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The University of Nebraska's academic medical center and major metropolitan campus will continue to share a chancellor for the next several years.

Monday, NU President Hank Bounds announced that University of Nebraska Medical Center Chancellor Dr. Jeff Gold would continue serving as the leader of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Gold, who was named UNMC chancellor in 2014, was appointed the interim chancellor at UNO in April 2017 after a national search to replace the retiring John Christensen failed.

Bounds said he plans to lift the "interim" from Gold's title at UNO, and following a 30-day feedback period required by law, will ask the NU Board of Regents to extend Gold's UNO duties through June 30, 2022.

At that point, NU plans to launch another search for a UNO chancellor.

"In short: Given where our university is right now, we have the right person in the role," Bounds said in an email to students, faculty and staff at both UNO and UNMC.

"Removing the 'interim' from Dr. Gold's UNO title provides the clarity and stability we need for the near future," he added.

Bounds said he has been impressed with the "remarkable growth and momentum" of both campuses under Gold's direction over the last 18 months, saying he believes Gold's ongoing leadership will continue that trajectory.

While many at UNO and UNMC were receptive to the idea, and recognized "Gold's care for and commitment to students," Bounds said some students, faculty and staff voiced concern about the new leadership structure.

"Certainly, our university has faced unique challenges in recent years that have demanded innovative solutions," Bounds wrote. "I hope greater clarity about our path forward will address some of the concerns."

Under a change to Nebraska law, NU will need to wait 30 days after naming Gold its "priority candidate" for a top leadership position, during which campus stakeholders will have an opportunity to meet with him.

NU has scheduled a public forum for Gold at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 19 in the Thompson Alumni Center at UNO, where guests can ask questions and share feedback.

Regents will then likely hold a special meeting to approve Gold's appointment, a university spokeswoman said.

Gold, 66, earns an annual salary of $853,338. Lifting the interim title will not come with an predetermined bump in salary, although regents could choose to raise his pay.

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

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS.

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