New Lt. Governor Leaves Regent Spot Vacant

He’s been on the job for a month. Newly appointed Lt. Governor Lavon Heidemann started his term on the Board of Regents in January.

“We went through one Board of Regents meeting,” said Heidemann. “[We were] just taking up issues. I was getting to know the process over there."

Now, as Heidemann starts his new position, he leaves an empty seat as the representative of District 5 on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

“The university system is very important to this state,” he said. “I was looking forward to being a part of it, but this opportunity came up, and I thought the need was there."

The vacant position is something Governor Dave Heineman says he will take care of.

“Under normal circumstances, I would never ask him to leave that position; however, this is an extraordinary situation,” said Heineman. “I wanted the best Nebraskan possible standing by my side.”

Normally, Heidemann would hold his position for six years, but now someone will need to take his place. It's a process current regent Robert Phares knows all too well.

"My predecessor on the board was one that was impeached,” said Phares, “so that's an unusual process—first time that's ever happened on the Board of Regents.”

He first took the job in July 2006, after the Nebraska Supreme Court removed his predecessor David Hergert.

“If the governor follows the process that he followed when I was first appointed, the person that he selects would serve until the next election,” he said, “which would be in the spring of 2014.”

At that time, he or she will need to be elected to fill out the unexpired term.