Hank Bounds, one of four finalists vying to become the next University of Nebraska president, will visit UNL on Dec. 8.
Bounds, commissioner of higher education for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, will participate in forums open to all university faculty, staff, students and public; an interview with the University of Nebraska Board of Regents; and meetings with other university constituents and community leaders.
Bounds’ UNL campus forum is at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 8 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 at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 9 in the Varner Hall Board Room, 3835 Holdrege St. The interview is open to the public.
Bounds, who will be joined by his wife, Susie, also will visit the University of Nebraska at Kearney on Dec. 9, as well as the University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska Medical Center on Dec. 10.
Following the visits, the regents will seek feedback via an online form available at http://nebraska.edu/presidentsearch.
The other three NU president finalists are George Ross, president of Central Michigan University; Michael Martin, chancellor of the Colorado State University System; and Sally Rockey, deputy director for extramural research at the National Institutes of Health. Ross visited UNL in November, Martin is set to visit Dec. 11 and Rockey will be on campus Dec. 18.
As commissioner of higher education, Bounds provides leadership for Mississippi’s university system, which includes four research and four regional universities, one academic health science center and the executive office. The universities include two land-grant universities, three historically black institutions, a law center, a School of Veterinary Medicine and 200 institutes and centers. Bounds manages the human, financial and physical resources of the university system, including 80,000 students, 26,000 faculty and staff, a $4 billion budget, and $200 million in private giving.
In Mississippi, Bounds has led efforts to reduce costs through energy and space efficiencies, technology acquisition and textbook pricing. He also worked with the Board of Trustees to implement a performance-based allocation model that rewards universities for operating efficiently and achieving attainment outcomes. On the legislative side, the Mississippi Legislature has provided an increase in appropriations and a three-year bond bill to help the universities plan for capital improvements.
Bounds facilitated the launch of the Mississippi Higher Education Opportunity Endowment, which works to secure funds to enhance program offerings, support faculty, improve campus facilities and provide scholarships at Mississippi’s historically black universities.
Bounds grew up in rural Mississippi before attending the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He earned a doctorate from the University of Mississippi.