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Executive Director of Peter Kiewit Institute Resigns


Published: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 16:12


Photos by J. Christoffersen/ The Gateway

The sun sets on the PKI building after Dr. Michael L. McGinnis stepped down this week

Dr. Michael L. McGinnis, executive director of the University of Nebraska’s Peter Kiewit Institute of Information Science, Technology and Engineering, stepped down from his position this week.

The resignation was immediate and “his decision,” said Melissa Lee, NU spokeswoman, in an interview with the Omaha World-Herald.

According to his profile on the PKI website, McGinnis, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and retired brigadier general, joined the organization as executive director on June 10, 2009.

Among the positions he served in before were executive director of the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center at Old Dominion University, professor and head of the department of Systems of Engineering Department at West Point, New York and director of the U.S. Army TRADOC Analysis Center at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

“Dr. McGinnis has informed us of his decision to step down from his position to pursue other opportunities,” said NU President James B. Milliken in a NU news release. “There has been much progress at PKI during his tenure as executive director, and we wish him well.”

According to its website, PKI is an organization dedicated to “advance research, scholarship and creative innovation at the University of Nebraska.” Its program is a combination of UNL’s College of Engineering and UNO’s College of Information Science and Technology. It provides “top-flight” education for students interested in these industries and gives them business connections.

According to a World-Herald article by Kate Perry, last month, the NU Board of Regents approved a plan to give the senior vice chancellors of each college control of the institution. It was the charge of the executive director to work with the college deans to “correct ‘dysfunctionalities’ in structure and operations cited by a consultant’s report in July.”

Unperturbed, NU intends to move forward.

“Last month we announced exciting new plans for expansion of PKI programs,” Milliken said, also in the news release. “We intend to move forward aggressively to implement the new plans, working with UNO and UNL campus leadership.”

In the meantime, Dr. Scott Snyder, associate vice chancellor for research and creative activity at the UNO, will serve as interim director of the Kiewit Institute, according to the news release.

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