November 19, 2014

First presidential finalist visits campus

George Ross

George Ross, the first of four finalists vying to become the next University of Nebraska president, will visit UNL on Nov. 19.

Ross, president of Central Michigan University, has toured University of Nebraska campuses this week. He will participate in forums open to all faculty, staff, students and public; an interview with the University of Nebraska Board of Regents; and meetings with university constituents and community leaders.

Ross’ UNL campus forum is 3:30 p.m. Nov. 19 in the Nebraska Union Auditorium. The forum will be recorded and made available for viewing on the University of Nebraska website following visits by all four presidential finalists.

The interview with the NU Board of Regents is 8:30 a.m. Nov. 20 in the Varner Hall Board Room, 3835 Holdrege St. The interview is open to the public.

Ross, who will be joined by his wife, Elizabeth, also visited the University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska at Kearney on Nov. 18.

Following the visits, the regents will seek feedback via an online form available at

The other three NU president finalists are: Hank Bounds, commissioner of higher education for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning; Michael Martin, chancellor of the Colorado State University System; and Sally Rockey, deputy director for extramural research at the National Institutes of Health.

Ross became the 14th president of Central Michigan University in 2010. His leadership of one of the nation’s 100 largest public universities follows 24 years of higher education leadership and management experience.

Ross previously served as president of Alcorn State University, the nation’s first public historically black land-grant university. He also has held senior positions at Clark Atlanta University, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Tuskegee University. He remains engaged in student teaching and learning, having held professor ranks at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Ross has presented seminars, workshops and lectures in the areas of higher education leadership, budget, finance and administration to a number of universities and national organizations, including the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. He also has served on a number of local, statewide and regional planning and economic development boards, countrywide strategic planning committees, neighborhood development organizations and chambers of commerce.

Ross earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Michigan State University, a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Alabama, and completed postdoctoral studies at Harvard University. He also is a certified public accountant.

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