University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds announced April 6 that following a national search, he has named Ronnie D. Green the next chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Green’s appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Regents by its May 25 meeting.
If confirmed on that date, Green, currently the NU system’s vice president for agriculture and natural resources, Harlan Vice Chancellor of the university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at Nebraska, would begin his new role immediately to allow for a smooth leadership transition. He would succeed current Chancellor Harvey Perlman, who is stepping down after more than 15 years of leadership of the NU system’s largest campus.
“Under Chancellor Perlman’s leadership, and thanks to the efforts of talented faculty, staff and students, UNL is experiencing impressive momentum. My goal was to find the right person to build on that momentum,” Bounds said. “Ronnie Green is that leader. He has a deep understanding of and commitment to the mission of a land-grant university. He recognizes UNL’s potential to reach an even higher level of excellence. And the feedback I’ve received from a range of university constituents — students, faculty, staff, leaders in agriculture and business and others – confirms Nebraskans’ confidence in Ronnie’s ability to lead UNL forward.”
Green — a first-generation college graduate originally from Fincastle, Va., who earned his doctorate from Nebraska — said he is humbled to have the opportunity to lead the institution he has served since 2010.
“Every day the University of Nebraska-Lincoln impacts the lives of students, Nebraskans and people around the world. I’m honored to be a part of that,” Green said. “We are in many ways a fundamentally great university. There’s no doubt in my mind we can be even greater. We have the opportunity to lead the way in addressing key global challenges, to attract many more talented students and serve them more effectively, and to meet the needs of Nebraska’s workforce and economy. I’m excited to work with faculty, staff, students and all Nebraskans to build us into a globally leading, distinctive Big Ten university.”
Bounds praised the work of the 25-member advisory committee that assisted him with the search. Chaired by Susan Sheridan, George Holmes University Professor of Educational Psychology at Nebraska, the group worked with search firm Isaacson, Miller, to identify, recruit and screen potential candidates.
Bounds also thanked the Nebraskans who engaged in the search process by providing input on the development of the job description, attending public forums with the four finalists, or sharing their feedback on the candidates.
“In talking with candidates, it was clear they recognized what an exciting opportunity the UNL chancellorship represents,” Sheridan said. “The search committee was impressed by Dr. Green’s record of success, his connection to Nebraskans and his vision for the university’s future. I have great confidence in his leadership qualities and commitment to UNL’s continued success.”
Reporting to the NU system president, the chancellor is the chief executive officer for the campus, which serves more than 25,000 students in nine academic colleges, employs more than 6,400 faculty and staff, has an operating budget of more than $1.2 billion and research expenditures of more than $275 million, and includes a nationally prominent Division I athletics program.
In his current role, Green leads all NU system programs in agriculture and natural resources, including oversight of Nebraska’s College of Agriculture and Sciences and Natural Resources, the two-year Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis, the statewide Agricultural Research Division, Nebraska Extension, and two university-wide institutes, the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute and the Rural Futures Institute.
In nearly six years at Nebraska, Green has led IANR through a period of significant growth and momentum as the Institute works toward its goal of positioning the university as a leader in sustainably feeding a growing global population. Enrollment in CASNR and NCTA have grown to a record high of nearly 3,500; faculty numbers have increased by nearly 30 percent and annual research funding in IANR has grown to more than $125 million. IANR has received nearly $150 million in private giving during Green’s tenure.
IANR is driving the development of Nebraska Innovation Campus, home to the Department of Food Science and Technology, a state-of-the-art greenhouse center and a number of private-sector partners including those specializing in food. And, a number of the university’s key international partnerships, including those in Brazil, India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey, Rwanda and other countries, are based on mutual expertise in water, food science, food innovation, biotechnology and other areas that draw on the expertise of IANR faculty.
In his role as interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, which he has held since July 2015, Green serves as UNL’s chief academic officer. He oversees academic programs in each university college as well as University Libraries, Graduate Studies, the Nebraska Public Policy Center, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, the Jeffrey S. Raikes School for Computer Science and Management, international programs and Programs of Excellence.
If confirmed as chancellor, Green will immediately begin national searches for both the IANR and academic affairs leadership positions.
Green was raised on a mixed livestock and cropping farm. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from Virginia Tech and Colorado State University, respectively. He has served in university faculty positions, in executive positions in government and the private sector, is widely published in the field of animal genetics and has held leadership roles in a number of prominent national and international organizations. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Animal Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Subject to board approval, Green’s base salary as chancellor will be $430,000, plus standard university employee benefits. He will have a deferred compensation agreement in which 11.5 percent of his annual base salary will be set aside each year and which would vest after five years on the job and every two years after that. Green will also receive an annual housing allowance of $24,000, plus a vehicle or vehicle allowance of $9,600 annually.