The top candidate for the University of Nebraska’s presidency is expected to be named Friday by the NU Board of Regents.

The regents Tuesday added that detail to their agenda for Friday’s meeting, which starts with academic presentations at 9 a.m. and swings into the official business at 10:30 a.m. The agenda item doesn’t indicate that naming the candidate is a certainty, but rather that there is the potential for that.

The NU president oversees institutions in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney and Curtis. The chancellors report to the president, who reports to the Board of Regents.

Hank Bounds stepped down as president in August and now is on the faculty at the University of South Alabama. The regents nevertheless gave Bounds a consulting role as the University of Nebraska athletic department raises money for a $155 million football and sports operations complex.

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The Nebraska Legislature changed state law three years ago so that the regents were required to name only one “priority candidate” when searching for a new president. Before that, the regents named multiple people.

NU and some members of the Legislature argued that publicly disclosing four finalists for president would chase off good candidates because they wouldn’t want their current employers to know they were looking elsewhere.

A 23-member search committee of state business leaders, NU administrators and faculty members forwarded several possible candidates’ names to the regents a couple of weeks ago. NU Regent Jim Pillen of Columbus headed the search committee.

It appears the regents might have their person. After the candidate is named, the public has 30 days to examine the priority candidate’s background and to meet the candidate in various public settings.

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rick.ruggles@owh.com, 402-444-1123

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