The University of Nebraska Board of Regents made history today by naming Susan M. Fritz, Ph.D., a 30-year veteran of NU who has served as executive vice president and provost since 2012, as interim president-elect. Fritz will become the first woman to lead the university since the system office was created 51 years ago.
Fritz, a Nebraska native, first-generation college student, three-time NU alum and faculty member with decades of progressive leadership experience, will assume the title of interim president on Aug. 15, following the departure of current President Hank Bounds. She will remain in the role until the Board completes its national search for the next president and her successor is in place.
“In considering our interim leadership, the Board of Regents had a clear priority: Select the best possible person to carry forward the University of Nebraska’s momentum in providing affordable, accessible, outstanding education for our 52,000 students and the people of Nebraska,” Board of Regents Chairman Tim Clare said. “Dr. Susan Fritz is that leader. Susan knows this university inside and out, and she has a deep appreciation for and connection to our teaching, research and outreach missions, particularly in agriculture. Most importantly, she makes every decision with our students’ interests in mind.”
Fritz said: “It is the privilege of a lifetime to be entrusted with this role by the Board of Regents. I know from personal experience that the University of Nebraska is a powerful force for change and growth for young people and communities alike. To have the opportunity to serve the university in this way, at a time of such great opportunity, is beyond what I would have thought possible.”
Bounds is stepping down after four years at the helm that have seen record growth in enrollment, research and student success, along with increased collaboration and efficiency among campuses.
“Susan Fritz has been a trusted partner, advisor and friend over the past four years. The University of Nebraska could not be in better hands,” Bounds said. “I commend the Board of Regents on this historic appointment, and I congratulate Susan on this well-deserved new role. I look forward to seeing what the university will accomplish in the future.”
By mutual agreement with the Board, Fritz will not be a candidate for the permanent presidency.