Was the twenty-sixth president of The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He succeeded Timothy J. Sullivan and officially served from July 1, 2005 to February 12, 2008. It was the shortest tenure for a William & Mary president since the Civil War. During each year of his presidency, however, the College continued to break its own application records. The 2007–08 school year—Nichol's last as president—topped 11,500.
Nichol spent his prep years at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas, Texas
He then attended Oklahoma State University , where he received a philosophy degree and played on the varsity football team. He received his law degree from the University of Texas , graduating Order of the Coif.
He then became the dean of the University of Colorado School of Law from 1988 to 1995 as well as dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law from 1999 to 2005. He previously worked at William and Mary as Cutler Professor of Constitutional Law and director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law from 1985 to 1988.
His other positions have included teaching law in the undergraduate and law schools of the University of Colorado, the University of Florida, the University of Exeter, the University of Oxford, and West Virginia University.
Nichol made a bid for the United States Senate representing the state of Colorado in 1996 with the Democratic Party, but was defeated in the primary. He also made a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives and was again defeated.