Dr. Harold Maurer still has a few books in his office, but otherwise, it's mostly cleaned out.
“I had to pack up a lot of stuff. I threw out a lot of stuff already,” said Maurer, chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “I was getting ready to do more.”
Most of Maurer's things had been shipped over to the Aksarben Village offices of the University of Nebraska Foundation, where he was set to start work July 1. Maurer, UNMC's chancellor since 1998, will be a fundraiser for the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, which is being built on the med center campus.
But University of Nebraska President J.B. Milliken asked him to stay in the chancellor's chair a little longer while the university searches for his successor. Maurer, who is 76, quickly agreed.
“My loyalty and all the work I've put in is at UNMC, and it's my highest priority,” Maurer said Thursday. “If the president asked me, that's where I've got to be.”
In November, Milliken named a 14-member search committee to find Maurer's replacement. He said he hoped to have a permanent chancellor in place by July 1.
But scheduling campus visits for the four finalists the committee selected has proven more difficult than anticipated. An aide to Milliken has noted that the finalists still are practicing clinicians and are scheduled to see patients.
One finalist, Dr. Fred Meyers from the University of California, Davis, visited UNMC this week. Dr. Daniel Wilson, from the University of Florida campus in Jacksonville and formerly of Creighton University, will visit June 19-21. Visits for the two other finalists, Dr. Robert Califf of Duke University Medical Center and Dr. Stephen Klasko of the University of South Florida, still are being arranged.
“I am very grateful to Chancellor Maurer for graciously agreeing to continue to lead UNMC as our search continues,” Milliken said in a written statement Thursday. “This will eliminate the need to appoint an interim chancellor during a critical stage for a number of exciting UNMC initiatives, including development of the cancer center.”
Milliken said that if it takes longer than a few more months to get a new chancellor in place, he and Maurer would re-evaluate because Maurer already has begun to make plans for his future.
Maurer said his wife, Beverly, a full-time volunteer for UNMC, was fine with his extended stay. “She said, 'Hal, do whatever you think is best.' She's as loyal a supporter as I am.”
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