Joanne Li named primary candidate for UNO chancellor

OMAHA, Neb. – University of Nebraska System President Ted Carter announced Wednesday that Dr. Joanne Li has been named as the primary candidate to serve as the next chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Li would become the first woman of color to hold the position at the University. She would replace Dr. Jeffrey Gold, who is stepping down at the end of June.

Li, who currently serves as dean & professor of finance and Ryder Eminent Scholar Chair in Business at Florida International University, must now undergo a legally required 30-day public vetting period. If confirmed by the Board of Regents following that period, she will become the first Asian-American in the history of the University of Nebraska system to hold an executive leadership role.

"We began this search with the goal of finding the right person to join with students, faculty, staff and the community in continuing UNO’s remarkable upward trajectory," Carter said. "In Dr. Joanne Li, we have found that person. Dr. Li has a deep understanding of the transformative role of higher education – shaped by her own personal experience – and a great appreciation for the unique mission of Nebraska’s metropolitan university.

"Dr. Li is relentlessly focused on students, she is skilled at building relationships with diverse stakeholders, and she is a visionary thinker who will lead at a time of great change and opportunity for UNO and all of higher education. I’m thrilled to introduce Jo to the UNO community and have her share her vision for the future with all Nebraskans."

A native of Hong Kong, Li is a first generation college student who earned bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in finance from Florida State University.

"My own life has taught me so much about the value of higher education – not only the degree itself, but the faculty, staff and mentors who dedicate themselves to making sure every student, no matter their background, is successful," Li said.

Carter praised the 14-member advisory committee, led by UNO Faculty Senate President Elliott Ostler, that guided the search.