Leadership

Reed Miller

Reed Miller

Chairman and Board Member

Reed Miller is the President, CEO and founder of a civil/environmental engineering firm, Miller & Associates, headquartered in Kearney, Nebraska.  Since his founding of the firm in 1976, it has steadily grown to employ a diverse staff of engineers, architects, registered land surveyors, geologists, grant administrators, planners, computer programmers and technicians.  Miller obtained a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and later received a Master of Science in Civil Engineering.  He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the states of Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas and also holds Class A City Street Superintendent and County Highway Superintendent licenses.  Miller is a member of the American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation and is on the Advisory Council on Public Water Supply.  He is well-respected for his keen insight into helping communities develop a wide range of projects, and he has close ties to the UNL College of Engineering and several statewide organizations. Miller also served as a member of the original community group that studied the concept of the University Village development.

Joey Cochran

Joey Cochran

Vice Chairman and Board Member

A native of Cozad, Nebraska, Joey Cochran is a 2003 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and also a graduate of the College of Credit in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  During his time at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Cochran was also a highly visible four-year letterman in basketball.  He is currently a Vice President of Business Banking at NebraskaLand National Bank.  Prior to this, he worked for Wells Fargo in Kearney for 12 years. 

Cochran is very active in the Kearney community and currently serves on the YMCA Board, City of Kearney Planning Commission, Kearney Little League Board and University Village Board.  Cochran is recognized as an up-and-coming business professional throughout the Kearney area and continues to be a strong supporter and volunteer for many organizations of the community.

Jon Watts

Jon Watts

Treasurer and Board Member

Jon Watts has served as Vice Chancellor of Business & Finance since June 1, 2016.  Prior to his appointment, Watts served as Director and Assistant Director of Business Services.  Before joining UNK, he worked in the private sector as a manager of marketing, key accounts and public relations. 

In his current position, Watts manages the University’s financial operations to support and promote academic excellence, fiscal responsibility and public accountability.  Within the division are the offices of Business Services, Budget, Facilities Management and Planning, Finance, Human Resources, Emergency Management, Police and Parking and contracted providers that include UNK Dining Services and the Antelope Bookstore.  He also advises the Chancellor, oversees the operations of the division and works with the University’s central administration to plan and carry out financial operations, set rates and fees and plan for construction and facilities maintenance, including the University Village project.

Watts obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in Communication Studies and master’s in Management from Bellevue University.  He has also earned the designation of a Certified Auxiliary Services Professional.

Douglas A. Kristensen

Douglas A. Kristensen

Board Member

Chancellor Douglas A. Kristensen, J.D., was appointed to lead the University of Nebraska at Kearney in July 2002 following a distinguished career in the Nebraska Legislature.  He represented the 37th district and, at the time he retired from office, was the longest serving Speaker of the Legislature.  During his tenure as Nebraska State Senator, he was instrumental in passing significant legislation and numerous constitutional amendments.  He sponsored legislation that created the Nebraska Court of Appeals and the Tax Equalization and Review Commission, and was also one of the sponsors of legislation that brought Kearney State College into the University of Nebraska system.  At the time he held political office he practiced law and was a partner in the firm of Lieske & Kristensen in Minden, Nebraska.

An enthusiastic advocate of everything UNK, Kristensen has directed dramatic facilities and infrastructure renewal.  Major projects include construction of Antelope and Nester residence halls, Cope Stadium/Foster Field enhancements, a new Central Utilities Plant, major renovation of Bruner Hall of Science, new east and west entrances to campus, extensive and ongoing landscaping and the addition of a campus Wellness Center.  The most recent renewal has included modernization of the Nebraskan Student Union and campus dining facilities and the construction, in historic collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, of the Health Science Education Complex.  In 2018, Village Flats apartments became the first building in UNK’s 104-acre University Village development; and in 2019, the LaVonne Kopecky Plambeck Early Childhood Education Center became the first academic building in the University Village footprint.  In the fall of 2020, along with the renovation of the Fine Arts Center, the campus celebrated the opening of Discovery Hall, a state-of-the-art facility designed and constructed specifically for science, technology, engineering and math education.

Kent Schroeder, J.D.

Kent Schroeder, J.D.

Board Member

Kent A. Schroeder, J.D., is a Kearney-based attorney who served as a member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents from 1998-2016 and served as chairman of the Board three times.  Throughout his tenure, Schroeder provided support of University administrative leadership, as well as a deep and genuine commitment to the students, faculty and staff of the University of Nebraska.

A native of Genoa, Nebraska, Schroeder is a pilot and a Captain in the Nebraska Air National Guard, in addition to being a licensed amateur radio operator.  His long service and commitment to Kearney is evident in his community activities which includes his membership on the boards of Good Samaritan Health Systems, Sentinel Health Care, Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce, Kearney Country Club, Kearney Cosmopolitan Club, Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys, Central Community College, Kearney City Council, Kearney Public School and University Village.

Megan Goeke

Megan Goeke

Board Member

Megan Wegner-Goeke is the owner and founder of Hello Beautiful Bridal & Formal Wear and Beyond Beautiful Officiating.  She is also the Assistant Director - Online Coordinator and Academic Advisor for the College of Business and Technology at UNK.  Goeke has built her career in leadership development, education, human resources, and customer experience marketing with organizations such as U.S. Cellular and Bellevue University before launching her own businesses. 

In addition to serving as a director for the University Village Development Corporation of Kearney, Goeke is involved in a variety of groups and boards in the Kearney area.  This includes serving as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Improvement Board, and Vice Chairwoman for Envoys. She is also a graduate of Leadership Kearney Class #25. 

A Kearney native, Goeke is a 1999 Kearney High graduate who received her Bachelor of Journalism in Advertising from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 2004 and her master’s degree in Organizational Performance from Bellevue University in 2012. 

Goeke is known for her expertise in human capital management and lends her skills to many small businesses, non-profit organizations, young professionals, and students.  She is recognized as a retail maven who provides direction on professional development, networking, strategic planning, and consultative sales.

Michael Christen

Michael Christen

Executive Director and Secretary

Michael Christen has served as the Director of Business Services since 2018 and Assistant Director of Business Services from 2016-2018.  In his current position, Christen oversees and manages UNK Dining Services, the Antelope Bookstore, Mail Services, Concessions, Vending, Banking Services, Laundry Services, Insurance, Sponsorships and third-party contract negotiations and execution.  Christen also assists campus departments to achieve operational success while being fiscally responsible, ensuring  strategic campus alignment and mitigating risk for the University. 

A native of Anselmo, Nebraska, Christen obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in Mathematics with a minor in Finance and a master’s degree from the University of Kansas in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Supply Chain Management.

  

Alan Wedige

Alan Wedige

Project Manager

Alan Wedige is the University Architect for the University of Nebraska. In his role, he serves as a resource to University leadership, providing expertise, counsel and oversight regarding campus planning, architectural and site design, strategic sustainability, energy planning and major capital development projects.  Previously, Wedige served as a project manager for the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln campuses.  Prior to joining the University of Nebraska in 1999, Wedige worked in private practice with a focus on historic, aviation, hospitality and civic architecture and planning.

Wedige is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and studied Architecture and Construction Management during his undergraduate tenure and Engineering during his graduate tenure.