The following email was sent by Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Sacha Kopp, Ph.D., to UNO faculty and staff on Thursday, Sept. 19:
Since I’ve come to UNO, I’ve been overwhelmed with the warm welcome of the UNO community and gratified by the Maverick spirit that is “can do,” collaborative, and full of ideas. Many of you have shared your points of pride, aspirations for excellence, and areas of concern. Many of you have also shared views on “what can my office do better?” in our support of the colleges and in support of the campus mission.
Reflecting on these conversations; discussion and input from the deans; and on the critical connections across all the vice chancellors’ offices, the feedback we’ve received is that it is vital for our office to be focusing on enhancing student achievement, faculty and staff development, supporting academic excellence and community engagement, and supporting financial planning across the academic sector. I’ve worked with my great team to assess how the Office of Academic Affairs can better structure itself to address opportunities and challenges ahead.
As a result of this work, the following roles will change within the Office of Academic Affairs:
- Deborah Smith-Howell, Ph.D., will continue to serve as Associate Vice Chancellor and as Dean of Graduate Studies. As the senior member of the office, Dr. Smith-Howell brings a depth of experience and knowledge of the institution that has been so very valuable. As my senior advisor, she will focus with me on strategic planning, facilities, service learning, and community engagement.
- Candice Batton, Ph.D., will report directly to me and serve in a new capacity as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs. Dr. Batton will continue to work with our Center for Faculty Excellence, and will support faculty mentoring, recognitions, recruitment, review, and advancement of faculty, and will work closely with the AVC for Inclusion when that recruitment process is completed. Candice’s role will be a strong support for faculty
- We’ve created a new role of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Curriculum and Programs. The role will oversee learning communities, honors, general education, course availability and planning, and curriculum review and planning. This position serves as a critical partner to the academic colleges, the Division of Student Success, Enrollment Management, and of course our students.
Shifting these roles and creating the new assistant vice chancellor role will allow the Office of Academic Affairs to better respond to the priorities you all have shared.
These adjustments will also provide better partnership to the other members within the office — whose excellent work spans institutional research; online learning; human resources; budgeting; service learning and community engagement; communications; research and creative activities; and assessment and accreditation. I’m grateful for this team.
In the months since joining UNO, I’ve asked the deans and others about faculty leaders across the campus, and have had the opportunity to interact with many excellent colleagues. I continue to welcome your input. After careful consideration and consultation, I hope to appoint a new Assistant Vice Chancellor for Curriculum and Programs in the coming weeks.
With warmest regards,
Sacha Kopp, Ph.D.
UNO Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.