December 20, 2022
In the fall of 1985, the one and only University of Nebraska opened its Land-grant door of opportunity to me as an aspiring doctoral candidate. I came to NEBRASKA full of hope, eager and brimming with ambition to learn from and be mentored by the world’s leading quantitative animal geneticists on UNL’s East Campus and at the Roman L. Hruska USDA Meat Animal Research Center. Almost immediately on arrival in Lincoln, I was awestruck by, fell in love with and a year later was fortunate to marry Harvard, Nebraska’s and UNL’s Jane Pauley.
Little did we know that it was the genesis of a nearly 40-year deep and abiding love with and for this great institution for us as a couple and ultimately as a family.
Our UNL foundations led us on a professional and personal journey over these past 37 years that has been nothing short of “beyond our wildest dreams”. From Nebraska to Texas to Colorado to Kansas to Washington, DC to New York, Michigan, and around the world, we have been blessed to have had the opportunity to use that education to hopefully do good for many.
Twenty-two years ago, I entered the arena of “public-facing” leadership and service roles when I left the professoriate of my chosen field of animal breeding and genetics. In 2010, I answered the call to come back to NEBRASKA as the vice chancellor of UNL’s IANR – and back to Lincoln we came. And then ultimately seven years ago, I enthusiastically answered the call of service to assume the role as your 20th chancellor – which as I said at the time, was almost too surreal to believe for a first-generation college-educated “farm boy” from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Earlier this year, our family spent considerable time reflecting on our UNL journey, ultimately coming to the realization that while these past 13 years have been exciting and exhilarating – they also have collectively been taxing on our physical and mental batteries. And, out of that reflection, we reached the family decision that 2023 would be the year for Husker Jane and I to step away from public-facing life to focus our next chapter privately on our growing family and our faith.
So, we are sharing today for the first time publicly the news of our plan that I will retire from the role of chancellor at the end of June 2023, or when my successor is in place for a seamless transition.
We are so immensely proud of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and its entire family of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Together we have done great things – and we remain equally excited about the months ahead as we continue to do BIG things together, and as we together prepare the way for your 21st chancellor. Coincidentally, May 2023 will be my 21st commencement as chancellor – and one I will look forward to with a very special and literal meaning of celebrating with our graduates and their families, and personally for us, “commencing” to our next chapter!
It has been a distinct calling, privilege, honor and our greatest pleasure to serve our University.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you and your families – and cheers to a monumental 2023 ahead.
And always, Go Big Red.
Ronnie and Jane Green