LINCOLN, Neb. — University of Nebraska President J.B. Milliken was chosen Wednesday as the new chancellor for the City University of New York, the nation’s third-largest university system.
The CUNY Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Milliken as the university system’s seventh chancellor, a position he will assume by June 1.
Milliken, a Fremont native, began his career at the University of Nebraska as an assistant to the president in 1988. He later became a vice president of external affairs before leaving in 1998 for a similar role at the University of North Carolina. He returned to the University of Nebraska as president in 2004.
“While it is difficult to leave, I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve as the chancellor of CUNY, a university that plays such a vital role for the nation’s largest city and the entire country,” Milliken said in a statement.
Milliken’s new role places him as the highest-ranking official at CUNY, which has 24 campuses throughout New York City and 270,000 degree-credit students. The university also offers continuing and professional education services to 218,000 adult students.
Milliken earned his law degree from New York University in 1983, and spent the better part of a decade serving in the Legal Aid Society’s Civil Division in New York City. He also spent five years as an attorney on Wall Street, and worked in Washington as a legislative assistant to former U.S. Rep. Virginia Smith.
Tim Clare, chairman of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, thanked Milliken for his service. Under Milliken’s tenure, the university expanded its financial aid programs to guarantee full tuition for nearly 6,700 students. The university also has seen soaring enrollment growth, to a 20-year high in September of more than 50,700 students.
“I know I speak for my colleagues on the Board of Regents when I say that we are happy for President Milliken and his family as they start a new chapter of their lives at CUNY, but we are also sorry to lose them,” Clare said.