The dust has settled, and Rob Schafer of Beatrice is happy about retaining his District 5 seat on the University of Nebraska’s Board of Regents.
“I’m excited and honored and grateful to the voters for re-electing me,” Schafer said. “I appreciate their support and will continue to represent them on the Board of Regents."
The Board of Regents is the governing body of the University of Nebraska. Members are responsible for selecting the president of the university and approving the budget and tuition rates. The board consists of eight voting members elected to six-year terms. The board also includes the student body presidents from each of the four state schools' campuses who act as non-voting members.
Schafer is an attorney, farmer and a lieutenant colonel in the Nebraska Air National Guard. According to his website, he is a two-time graduate of the University of Nebraska, a fiscal conservative and sixth-generation Nebraskan.
Schafer was appointed to the board by former Gov. David Heineman in 2013 and was officially elected in 2014. In this year’s general election, he ran against Robert Prokop, of Wilber, a forensic pathologist and medical consultant who served on the board from 1971-1983.
District 5 encompasses the majority of the counties in the southeastern corner of the state and includes Butler, Seward and Saunders counties. In Butler County, Schafer received 1,286 votes (52.34 percent) to Prokop's 1,164 (47.37 percent), according to the unofficial Butler County election results posted online at 10:40 p.m. Nov. 6.
“We look forward to continuing working with regent Schafer for another term,” said Melissa Lee, director of communications for the university system.
Schafer said his prioritizes on the board are making sure attendance at the university not only affordable but accessible as well. He said he wants to ensure the best and brightest the school has to offer don't move out of state after graduation in order to help with Nebraska’s growing job demands.
Schafer served as the board’s chairman for 2018. He will relinquish his position in January to current vice-chairman Timothy Clare in accordance with board procedures.
“ I leave with a positive experience," Schafer said. "I’ve enjoyed it, but everyone on the board is deserving to serve."
Not only does Schafer bring a military background to the board, but he said being a father to two young children will add a good perspective to the board.
“I think it’s good to have someone on the board with young children,” Schafer said. “I can tell you that the decisions I make will directly impact them.”
Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.