Chuck Schroeder is stepping down as president of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum to head a new effort at the University of Nebraska, the museum announced Monday.
“I'm a little intimidated,” Schroeder said. “It is no question the biggest challenge of my career, but I am tremendously excited about the mission.”
Schroeder will begin his new position Dec. 1.
The Rural Futures Initiative will combine the four University of Nebraska campuses in an effort to benefit rural communities.
“The whole idea is to take an entirely different look at the way a major university might approach those issues that include the outlook for rural people and places,” Schroeder said. “The institute will have major programmatic activity in research, education, community engagement, public policy and cultural advocacy.”
The Nebraska native said his experiences in Oklahoma City will be invaluable in his new role.
“Over the past 11 years, I've had the opportunity to come to understand the power of the underlying culture in rural communities, particularly across the American West,” Schroeder said. “You can't ignore the strength of heritage in determining the strength of a community. ... It can be expressed in so many ways, including visual arts and performing arts that we love to celebrate here at the museum. That's something I certainly will be taking with me into this role.”