Heath Mello

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A former state lawmaker has been appointed to serve as the University of Nebraska's interim vice president for university affairs.

The university announced Thursday that Heath Mello will assume the new role on July 1, pending approval by the university's Board of Regents. Mello currently serves as the university's chief lobbyist.

Outgoing University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds says Mello has proven to be an invaluable member of the university's leadership team.

The vice president for university affairs is a member of the president's cabinet and is responsible for promoting positive relations and outcomes between the university and its constituents.

Mello represented south Omaha in the Legislature from 2009 to 2017, and served as chairman of the budget-writing Appropriations Committee. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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