About Us

“AICUN’s primary responsibility is to represent the common interests of its collegiate members before the State of Nebraska”

About AICUN 

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Nebraska (AICUN) was established in 1984 by eleven independent colleges and universities located in Nebraska. Since that time, three additional colleges and universities have been added as members. The current members and their location in Nebraska are Bellevue University (Bellevue), BryanLGH College of Health Sciences (Lincoln), Clarkson College (Omaha), College of St. Mary (Omaha), Concordia University (Seward), Creighton University (Omaha), Doane College (Crete), Grace University (Omaha), Hastings College (Hastings), Midland University (Fremont), Nebraska Methodist College (Omaha), Nebraska Wesleyan University (Lincoln), Union College (Lincoln), and York College (York).

AICUN’s primary responsibility is to represent the common interests of its collegiate members before the Nebraska unicameral legislature, the Congress, and other government entities, such as the Governor’s office, the Nebraska Coordinating Commission, and the U.S. Department of Education. AICUN works closely with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (www.naicu.edu) on national issues.

In addition to issues involving student aid, the preservation of our historic exemption from property taxes is an important issue to independent colleges. Other regulatory and legal issues have also increased in importance in recent years.

AICUN Staff

Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, Jr. (tiponeill2@aol.com) has been the president of AICUN since 1989. He worked as a legal counsel for committees of the Nebraska legislature from 1982-1988, and was Vice President for College Relations at Kearney State College (now the University of Nebraska-Kearney) immediately before coming to AICUN.

O’Neill has served as the Chairman of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities State Executives (NAICUSE), and was on the board of NAICU for four years. He served as the Chairman of the NAICU Commission on Tax Policy and is currently a member of the Committee on Policy Analysis and Public Relations. He was appointed by Governor Ben Nelson to serve as a commissioner on the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in 1996, and served as the Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners in 2000. He currently serves on Governor Dave Heineman’s Advisory Committee on Education, on the P-16 steering and executive committees, and was a board member of the National Student Loan Program and Melmac, LLC. He and his wife Jan have one son, T.J., who is a student at Creighton University.

Pamela Deines (pamdaicun@aol.com) is the Assistant to the President. She has been employed by AICUN since 2000.