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The University of Nebraska system could name an interim president next week as the Board of Regents huddles to hire a search firm to aid in finding a new permanent leader.

Regents will meet in a special meeting May 30 to approve a contract with AGB Search, the search consultant arm of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

The contract will be for $169,750, plus reimbursable expenses, pulled from state appropriations and tuition revenues.

NU's search will be aided by Rod McDavis, the managing principal for AGB Search and former president of Ohio University; Sally Mason, president emerita of the University of Iowa; and Garry Owens, founding dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Texas Tech University.

Working alongside a university-appointed search committee, AGB Search will meet with regents, administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni and others to develop a profile of the next university president.

The firm will also recruit a "diverse candidate pool," according to the agenda item published Wednesday, and will conduct reference and background checks on potential candidates.

Regents could also name an interim president who would lead the university system from the time President Hank Bounds steps down.

According to a release, regents will go into a closed-session discussion before potentially naming an interim president.

Bounds announced in March he would leave NU later this year to return to the South with his family. He will take up a faculty appointment at the University of South Alabama and work as an educational consultant.

In its last presidential search, NU hired search firm Isaacson Miller to assist two committees. That yearlong search cost nearly $260,000.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS.

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