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The Presidential Search Advisory Committee of the University of Nebraska met at 2 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, at the University of Nebraska Omaha to assess the candidate pool and discuss the leadership profile.

Since former NU President Hank Bounds’s resignation, the search committee has been looking for a candidate to replace him. Search committee chair Jim Pillen hosted listening sessions to hear from NU community members about the qualities they want the next president to exhibit. Now that the listening sessions are over, the committee is narrowing down its list of candidates. 

According to NU spokesperson Melissa Lee, the committee continued its discussions on the search during the closed session of Monday’s meeting. She said several committee members noted during a previous meeting on Sept. 25 that they feel good about the candidate pool and will eventually identify a priority candidate. The priority candidate will be subject to a 30-day public vetting period before the Board of Regents makes a final decision.

Pillen said feedback from the sessions has impacted the committee’s leadership profile by strengthening specific attributes. For example, Pillen said the committee further developed its diversity and inclusion pillar to find a candidate who values diversity and inclusion with demonstrable evidence.

Pillen said the committee has considered adding a new pillar regarding community engagement, along with its previous nine pillars of leadership.

The Sept. 25 meeting at the University of Nebraska Foundation office in Omaha was a publicly convened session, though the committee went into a closed session due to the confidential nature of the search and selection process, according to the meeting’s minutes.

During the meeting, Pillen shared a summary of the feedback received during the listening sessions, according to the meeting’s minutes. The committee discussed the types of candidates it’s most interested in and its leadership profile.

The committee’s current goal is to announce a final candidate around Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, and have a new president by the spring 2020 semester. 

Pillen said it would be premature to say when a final candidate will be selected, but the committee has been working hard at finding and assessing applicants.

“We set a timeline to make sure that we’ve stayed focused on work and that we have kept everyone focused on our tasks,” Pillen said. “I could not ask more of our committee to do that.”

Though Pillen said the committee feels good about its candidate pool, it is still open to new applicants. 

“We will be open to new candidates and new applicants until the day we get a new president to sign a contract,” Pillen said. 

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