and also bolster the university’s reputation and its quality. And she aims to do this in multiple ways, such as making sure the university is attracting the right talent, making sure the staff and faculty at UNL is diverse, making sure that college is affordable for students here at UNL and basically just improving research aspects of the university as a whole.
Gorenflo: Awesome. Thank you, Faith.
Idachaba: Yeah, thank you.
Gorenflo: Alright, thank you everyone for tuning in to this week’s podcast. Be sure to check out dailynebraskan.com for more on these stories and even more UNL news. Tune in next time and enjoy Your Week on Campus.