U. of Nebraska Regent Bob Phares will not seek 4th term

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A longtime University of Nebraska Regent representing the western part of the state announced Friday that he won’t seek a fourth term in office.

Regent Bob Phares, of North Platte, has served on the board since 2006, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Dave Heineman. He was elected twice after his appointment, serving six-year terms.

During his time on the board, Phares and other regents cut average annual tuition increases by more than half, from 8% to 3.5%, which gave the University of Nebraska the lowest in-state tuition rates of all Big Ten institutions.

Phares also helped the university forge partnerships with the private sector over the last decades to help address workforce shortages and retain Nebraska students. He served as the board’s chairman twice, in 2010 and 2015, and was elected vice chairman in February.

Phares was elected mayor of North Platte at age 28. He was president and owner of Phares Financial Services, Inc., a financial planning and insurance firm in North Platte. He’s now semi-retired, with his son serving as the firm’s president.

“Serving as western Nebraska’s voice on the Board of Regents has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” he said.