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Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

University of Nebraska at Omaha

I posses a unique and in-depth understanding of the university, how it works, what is going right, what is going wrong, and how to judge the work of administration. I am uniquely qualified to represent the 4th District as a member of the Board of Regents.

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About Jim Rogers

Background 1


A fourth generation Nebraskan, Jim is descended from homesteaders in the sand hills. He was born in Texas during a period when his father was working in the south, and following early childhood in Valparaiso, Nebraska and then high school and college in Omaha, Jim has been involved in higher education his entire career. 

After graduation from Omaha Central High School in 1981, Jim received his undergraduate degree in biology from Creighton University in 1985.  Upon graduation, he took his first job as a research technician in the laboratory of Dr. David Purtilo, a visionary researcher and administrator that played a key role in the transformation of UNMC from a sleepy teaching university to the research powerhouse it is today. In that job, Jim discovered a love of research and decided to pursue a Ph.D. It was in this job that he also met Kathie, who would become his wife.

Newly married, Jim and Kathie moved to a place that was very foreign, but also very exciting to them-- New York City! There Jim received a Ph.D. in molecular cellular biology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1992.

With the birth of the first two of their three sons while in graduate school, Jim and Kathie returned home to Omaha where Jim began seven years of postdoctoral research at the Eppley Cancer Institute at UNMC and their third son was born.


As Jim worked in the laboratory doing experiments to research in how blood stem cells are involved in cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, he became dissatisfied with the lab-bound approach of cancer research and became convinced that more theoretical and mathematical approaches would be necessary if cures for a complicated disease like cancer were ever to be discovered.

With that insight, Jim began taking classes in mathematics just down the street at UNO. Soon he was collaborating with several faculty members in the department, earned a master's degree in mathematics, and was able to secure a grant from the National Institutes of Health to do research full-time in mathematical approaches to cancer study. This grant was the first external grant in the history of the UNO Department of Mathematics, and Jim was soon hired as a regular faculty member in the department.

In his time as a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics, Jim was able to bring the grant to fruition and published a ground-breaking study in the prestigious journal The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which novel mathematical methods were used to discover previously unknown information processing occuring in cellular biochemical networks. Based on this work he was granted tenure in the department, and a few years later was chosen to serve as chair of the department. Also during this period, Kathie earned her Ph.D. in molecular microbiology at UNMC and became head of clinical microbiology at Jennie Edmonson in Council Bluffs, then head of microbiology at Unity Point Health in Des Moines, Iowa, and finally head of clinical microbiology at Nebraska Medicine where she currently works.

Striving as department chair to transform the department to a more open and collaborative environment, Jim worked to change the administrative structure of the department from the standard "chain of command" structure (where the chair dominated department decision-making) to one in which their shared governance between faculty members and the chair.

As a result, Jim was twice re-elected to the chair position by the department, and a seven-year external review of the department (conducted in February of 2023) praised the department's new administrative structure.


Why Regent?

While doing the work of transforming the UNO math department, Jim began to see signs that there were problems in the mission of UNO and worked to become involved in strategic planning on that campus. Unfortunately, he soon determined that the UNO strategic planning process itself was a closed system that was not being optimally run. With his work to transform the department successfully completed but unable to penetrate the larger UNO planning system, Jim is now looking to take his experience in effective university management and apply it to the entire University of Nebraska System as a full-time member of the Board of Regents.


Proud Resident

Jim and Kathie live on a small acreage in North Omaha, where Jim grows hay and donates it to Urban Acres, the North Omaha horse rescue (see below for more information on this). Kathie was born and raised in North Omaha, and both Jim and Kathie feel a strong connection to North Omaha and love the vitality and sense of community in the area. You'll often find Jim in the 50th and Ames Walmart buying groceries and tractor oil, at the car parts stores at 30th and Ames getting parts to keep the old F-150 running, or at the post office off 30th and Ames picking up packages. If you see him, feel free to say hi!

Similarly, Jim has a great appreciation of the culture and vibrant communities of South Omaha. Jim as seen an exponential rise in Hispanic students in his math classes, and is totally impressed by their intelligence, hard work, and determination. Jim believes that immigration is an overwhelmingly good thing for America and sees every day the benefits that recent immigrants to South Omaha bring to our great city!


As you can see, Jim is highly connected with and proud to be a member of the communities that make up the 4th District. He also has a unique and in-depth understanding of the university, how it works, what is going right, what is going wrong, and how to judge the work of administration. For these reasons, Jim is uniquely qualified to represent the 4th District as a member of the Board of Regents.

It would be his honor to represent the fine communities that make up the 4th District as he works to make the university more responsive and accountable to them!



Jim understands that these are the traits that appeal to the voters of the 4th District. Ponca Hills, North Omaha, South Omaha, and Ralston are the communities that make up the district, and their residents are smart, hard-working, down-to-earth people. Jim also works hard with his hands, maintaining a small hay operation that he uses to support Urban Acres, a North Omaha Horse rescue (Visit Urban Acres Horse Rescue)


im is currently self-funding his campaign from the small amount of savings he's put aside from his job as a UNO professor. For this reason, Jim isn't beholden to any special interests. His only interest is representing your interests in the 4th District on the Board of Regents!


Jim's Hay Operation and Urban Acres Horse Rescue

Urban Acres Horse Rescue is a gem of North Omaha! Run by Carol Moss, they rescue, rehabilitate, rehome or provide sanctuary for injured, unwanted, and aged horses and ponies. Many unwanted and sick animals have come through their barn in the last 25 years. The founder has gone to auctions looking for old mares that were headed to slaughter. Urban Acres has also temporarily sheltered any hoofstock (cows, pigs, goats, llama) that are displaced due to unusual circumstances. They provide food and medical care and emergency housing for any lost animal that comes to their rescue.

I live and work on a small (10 acre) plot of land and run a small hay operation on it. It grows beautiful brome grass:


 I loaded them up into my old truck (about half of them are in this load), and got them placed into the feeders. Thirty-three bales at 60 lbs. each is a pretty good workout!

The old gal on the left has COPD (yes, COPD!) and gets her own private paddock so she doesn’t have to compete with the other horses for hay. She's really enjoying it! On the right are some of those other horses-- when Carol opened the gate they ran (at a dead gallop!) to the feeders and started chowing down! These guys know good hay when they taste it! 😀

I'll be back next year with another harvest. Hope you all get a chance to visit Urban Acres-- and if at all possible, to give Carol a little support!

To get daily updates from Jim, follow him in X (Twitter)

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