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2010.07.27> For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@unomaha.edu

Dr. John Langan, UNO College of Education Dean, Dies at 68

Omaha - John Langan, former dean of the UNO College of Education, died today, July 27. Dr. Langan, 68, had been diagnosed with cancer in 2009. His 44-year connection to the college began as an undergraduate student, continued in the graduate program, and included roles as a graduate assistant, professor and department chair before his five years as dean.

“John was a great friend to the state’s education community, to our metropolitan area teachers, to every student he ever met and to me,” said UNO Chancellor John Christensen. “He was like a brother to me. He was a great man, and I will miss him.”

Dr. Langan was in the final graduating class of the Municipal University of Omaha on June 1, 1968. The institution officially became the University of Nebraska at Omaha one month later. After earning an MS in education at UNO in 1969 he began his career as a faculty member in the college. He later earned his doctorate in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Langan became the first coordinator of the Office of Student Services for the college when the office began in 1984. He was coordinator of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) visitations to the college for many years, beginning in 1971, and he served as chair of the Department of Teacher Education from 1992 to 2003. Dr. Langan also served as president of the UNO Faculty Senate and was a member of numerous campus and college committees.

Tapped for the role of acting dean in the summer of 2003 when Dr. Christensen became acting vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Langan was officially appointed dean a year later. He served in that post until July 1, 2008. In 2008-2009, Dr. Langan worked half time in the College of Education as it prepared for NCATE re-accreditation and half-time in Academic and Student Affairs. During the past year he had been on phased retirement but still carried out a set of responsibilities for Academic and Student Affairs.

Two of the legacies of which he had said he was most proud include the development of the Office of Student Services in the college and the Career Advancement and Development for Recruits and Experienced Teachers (CADRE) project.

The College of Education prepares many of Nebraska’s educators, having prepared more than 3,000 of the teachers in the state and more than 60 percent of the professionals in the metro area.

“John Langan led this college into what it has become,” said David Conway, associate dean in the College of Education. “I can’t imagine where we would be without his work.”

Dr. Langan’s campus involvement went beyond the classroom. He was a volunteer assistant coach for Connie Claussen with the first women’s softball team, which marked the beginning of varsity athletics for women at UNO.

“John Langan understood how important athletics are to the life of a university,” said Connie Clausen, who went on to become the first woman associate athletic director at UNO. “Many, many of our athletes were education majors, and they were lucky to have a terrific man like Dr. Langan in their corner.”

Dr. Langan also has been extensively involved in community activities, including working with youth athletic teams and serving 14 years as a member of the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education. He was president of the board for seven years.

“John Langan made everyone feel welcome and important,” said Nancy Edick, current dean of the UNO College of Education. “His legacy in our college and in our school districts is huge. In the classroom and in the community, his service has touched the lives of thousand and thousands of people. He lived a great life.”

A New Jersey native, Dr. Langan was selected for the Perth Amboy (New Jersey) High School Hall of Fame in 2005.

Dr. Langan’s family includes his wife Carole, a retired OPS assistant principal and teacher. The Langans have two sons--Tim, an attorney for Fidelity National Title Group in Omaha, and Michael, who works at Ecolabs in Texas. The Langans became grandparents last year with the birth of Tim’s son, Conor.

Dr. Langan received care at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where his nephew, Andrew Wahl, M.D., worked on his treatment team over the past year. The Langan family has asked that memorials be directed to the University of Nebraska Foundation’s John T. Langan Professorship fund. The website for more information is http://nufoundation.org/johnlangan.

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The College of Education has created a memory web page where members of the campus community and public can leave stories and thoughts about Dr. Langan. The site can be reached by following a the Langan link from the college’s home page at http://coe.unomaha.edu. The specific address is http://coe.unomaha.edu/langan_memory.php . The page include a slideshow of John Langan photos.


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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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