Governor Heineman Seeks NU Presidency

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Updated: Thu, 29 May 2014 09:48:11 CST

It may be summer session on the campus of UNL. But the campus was buzzing today. Students were reacting to the news of Heineman's announcement.

On Tuesday governor Heineman submitted this letter to the board of regents. He says the reason he is applying for the position of president of the University of Nebraska is because he believes education is the key to the success of our youth.

"It is the key for every person in this state and in this country if we can give them a great education K12 through higher education then the sky's the limit," said Governor Heineman.

Back in January, JB Milliken stepped down as Nebraska University President after 10 years. After Millikens departure the search for his replacement was underway. But, Governor Heineman initially wasn't interested in the position. Over the last few weeks his tone has changed.

"The next president of the University of Nebraska will have an outstanding opportunity to build upon president Millikens successes and to lead the university of Nebraska to a successful future."

Governor Heineman says his work in the legislature on education is one of the reasons he is ready for the next challenge in his career.

"My wife has been a former elementary school principal teacher all her life and almost every single day we talk about the value and the importance I've done that as governor. I've seen firsthand what a difference an educator can have on young mean and young women."

Walk around the University of Nebraska campus and you'll get mixed reactions on the governor's announcement. Some say he's the right man for the job.

"I think that's exciting and I think that he'd make a good president of the university," said Mandy Moorehouse, a junior at UNL.

"I think it's a really good idea because it shows that he's more focused not just on the whole state but on the cities and the future of the students going to this university as well as the students coming into this university as well," said Ethan Schwarten.

While others fear his political back ground could give him an unfair advantage and scare qualified candidates away.

"I also feel like if they only settle with him they might be limiting their potential applicants and if they do that that's selling the university short," said Ryan Bell.

But Governor Heineman doesn't think his political history will have any impact on the board's decision.

"Because I'm the governor of the state of Nebraska believe I will be held to a higher level of scrutiny and to higher expectations I welcome that and I hope to meet and exceed their expectations."

Governor Heineman says right now he is just hoping to become one of the four finalists.

The board has not yet set a deadline for when they will select the final four candidates.Chairman of the Board of Regents Howard Hawks released a statement. Hawks says now that the governor has publicly announced his candidacy, his current requests for one-on-one meetings with members of the Board of Regents, chancellors and others administrators are inappropriate and will not be honored.