CAS Leadership Team
The new academic year brings change to college leadership. As some folks headed off for adventures elsewhere, the Dean’s Office welcomed new faces and fresh perspectives to keep us moving onward and upward.
Meet our new team:
Elizabeth Theiss-Morse, Willa Cather Professor of political science, was named interim dean of the college effective July 1, 2018. She served in the college as Associate Dean for Faculty since 2015 and in the Department of Political Science as chair from 2008 to 2013. “I’m excited to help the college continue to reach for its goals in teaching, research and engagement through this transition in leadership,” she said. She recently celebrated 30 years of service at Nebraska and succeeded Joseph S. Francisco.
Priscilla Hayden-Roy is our new Associate Dean for Faculty, succeeding Theiss-Morse. Hayden-Roy is professor of German in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and recently celebrated 30 years at Nebraska. She previously served as interim chair of the Department of Anthropology. Hayden-Roy specializes in 16th and 18th century German literature, Friedrich Hölderlin, German children's literature, and second language acquisition. Her work has been recognized by the Nebraska Department of Education and the university’s Parents Association.
Dan Hoyt, professor in the Department of Sociology, was named Interim Associate Dean for Research and Partnerships effective July 1. He previously served as Associate Dean for Faculty in the college from 2012 to 2015 and succeeded Matthew L. Jockers. Hoyt specializes in substance use and abuse, homeless and runaway youth, and victimization. He directs the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Consortium. An internal search for this position is in process.
John Osterman, an associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences, joined as Associate Dean for Academic Programs effective July 1. He has previously served as interim director of the School of Biological Sciences and succeeded Diana Pilson. Osterman has served at Nebraska for 35 years, specializing in gene structure and function in plants.
June Griffin, professor of English, has served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education since 2016. Griffin specializes in pedagogy, teaching with technology, and learning transfer. She has previously been recognized with the college’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
Alecia Kimbrough, Assistant Dean for Business and Finance, has been on the college’s leadership team since 2008. She recently received her doctorate and has been previously recognized with the Carl A. Donaldson Award for Excellence in Management.
The university has launched a national search for our next dean. The 16-member search committee includes faculty, staff, students and college stakeholders to represent the mission, interests and priorities of the college. The group is chaired by Richard Moberly, dean and Schmoker Professor of Law. He will be assisted by Paul Chou, a consultant with the executive search firm Korn Ferry.
The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Nebraska Celebrates 50 Years of Excellence
Computer Science students with Dr. Humberston, June 20, 1969.
Photo courtesy University Archive and Special Collections.
Computer Science and Engineering Resource Center in Avery Hall.
Photo by Greg Nathan, University Communications.
More than 200 alumni, faculty students and friends of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) attended one or more events at the recent celebration of the department’s 50th anniversary held September 6-8, 2018. The 3-day event held on Innovation Campus featured a lively panel of several former chairs of CSE who together took a walk down the “digital” memory lane to share the story of the past 50 years of computer science at Nebraska.
Kicking off the anniversary was a welcome luncheon where alumnus Brian Vaske, CEO and Chairman of ITI Data, a New York based data and information management system company, presented the inaugural ITI Data Scholarship to two deserving students. Vaske, class of 1999, established the scholarship to support students who excel both in their academics and in a desire to serve their communities.
Originally named the Department of Computer Science, CSE was established in 1968 with five part-time instructors and began with three students – two male and one female. In a humorous nod to the ongoing effort to increase the number of women in STEM, Dr. Lester Lipsky, the department’s first chair, quipped: “At that point, we could say that one-third of our student body was female.” A total of 15 undergraduates enrolled that first year, and the first bachelor’s degree in computer science was confirmed a year later.
“It was a very rocky beginning,” Lipsky notes. “But we had two graduate students who knew operating systems, which really helped. Our biggest challenge was to maintain research while becoming a teaching department.” The Department of Computer Science became part of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1970.
In 1972, Dr. George Nagy took the reigns as chair for the next several years. The department flourished under his tenure as he is credited with helping solidify the research base of CSE at Nebraska. Dr. Nagy was inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Computing in 2010 in recognition of his role in establishing and growing the program.
Over the next few decades, the department grew and also underwent many monumental challenges in terms of enrollment growth, experiencing both the pressure of rapid growth at points as well as the negative impact of the internet or dot-com bubble burst in 2000. “We looked at this as an opportunity to rejuvenate our department,” former chair Dr. Steve Reichenbach says.
During the rebuilding years, Dr. Steve Goddard, who is both past chair from 2008 to 2013 and current chair, recalled the drop in enrollment from the dot-com crash, and the values he held dear in the effort to once again grow the department. “Hiring good people who cared about their students was the highlight of my tenure,” he reflects.
Today, CSE is at its highest enrollment yet, with 40 faculty, 891 undergraduate and 66 graduate students, and 81 enrolled in its doctorate program. Looking to the future, Dr. Goddard adds: “I see many great opportunities for [CSE] ahead.”
“I never dreamed how well the experience at University of Nebraska would prepare me for life. A job yes; a career, maybe. But instead, I received the foundation for every major decision and opportunity that would come my way.”
W. Kim Austen, ‘77