Heineman interested in NU presidency


By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog

LINCOLN, Neb. – Gov. Dave Heineman is considering applying for the job as president of the University of Nebraska.

Gov. Dave Heineman

Heineman has been rumored to be interested, but up until Wednesday, he’s always deflected questions from reporters. But during a weekly KFOR call-in radio show, he said he’s seriously considering throwing his name in the hat in response to a caller’s question.

NU President J.B. Milliken is leaving to take a job as chancellor of the City University of New York. Heineman’s term expires at year’s end.

In January, Heineman said he’d heard the rumors, but “never thought about it.”

At the time, he told KFOR, “I am focused on being the governor of this state. I’ve got a session to finish. I want to get tax relief for Nebraskans.”

What are his chances? Well, the chairman of the Board of Regents, Howard Hawks, said earlier this year he hopes to hire a current university chancellor or president for the job. Heineman doesn’t have any experience in running a university, nor does he have a graduate degree.

An Omaha senator introduced a bill last session that would have barred the governor from applying for the job. However, after people suggested he was trying to do just that, Sen. Burke Harr withdrew the bill. Then a host of Democrats signed on to the bill to keep it alive. However, it was jettisoned by a legislative committee.

Contact Deena Winter at deena@nebraskawatchdog.org. Follow Deena on Twitter at @DeenaNEWatchdog

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