UNO Faculty Selected for Inaugural NU System Leadership Program | New


Four academic leaders from the UN campus were recently selected to participate in a new system-wide program that aims to train the next generation of higher education leaders.

Joining 12 of their colleagues from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, these professors will work directly with NU System President Ted Carter, Vice system presidents and board members – among others – to engage and discuss complex and timely higher education topics, including:

  • Strategic planning.
  • Philanthropy.
  • Financing of higher education.
  • Facilities and infrastructure.
  • Opportunities and challenges related to teaching, learning and research.
  • Academic leadership skills, attributes and styles.
  • Build and maintain diverse and inclusive university communities.

NU’s Developing Excellence in Academic Leaders (NU DEAL) program, sponsored by the Office of the President in collaboration with the System Provost and Campus Academic Directors, will launch this fall with an intensive two-year program that will help participants to develop their leadership skills. , expand their networks, and explore key issues and challenges facing the University of Nebraska and higher education.

The 2022-24 NU DEAL Scholars are:

University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Gaylene Armstrong, Ph.D., director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
  • LaReesa Wolfenbarger, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Jason Coleman, Ph.D., director of the School of Health and Kinesiology.
  • Sara Myers, Ph.D., Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activity.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • Kelli Kopocis, assistant professor of practice at the Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction and president-elect of the Faculty Senate.
  • Deborah Minter, Chair of the Faculty Senate and Associate Professor and Director of Rhetorical Composition in the Department of English.
  • June Griffin, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts and Sciences and Practice Professor in the Department of English.
  • Martha Mamo, Department Head and John E. Weaver Professor of Agronomy and Horticulture.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • Chandra Diaz, Associate Dean of the College of Education and Assistant Professor and Middle Years Educational Advisor.
  • Toni Hill, Associate Professor and Director of the Early Childhood and Family Program
  • Advocacy program.
  • Nita Unruh, Head of Department and Professor of Sports Management.
    Miechelle McKelvey, Department Chair and Professor of Communication Disorders.

University of Nebraska Medical Center

  • Howard Liu, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry.
  • Amy Nordness, director of clinical services and associate director of the Munroe-Meyer Institute.
  • Don Klepser, professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Pharmacy.
  • Kendra Schmid, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor in the Department of Biostatistics.

“This is a time of immense change and opportunity for our industry, requiring strategic and skilled leadership from people who not only deeply understand the issues, but can set a bold vision for the future and inspire others to join us,” Carter said.

“Our goal with this new program is to develop a deep bench of exactly these types of leaders. I am thrilled with this first cohort of fellows – talented leaders who are already making a huge impact on our students and our state, with great potential to do even more to create positive change for our university and higher education as a whole.”

Applications for the 2023-25 ​​cohort of NU DEAL Scholars will open next spring. More information about the program is available here.

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