I trust that this finds you all well and your summer term off to a great start.
As our colleagues in the business and finance divisions of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln learned earlier today, Christine Jackson has informed me of her plans to retire from the position of vice chancellor for business and finance effective Dec. 31, 2017. There are certain people and positions where one harbors the desire for them to never retire. “Chris,” as I have come to know her over the past seven years, is at the top of that list for me, and for the university. When I assumed the role of chancellor in May 2016, the first conversation I had among the senior leadership team was with Chris – in which I expressed the hope that she could extend her service a few more years. While I wish it could have been longer, we have been blessed that she was willing to do so through this year.
Chris joined us in 2000, with a background in chief financial positions at Cleveland State University and Oklahoma State University. In addition, she held financial positions at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Southern California and Hope College.
On behalf of our university family, I cannot begin to thank Chris enough for the impact she has had in her nearly 18 years at Nebraska. I have the utmost respect for her as a caring professional and for the excellence of the work she has led. On behalf of my predecessors, I thank her for her counsel and judgment through what can only be termed a transformational time for the university. She will be deeply missed and, later in the fall term, we will celebrate her life of phenomenal service to academia.
This is a particularly important time in the history and life of our university as we move into a period of rapid growth, innovation and transformation. Identification of our next senior leader of business operations for the university is, therefore, an urgent and key priority. In anticipation of this announcement, we have put plans in to place to immediately launch a national search for a new vice chancellor. Our intent will be to identify finalists to come to campus for interviews early in the fall semester, to allow the new leader to overlap with Chris late in 2017.
Please join me in congratulating and thanking Chris for her leadership. I look forward to her continued commitment and impact in these pivotal next six months.