EDITOR’S NOTE: This story and headline was edited on Nov. 11, 2016, to reflect that John La Duke was relieved of his appointment as dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences and then elected to resign rather than return to a teaching assignment in the Department of Biology
KEARNEY – The College of Natural and Social Sciences at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will now be led by political science professor Peter Longo, who takes over as interim dean July 1.
John La Duke was relieved of his appointment as dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences and then elected to resign rather than return to a teaching assignment in the Department of Biology.
Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Charles Bicak said a search for permanent dean will begin in fall 2017, with a plan to have a new dean in place in July 2018. That allows Longo to hold the interim dean post for two years.
Longo joined the faculty at UNK in 1988 and is a tenured full professor in Political Science. He served as department chair from 1990-99 and 2003-07. He served as interim dean for the Division of Student Affairs in 2007-08. Longo also served as Honors Director (2001-03) and as faculty assistant to the Senior Vice Chancellor (1999-2001).
Longo received a bachelor’s in history from Creighton University (1980); a J.D. (1982) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law and a Ph.D. (1986) in political science from UNL.
“Peter has had an array of successful teaching, scholarly activity and administrative experiences,” Bicak said. He currently serves as editor for the journal “Great Plains Research,” the Natural and Social Sciences’ publication of the University of Nebraska Center for Great Plains Studies. “He will work well with all departments and programs to ensure the continuing success of College of Natural and Social Sciences faculty in teaching, scholarly activity and service.”
La Duke has been dean since 2010. He attended Texas Tech University and received a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s degree in botany. He completed a Ph.D. in botany at Ohio State University.
He began his academic career at the University of North Dakota, where he moved through the ranks to professor, chair, then associate dean, then associate vice president of Research and Economic Development before coming to UNK. He has published in national and international journals.
“The College of Natural and Social Sciences is a strong and vibrant community of faculty, students and staff,” Bicak said. “I expect the already high quality of the College to continue to be elevated under Dr. Longo’s leadership. I’m grateful to Dr. La Duke for his passion for the College and his tireless enthusiasm for UNK. His positive contributions in leadership of the College are greatly appreciated.”
Writer: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454, email@example.com
Source: Peter Longo, 308.865.8039, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Charles Bicak, Senior Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, 308.865.8209, email@example.com