- Associated Press - Monday, April 28, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - University of Nebraska President J.B. Milliken will be stepping down Friday to become chancellor of City University of New York.

Milliken announced in January that he’d accepted the new job, leaving the Nebraska post he’s held since 2004. He’s expected to begin his New York duties next month.

The move is a continuation of the intellectual awakening Milliken said he underwent as a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. That guided his professional journey to law school, to Wall Street and back to academia, the Lincoln Journal Star said (http://bit.ly/S17FPi ).

“We want to connect the aspirations, the ambitions of the state and the university to (ensure) they are aligned,” Milliken told the Journal Star. “Universities serve the states, and states invest in the universities they think are doing great things for the state,” he said.

When Milliken returned to the University of Nebraska from the University of North Carolina, the system was coming off four years of double-digit tuition increases totaling 47 percent. He’s helped slow the rate of increases to an average annual rate of 4.2 percent over the last decade.

“I have always been a big believer that affordable access is priority No. 1 of public universities,” Milliken said.

Under Milliken’s direction, the university has launched initiatives such as the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, the Roger B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute, the Rural Futures Institute, the Buffett Early Childhood Center, Nebraska Innovation Campus and the National Strategic Research Institute.

And the university’s $1.2 billion fundraising drive, Campaign for Nebraska, has garnered pledges of $1.7 billion, nearly 50 percent more than the goal when it began in 2009.

The confidence shown by the state’s residents, business executives and philanthropists is a credit to the university system’s faculty members and other staff members, Milliken said.

“I think it’s enormously important that the state and its leaders have confidence in the university that we can do what we say we’re going to do, and I think the University of Nebraska will continue to demonstrate that in areas important to Nebraskans,” he said.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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