Dr. Maurer to leave UNMC chancellorship to lead fund-raising for Cancer Campus

Will move to new position with University of Nebraska Foundation on July 1

Harold M. Maurer, M.D., who as chancellor has led the University of Nebraska Medical Center to unprecedented growth, will move to a new role with the university on June 30.

Dr. Maurer, UNMC chancellor since 1998, on July 1 will become a professor in the UNMC Department of Pediatrics and chancellor emeritus. He will devote much of his time to his new position working at the University of Nebraska Foundation, spearheading fund raising for the Cancer Center Campus, a $370 million project that will include space for cancer research and care, as well as a new multidisciplinary outpatient facility.

“I believe the time has come for me to take on a new role with UNMC. I look forward to dedicating my time completely to fund raising for the Cancer Center Campus, which will truly transform UNMC,” Dr. Maurer said. “We will continue our momentum at UNMC, and we will not change course over the next nine months.  It will be business as usual.”

University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken said, “Under Hal’s leadership, the UNMC campus has been transformed – not only with remarkable new facilities for teaching and research, but through an unwavering commitment to a culture of excellence.   He set goals that some believed to be unattainable – and then together with a very talented faculty and staff, surpassed them.  The University is truly a much better institution today because of Hal's extraordinary leadership. 

“I am grateful that Hal will continue playing an active role in the Campaign for Nebraska; with his involvement, I’m confident that we will build a world-class cancer research and treatment center that will make important and lasting contributions to the state and nation,” Milliken added. “Hal and Beverly will continue to be great ambassadors for the University of Nebraska.”

A native of New York, Dr. Maurer received his A.B. degree in 1957 from New York University and his M.D. degree in 1961 from State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn. He completed an internship at Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn and a pediatric residency at Babies Hospital, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, where he also fulfilled a fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology.

Prior to joining UNMC, Dr. Maurer spent 25 years at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV), serving as professor and chairman of the Department of Pediatrics for 17 of those years. An internationally recognized, award-winning scientist, Dr. Maurer has been recognized widely for his achievements, both at MCV and UNMC. Among those, a few stand out.

A pediatric oncologist, Dr. Maurer is internationally known for his expertise in rhabdomyosarcoma, a childhood cancer.  He served as principal investigator of several National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grant awards and chaired the national Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group for 26 years. That group has been credited with raising the cure rate from 20 to 75 percent. In 2003, the Children’s Oncology Group awarded Dr. Maurer with its most prestigious honor – the Lifetime Achievement Award – recognizing his leadership and contributions in this important area of cancer.

His achievements at UNMC include leading the merger of University Hospital and Clarkson Hospital to form the Nebraska Health System, now known as The Nebraska Medical Center, leading the institution to new heights of excellence in education, research and clinical care. He also combined more than 70 physician practice groups into one comprehensive faculty practice plan, what is now UNMC Physicians.

Upon becoming chancellor, Dr. Maurer set aggressive goals in research, repositioning UNMC from a regional center to a national center of excellence in the new century. Among others, his research achievements include:

  • Tripled UNMC’s external research funding, with research dollars now at more than $90 million annually;
  • Worked with state officials to ensure tobacco settlement funds from the state of Nebraska would support biomedical research. UNMC now receives about $7 million annually from this funding.
  • Created a Vice Chancellor for Research position at UNMC.
  • Developed programs in Regenerative Medicine, Nanomedicine, Drug Delivery and Bioterrorism Preparedness, among others.
  • Led fund-raising for the Durham Research Center and Durham Research Center II. In all, more than $150 million in private support was raised to fund these facilities’ construction. Combined, the DRC and DRC II have more than 200 biomedical research laboratories.

“I would like for my legacy to be, ‘He built research at UNMC,’” Dr. Maurer said. “I’m also very proud of our many accomplishments in education, clinical care and community outreach.”

Just this year, UNMC was ranked No. 6 nationally in primary care education, the highest ranking achieved in the history of UNMC in this area. Other UNMC colleges and educational programs also are ranked nationally.

In addition to the Durham Research Centers, several other new facilities have been constructed at UNMC during Dr. Maurer’s tenure. These include the Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education, the Hixson-Lied Center for Clinical Excellence, the Weigel Williamson Center for Visual Rehabilitation, the Home Instead Center for Successful Aging, the Center for Nursing Science, the Ruth and Bill Scott Student Plaza, the Harold M. and Beverly Maurer Center for Public Health and others. 

For his work at UNMC, Dr. Maurer has been recognized with numerous awards.  Among them, he was named the Omaha World-Herald “Midlander of the Year” in 2005; was named the 109th King of Ak-Sar-Ben in 2005; and was inducted into the Greater Omaha Chamber Business Hall of Fame in 2009.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.

What Others Are Saying: 

“Hal Maurer has been an outstanding chancellor whose dedication and leadership has built a world-class medical center here in Nebraska.” - Gov. Dave Heineman

“From clinics to classrooms, Dr. Maurer has dedicated his life to others. His leadership has helped UNMC grow into a nationally respected medical center, and he will undoubtedly bring the same accolades to the Foundation.” - Sen. Mike Johanns

“Chancellor Maurer is a visionary who has made UNMC the world-class institution it is today. Under his leadership, UNMC has fully integrated top-flight research with education and delivery of health services to help tens of thousands of people live longer and healthier lives. I’m pleased he’s taken on this new role because our Nebraska community and nation will benefit from his tireless dedication.” - Sen. Ben Nelson

“Hal has been persistent in pursuing a vision of UNMC as a world-class academic, research and clinical institution.  While his style is to quietly make things happen, he has in the end been a transformative leader.” - Omaha businessman Walter Scott, Jr.

"Under Hal Maurer's leadership, UNMC has climbed to heights that were nearly unimaginable 15 years ago.  UNMC is now an internationally recognized academic health science center, and its success is clearly a reflection of Hal's abilities as a visionary leader. I'm pleased he will remain on board to spearhead the fund raising for UNMC's next transformational project -- the  International Cancer Center Campus." - Omaha businessman Mike Yanney

Online Resources:

A timeline of Dr. Maurer’s career:  www.unmc.edu/maurerslegacy.htm

Campus growth under Dr. Maurer: www.unmc.edu/publicrelations/growth.htm

Major accomplishments:

As Dean, UNMC College of Medicine (October 1993 through November 1998)

  • Raised the academic standards for medical student graduation, resulting in a pass rate above the national average on U.S. Medical Licensure Examination, Part I.
  • Significantly augmented the M.D./Ph.D. Scholars Program, making it a major new focus for the college.
  • Expanded primary care residencies in Omaha and Lincoln, and added residencies in North Platte and Scottsbluff.
  • Implemented new college-wide faculty development program.
  • Unified the faculty practice plan (UMA, now known as UNMC-P) in a single 501c3 organization.
  • Led the negotiations to join Clarkson and University Hospitals in a partnership to form the Nebraska Health System in 1997, now known as The Nebraska Medical Center.

As Chancellor (December 1998 through June 2013):

  • Articulated a new vision and strategic plan to become a world-renowned health sciences center, repositioning UNMC from a regional to a national center of excellence in the 21st century.
  • Articulated a vision to become a 500-mile wide campus across Nebraska.
  • Grew extramural research grant support from $30 million to $115 million in 2010.
  • Raised over $400 million for construction of new facilities (excluding the current Comprehensive Cancer Center), with community philanthropy, to attract outstanding new faculty and build new programs, as follows:
  • Durham Research Centers I and II
  • Sorrell Center for Health Science Education
  • Center for Nursing Science
  • College of Nursing transfer to and renovation of Commerce Court, Lincoln
  • Home Instead Center for Successful Aging
  • New utilities facility
  • College of Dentistry renovation
  • Weigel Williamson Center for Visual Rehabilitation
  • Eye Surgery Center (in progress)
  • School of Allied Health Professions renovation in Bennett Hall
  • Student Plaza and Ice Skating Rink
  • College of Public Health
  • Transplant Production Facility
  • Truhlsen Eye Institute
  • Parking garage
  • College of Nursing Norfolk division
  • College of Pharmacy facility
  • Satellite clinic in Village Pointe
  • Olson Center for Women’s Health
  • Psychiatry renovation in Poynter Hall
  • Comprehensive Cancer Center with research tower, 108 cancer beds and a multidisciplinary cancer clinic. Also, an Ambulatory Care facility for non-oncology patients (in progress).


  • Received tobacco settlement funds from the Legislature and the governor (Johanns) for biomedical research, from $10 million per year to $12 million per year to $14 million per year in perpetuity. UNMC receives about one-half each year. The remainder is shared by UNL, Creighton and Boys Town.
  • Formed a new College of Public Health.
  • Growth of students from 3,000 to 3,600.
  • Initiated Global Health programs in China, India, Moscow and Afghanistan with student and faculty exchanges, Ph.D. programs, primary care medicine courses, research collaborations, etc.
  • Established a new College of Nursing division in Norfolk, NE, with private and public support.
  • Separated the Munroe-Meyer Institute from the Department of Pediatrics so that each could mature under separate leadership.
  • Developed the following new programs: Regenerative Medicine, Nanomedicine, Drug Delivery, Bioterrorism Preparedness, Emergency Medicine, Heart Failure/transplantation, Robotic Surgery.
  • U.S. News and World Report rankings in 2013: College of Medicine Primary Care, 6th of 149; College of Medicine Rural Health, 12th of 149; Research, 62nd of 146; College of Pharmacy, 32nd of 125; School of Allied Health Professions Physical Therapy, 34th of 201. Not ranked in 2013: College of Nursing Master’s Degree, 36th of 467; School of Allied Health Professions Physician Assistant Program, 16th of 130.
  • Increased federally-funded interactive large program grants from 3 to 22.
  • Initiated the University Affiliated Research Program with STRATCOM.
  • Obtained funding with the help of Sen. Ben Nelson, Walter Scott and Michael Yanney from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for a new $560 million hospital for the Omaha VA.
  • Initiated “Destination Midtown,” which was subsequently supported by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce and Mutual of Omaha.
  • Initiated the creation of the Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital. 

Special Notation from Dr. Maurer:

“My wife, Beverly Maurer, has been my partner in life for over 50 years. She loves networking and is admired and respected in return by everyone she meets. She is highly effective in what she decides to undertake. She is deeply engaged in a variety of community activities, e.g., member of the board of directors of the Joslyn Museum, and university and community events, University of Nebraska Foundation events, local and national, and community events, such as those at the Holland Performing Arts Center. She is a strong advocate for UNMC and an asset in raising funds for UNMC projects and spreading the word about advances on campus and at the university. All of her work is done as a volunteer to raise the visibility of UNMC across Nebraska, the U.S. and the world.”


Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)

Bill O'Neill
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-9152
(402) 250-4839