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Executive Director of the Nebraska Innovation Campus and Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Industry Partnerships Lincoln, NE

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) seeks an experienced and collaborative leader to serve as the new Executive Director of the Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC) and Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Industry Partnerships (ED/AVC). Reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, the Executive Director/Associate Vice Chancellor will be the first in this newly elevated and expanded role, overseeing the development and operations of NIC, while leading and expanding industry relations efforts at the University. 

The ED/AVC will join the University at a pivotal moment as UNL embarks on expanding their industry partnership efforts in Nebraska and beyond to realize their N2025 strategic plan. The ED/AVC will have the opportunity to shape this role in its development due to the support of a highly dedicated University leadership team, including a Vice Chancellor with extensive experience in innovation and a Chancellor who will help ensure the resources needed for growth—which is already reflected in new buildings coming online in the next few years to support new partnerships and research endeavors. While NIC has been successful in achieving 95% occupancy through organic development, the new ED/AVC will use proactive and strategic outreach efforts to expand mutually beneficial partnerships and give businesses a clear path to form relationships with the institution. The ED/AVC will build their team and facilitate collaborations across UNL to augment the broad array of talent, expertise, and infrastructure already offered at UNL to further position the University and NIC as industry’s first-choice partner. With success, the ED/AVC will expand research capacity, augment experiential learning and job placement opportunities for students, and ensure NIC is major driver for economic development in the state and the region.

UNL is a leading national research university with a deep commitment to its land-grant mission, consistently recognized for its value and access to the citizens of Nebraska and beyond. It is located in the vibrant city of Lincoln with nearly 300,000 people and a highly educated workforce that is attractive to business expansion and new business development. The state of Nebraska’s and the city of Lincoln’s business-friendly policies have paved the way for strong growth and record-high employment, and it is currently ranked by CNBC as the Midwest’s Top State for Business, while also placing in the top 10 overall. The economic development offices throughout the state are also highly supportive of UNL and NIC, as UNL and the state government are both large contributors to the local economy and constitute approximately a quarter of the city’s economy. Agriculture and manufacturing are key employers, with one in every four jobs in the state touching the agricultural sector, and UNL is at the forefront of AgTech innovation on a national level. Additionally, Lincoln also has a growing technology sector and was recently featured in national news as the “Silicon Prairie.” 

UNL has strengths in water research, food innovation, computing, robotics, and national security, and Nebraska is leading national and global discussions on sustainable agricultural solutions. With NIC’s remarkable reputation, UNL has the opportunity to leverage these many strengths while discovering new areas for growth to attract businesses interested in making a difference, as well as the talented students, staff, and faculty who are eager to contribute. With success, UNL and NIC will augment and expand industry partnerships, and bring highly-skilled jobs to Lincoln and the state, while also diversifying the economy for even greater economic impact.

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. To guarantee review, please submit application materials by November 21st, 2022. Applicants should include a statement of your approach to and experience with advancing equity, inclusion, and diversity, as well as your anticipated contributions to creating inclusive environments in which every person and every interaction matters (2 page maximum). Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and resumes with cover letters and separate diversity statements should be submitted electronically below. 

Lindsay Gold is leading this search with Phuong Ta and Brian Burbank.


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