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The University of Nebraska Board of Regents named Jeffrey Gold as its priority candidate for the system’s open presidency, making the current University of Nebraska Medical Center chancellor the likely pick after the state-mandated 30-day public-vetting period concludes.

Gold has led UNMC since 2014 and is provost and executive vice president of the NU system.

He was named the candidate in a Board of Regents meeting Wednesday, held shortly after Republican governor Jim Pillen criticized members for not hiring a president sooner. Pillen, a former regent, has said the search should have taken 90 days. The timeline for the selection, however, is similar to the last two presidential searches at NU in 2014 and 2019, when Pillen was a member of the board.

The timeline is also in line with recent presidential searches at other Big 10 institutions.

Local media reports indicate that the search could have concluded sooner save for a deadlock among the board’s eight elected members between Gold and Bryan Slone, the president of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a former Republican gubernatorial candidate, who was never formally announced as a candidate. Nebraska Congressman Mike Flood, a Republican running for reelection, was also a reported target.

Gold could be named president at the next Board of Regents meeting in April.