No chief for higher ed agency, no funds to seek new one -
Published Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 12:30 am / Updated at 11:04 pm
Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
No chief for higher ed agency, no funds to seek new one

LINCOLN — The state agency charged with overseeing higher education policy in Nebraska needs to hire a new executive director, but the search will have to wait several months until it has the money.

The Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education has asked the Legislature for about $72,000, because there's no money in the budget for a search firm and salary bump for a new hire, said interim Executive Director Carna Pfeil.

Pfeil, the commission's associate director of finance and administration, took over in August after the resignation of Marshall Hill, who led the agency since 2005.

Hill left for a position with a Colorado-based organization that aims to make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines.

The agency had to make a similar funding request of the Legislature eight years ago when it hired Hill because the search and hiring process is an unplanned cost, Pfeil said.

Board Chairman Ron Hunter said the search can't begin until the agency gets the money.

“We don't have any funding at all that would carry us through something like this,” Hunter said.

The Nebraska Legislature does not go into session until January, and it will be at least March before lawmakers decide on the commission's request.

Because of the two-year budgeting cycle, the commission needs to make a special “deficit” funding request. Otherwise, it would have to wait until 2015 for the money.

Hunter said waiting is not a big deal because Pfeil is so experienced — although it does means she's postponing plans to retire.

Pfeil said she will stay on until a new director is in place, which the commission hopes will occur by July 2014 if all goes according to plan.

The requested money would go to pay for a search firm, related expenses such as candidate travel, and to bump the salary range to about $190,000 annually from the $169,500 Hill made and Pfeil is making. It also will cover a payout the commission estimates will be about $48,000 of unused vacation and sick time for Pfeil when she retires.

Contact the writer: Kate Howard Perry    |   402-444-3185    |  

Kate writes about Nebraska's community colleges, state colleges and university system.

Man, 21, shot in ankle while walking near 30th, U Streets
State Department moves to delay Keystone XL pipeline decision
Omahan charged in fatal shooting in Benson neighborhood
Friday's attendance dips at Millard West after bathroom threat
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as a result of Operation Purple Haze
High court denies death row appeal of cult leader convicted of murder
Haze in area comes from Kansas, Oklahoma
Man taken into custody in domestic dispute
Omaha judge reprimanded for intervening in peer attorney's DUI case
Intoxicated man with pellet gun climbs billboard's scaffold; is arrested
Police seek public's help in finding an armed man
Saturday forecast opens window for gardening; Easter egg hunts look iffy on Sunday
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Last day of 2014 Legislature: Praise, passage of a last few bills and more on mountain lions
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
A voice of experience: Ex-gang member helps lead fight against Omaha violence
Church is pressing its case for old Temple Israel site
OPPD board holding public forum, open house May 7
The thrill of the skill: Omaha hosts statewide contest for students of the trades
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
When judge asks, Nikko Jenkins says ‘I killed them’
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
< >
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »