A University of Southern Mississippi alumnus will take the reins as University of Nebraska’s president in April. Hank Bounds, 47, has been the Mississippi Commissioner of Higher Education since 2009.
Bounds told The Clarion-Ledger Monday that he has had many wonderful opportunities to in his home state, as a lifelong Mississippian.
“It certainly will not be easy to leave our extended family and friends,” he said.
Bounds was one of the four finalists for the position in November 2014. Former UNL President James Milliken told the university community in January 2014 that he will leave Nebraska to become the next chancellor of the City University of New York, UNL.com reported.
“USM alumnus Hank Bounds has done a superb job in leading our university system in Mississippi and we are sad to see him go,” said Joe Paul, USM’s vice president of student affairs. “At the same time, we are proud of and happy for our Southern Miss alum for becoming president of one of the premier universities in America.”
Institute of Higher Learning President Aubrey Patterson commended Bounds’ work in “all levels of education in our state,” reported The Clarion-Ledger.
Bounds earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Southern Miss as well as a doctorate.
Before Bounds was Mississippi commissioner, Bounds was a teacher, a principal at three high schools, a superintendent for four years for the Pascagoula School District and an adjunct professor at USM, according to Nebraska.edu. He and his wife Susie have two children, Will and Caroline.
In 2014, he received the Winter-Reed Education Achievement Award for his lifelong contributions to public education in Mississippi. Other recipients for this award includes USM President Emeritus Aubrey Lucas and State Rep. Robert Clark.
“Dr. Bounds has served Mississippi exceedingly well throughout his career in public education,” Paul said. “We wish him all the best and thank him for his service to USM an the State of Mississippi.”