University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Associate Dean for Graduate Studies Juan Casas, Ph.D., has been appointed acting dean of UNO Graduate Studies by Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Sacha Kopp, Ph.D.
Casas will serve in this interim capacity effective July 1, 2021, through Dec. 31, 2021, while Deborah Smith-Howell, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and dean of Graduate Studies, serves as interim chief of staff to Chancellor Joanne Li, Ph.D., CFA.
“While many UNO students, faculty, and staff may know Dr. Casas primarily from his current role, he has been an important part of the Maverick family for 20 years as a professor of psychology,” Kopp said. “His deep knowledge of this university, its people, and its mission will serve Graduate Studies well in the months ahead.”
Casas received his Ph.D. in Child Psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota in 2002 and, previously, a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan. He has written numerous articles and book chapters and has broad editorial experience, most recently serving as Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Latino/Latin American Studies. As part of the Developmental Psychology faculty, he regularly teaches courses in child and adolescent psychology at the undergraduate and graduate level. He has previously served as Interim Director and Associate Director of the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies.
Upon the conclusion of her service in the Office of the Chancellor, Smith-Howell will return to serve as Dean of the Graduate School Jan. 1, 2022, and Dr. Casas will continue as Associate Dean of Grad Studies.
With her 15th year as Dean of Graduate Studies approaching, she has also announced that this will be her final year as Dean, and a search will be announced in due course. Thereafter, Smith-Howell will continue in her role as Associate Vice Chancellor and chief of staff in the Office of Academic Affairs.
“In her role as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Smith-Howell has been instrumental in academic program review, service learning, community engagement, campus master space planning, and strategic planning,” Kopp said. “She will be an exceptional and facilitative leader for Chancellor Li during the important transition months ahead.”
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.