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   from the issue of September 20, 2007

NU general counsel to retire Dec. 31


Richard Wood, vice president and general counsel for the University of Nebraska, announced his retirement Sept. 13.


Wood has served as general counsel for NU for almost 30 years. His retirement is effective Dec. 31.

"I believe I have the honor of representing the best client in this state: the University of Nebraska," Wood said. "I joined the university because it seemed like it would be a very challenging and professionally rewarding job. I have been very fortunate; it has met all of my expectations.

"Practicing law at a multi-campus system, at a major research university, allows you to handle a broad spectrum of legal matters. I have loved my work here."

For Wood, reflecting on his career as general counsel is not an easy task. He has been a force at the university and overseer of legal affairs for almost 30 years, a time that spans four university presidencies and major change.

"The university has always been a good institution, but the quality continues to improve. This is becoming a great university," Wood said.

The general counsel position was a one-man shop when Wood took the position in 1978, while today he leads a staff of seven attorneys and is responsible for a wide range of legal issues.

"The work load has certainly grown," Wood said. "But we also have worked hard to start handling almost all of our legal work in-house in a more effective and efficient manner."

J.B. Milliken, NU president, said Wood has been the ideal person for the job of general counsel, noting his expertise in public and private practice in a broad range of areas, from personnel matters to student issues to business acumen.

"Dick is a consummate professional, a highly principled man and an outstanding attorney and adviser," Milliken said. "The university has benefited enormously from Dick Wood's service."

Wood received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1960, and his law degree (J.D.) from the University of Nebraska in 1964. He joined the university in 1978 as general counsel, and was named vice president in 1987.

Prior to coming to the university, Wood worked in private practice with the firm of Wood, Wolfe and Hurd in Lincoln. He was assistant city attorney for Lincoln from 1967 to 1970; city attorney from 1970 to 1975; and also worked as an attorney-examiner for the Nebraska Public Service Commission. From 1964 to 1966, Wood was a captain in the United States Army.

Wood looks forward to relaxation, writing, working with family genealogy, and traveling. His wife is from Ukraine, and the couple plans to spend part of each year in the country's capital, Kiev.

Milliken plans to begin a search for Wood's successor soon.



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