The first order of business for new University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds was to tour the state.
Bounds hit the ground running or, at least, traveling what he refers to as the 500-mile campus.
He comes away from the state tour convinced Nebraska doesn’t tell its story as well as it should.
“And so, many Nebraskans don’t know about the good things that are happening at the University of Nebraska,” Bounds tells Nebraska Radio Network. “We need to tell that story to Nebraskans, but we also should tell that story to the rest of the country.”
Bounds, 47, is learning more about his new home state and letting Nebraska get to know him.
Bounds is married with two school-age children. He comes to Nebraska after serving as the Commission of Higher Education over the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. Bounds is a native of Mississippi, a first-generation college graduate who once thought he would never attend college, let alone become a college administrator.
Bounds succeeds J.B. Milliken, who left to become the Chancellor of the City University of New York.
Bounds spent time on the campuses of state colleges, community college campuses, and in high schools among a myriad of other stops throughout the state. Even if a campus isn’t part of the University of Nebraska system, school administrators need to know we’re all in this together, according to Bounds.
Bounds says he has one message to get across to high school students: you are going to need more than a high school diploma.
“If you want to go to college in this state, you can do so,” Bounds says. “We would love for it to be at the University of Nebraska, but it’s important that if not us, you absolutely have to go somewhere.”
Bounds says hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created in the next decade, but no one knows what they will be. He says college educators must prepare students for those jobs, whether through technical training or a liberal arts education.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:55]