William “Bill” J. Nunez, vice chancellor for business and finance, has been named the new vice chancellor for finance and administration at Texas Christian University.
Nunez has been a member of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s senior administrative team since 2003. He has led business and finance operations since Dec. 15, 2017. His 18-year tenure at Nebraska includes serving as associate to the chancellor and chief of staff for Chancellor Ronnie Green as well as former Chancellor Harvey Perlman; and director of institutional research and planning.
“In every role at our university, Bill has proven himself a successful leader who earns the trust and respect of colleagues across our institution and beyond,” Green said. “At no time has that shown more than in the last 19 months as Bill and his entire team have worked tirelessly — mostly behind scenes — to help our university successfully navigate the global pandemic logistically and financially.
“While I’m saddened to see him leave Nebraska, I’m excited to see him take on this new opportunity. I wish Bill nothing but continued success at Texas Christian.”
Nunez will assume the new role on Jan. 1.
“My 18 years at Nebraska — especially the last four as vice chancellor for business and finance — have been a privilege and joy,” Nunez said. “I have had the honor of working for Ronnie Green and Harvey Perlman, two of the best chancellors in the nation. They have been incredible role models and mentors who will always influence how I lead and act.”
As part of his recent work helping the university navigate the financial impacts of COVID-19, Nunez gave his team the freedom to develop innovative solutions to maintain university operations.
Those pandemic-related solutions include working with campus partners to: design and build free-standing hand sanitizer dispensers; develop a system to keep the hand sanitizer stations filled throughout the day; design and construct booths that have supported COVID-19 testing; launch a secured package collection and distribution site when university operations temporarily went remote in the early days of the pandemic; prepare classrooms for physical distancing when the university returned to in-person instruction; upgrade HVAC systems to allow for enhanced flows of fresh air into campus buildings; and shift custodial services to offer focused cleaning.
And, through the pandemic, Nunez has helped the university maintain momentum in its transition to an incentive-based budget model.
“The Business and Finance team is an amazing and talented group of dedicated professionals who care deeply about this university,” Nunez said. “Every success we’ve had in this office is less about my leadership and more about their drive to support our students, faculty and staff.”
Before coming to Nebraska, Nunez served in the Office of Planning and Budget at the University of Louisville in Kentucky for 12 years. He is a professor of practice in Nebraska’s College of Education and Human Sciences and has also taught at Louisville and Indiana University-Southeast. Nunez holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business and master’s and doctoral degrees in education.
As part of the transition, Green has appointed Mary LaGrange to serve as the interim vice chancellor of business and finance.
LaGrange has worked as a leader in higher education for more than 30 years. Since 2018, she has served as the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s associate to the vice chancellor in business and finance. She was also the university’s controller (2010-2018) and director of accounting (2001-2010). And, prior to joining the university, LaGrange served for seven years with Nebraska Educational Telecommunications.
LaGrange is a certified public accountant with a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
A national search will be conducted to permanently fill the vice chancellor of business and finance position. Search details will be announced.