Harvey S. Perlman

Harvey S. Perlman

Portrait of Harvey S. Perlman

Chancellorship Dates

April 1, 2001 - June 30, 2016


  • J.D., with highest distinction, University of Nebraska, 1966
  • B.A., History, University of Nebraska, 1963


January 17, 1942 - York, Nebraska

Harvey Perlman was named the 19th Chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on April 1, 2001 and served until June 30, 2016. He acted as Interim Chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from July 16, 2000 until he was appointed as permanent chancellor.

A former dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law (1983-98), Perlman also served as interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNL (1995-96).

A Nebraska native, Perlman was raised in York, and earned a bachelor of arts in history and a juris doctorate from the University of Nebraska. During his law school years, he was editor in chief of the Nebraska Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif, a law honors society.

He joined the NU law faculty in 1967 after spending a year as a Bigelow Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. He served on the Nebraska law faculty until 1974 when he joined the faculty at the University of Virginia Law School. He returned to Nebraska in 1983 when he accepted the deanship of the Nebraska Law College, a post he held until 1998 when he returned to the professoriate. He has also served as a visiting professor at Florida State University College of Law, the University of Puget Sound School of Law and the University of Iowa College of Law.

In 2011, Perlman was named an Honorary University Professor of Xi'an Jiaotong University, in Xi'an, China. This rare lifetime appointment entitles Perlman to privileges at the university, with which UNL has many institutional ties. Perlman also will occasionally lecture and teach at Xi'an Jiaotong University. The title is the highest honor the university awards to a foreign scholar, and recognizes Perlman as an accomplished scholar or professional of important international reputation. The award also recognizes Perlman for his significant efforts in globalizing UNL and Xi'an Jiaotong University through joint research and partnership degree programs.

After his retirement as chancellor, Perlman took the position of professor in the Nebraska College of Law. His area of legal expertise lies in torts and intellectual property. He is a member of the Nebraska State and American Bar Associations and is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Association. Perlman is co-author of "Intellectual Property and Unfair Competition" (5th edition, 1998) and co-reporter for the American Law Institute's "Restatement of Unfair Competition" (1994). He serves on the Council of the American Law Institute, a leading national law reform organization and as one of Nebraska's Commissioners of Uniform State Laws. He previously served as a member of the NCAA Board of Directors and is past chair of the Bowl Championship Series Presidential Oversight Committee. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Innovation Campus Development Corporation. He received the George Turner Award from the Nebraska State Bar Association for contributions to the legal profession and the Roger T. Larson Community Builder Award from the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.

See a list of speeches from former chancellor Harvey Perlman

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