The Akron Beacon Journal reported that Nielsen is one of three finalists who will visit the Ohio campus for meetings and interviews in February. The university publicly announced the finalists' names on Wednesday.
Nielsen recently returned to the classroom at NCSU, where he teaches a conservation course in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. He said this week that he was enjoying being back in the classroom.
Nielsen had been on a six-month leave after stepping down as provost. He was one of three top leaders at NCSU who resigned amid questions about their role in the hiring of Mary Easley, former first lady. James Oblinger, former chancellor, and McQueen Campbell, former trustee chairman, also resigned.
Oblinger has returned to work on the new research campus in Kannapolis. He had been a finalist last fall for the job of president of the New Mexico State University system.