Howard L. Hawks, Chairman of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, on May 28 issued the following statement:
“The Board of Regents has an established process in place for recruiting and selecting the next president of the University of Nebraska which involves equal treatment and consideration of all individuals who wish to be considered for the position. My colleagues and I, as well as the other members of the presidential search committees, will respect and maintain the confidentiality of the search process until four finalists are publicly identified in accordance with Nebraska law.
“Our immediate focus is on attracting a deep, rich and diverse pool of applicants from throughout the country. It would be most unfortunate for the citizens of the state if any particular person’s interest in the position resulted in undermining the legitimacy of the search and kept any highly qualified individuals from applying for the presidency.
“Let me be very clear. This is a fair and competitive process and the Board of Regents seeks and welcomes the candidacy of any person, including the governor, who believes he or she has the qualifications and experiences necessary to effectively lead the University of Nebraska. Our objective is to seek, vet, and hire the most qualified candidate.
“Now that the governor has publicly announced his candidacy for the position, his current requests for one-on-one meetings with the members of the Board of Regents, chancellors and other administrators, and search committee members are inappropriate and will not be honored. To do so would present a problem of fairness and it is not practical to track and offer comparable opportunities to all candidates.”