LINCOLN–(News Release Nov. 9)–University of Nebraska Board of Regents Chairman Tim Clare announced today that he will recommend the appointment of Chris Kabourek, a 26-year veteran of the university who currently serves as senior vice president and chief financial officer, as interim president at the Board’s Dec. 1 meeting.
If confirmed by the full Board, Kabourek will assume the role in addition to his CFO duties on Jan. 1, 2024, following the departure of current President Ted Carter.
“The University of Nebraska is at a crucial juncture, with exciting initiatives underway across our campuses and an ambitious plan to reimagine ourselves in the face of significant fiscal challenges. All of us will need to step up to make sure we don’t lose momentum during the leadership transition,” Clare said. “We will benefit greatly from Chris’ experience, relationships and expertise. I know he will work hand-in-hand with our entire leadership team to keep us moving forward and I am excited to recommend him for this role.”
Kabourek, a native of David City, Nebraska, and first-generation college student who earned his MBA from the University of Nebraska, has served as CFO since 2018. In that role, he oversees all financial and administrative services supporting the NU System’s $3.3 billion operating budget. He works closely with the Board, president, chancellors, and campus chief business and academic officers, as well as the Governor, elected officials and other leaders within and outside the university on areas including budgeting, facilities and capital planning, accounting, procurement, and human resources.
As CFO, Kabourek led the development of the university’s new deferred maintenance strategy and has helped the university achieve consistently high marks from credit ratings agencies, successes that save taxpayer dollars while meeting student, faculty and staff needs. He played a key role in the creation of the Nebraska Promise financial aid program and has provided leadership on strategic planning efforts and numerous legislative operating and capital budget requests.
Board of Regents Vice Chairman Rob Schafer said: “Chris has proven himself to be a strategic thinker, a trusted advisor, and a creative and responsible steward of the University of Nebraska’s resources in an increasingly complex and challenging fiscal environment. I have great confidence in his leadership as we move ahead with our vision to become a more competitive and efficient university. Chris knows our university and state well and I am grateful that he is willing to step up and serve in this way.”
Carter said: “The University of Nebraska will be in good hands with Chris Kabourek at the helm. Chris has been a source of steady leadership, wise and candid counsel, and friendship throughout my time here, and I know he will bring these same skills to the role of interim president.”
Kabourek earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nebraska Wesleyan University before continuing his education at UNL. He joined the university in 1997 as a budget and research analyst and rose through progressive leadership roles before being named CFO. He is active in the community as a college basketball referee and youth sports coach. He and his wife, Jamie, have three sons, the oldest of whom is a freshman at UNO.
Kabourek said: “It’s humbling to be considered for this opportunity. As I’ve told Chairman Clare and Vice Chairman Schafer, I will do whatever I can to support the University of Nebraska. The Board and president have laid out a bold plan to make us a better and stronger university. Our highest priority now and in the months ahead is making progress together on that plan, for the benefit of our 50,000 students, talented faculty and staff, and all Nebraskans.”
Carter is leaving Nebraska to become president of Ohio State University. The Board is underway with a national search for a permanent successor.