New Dean Of Student Life Appointed At UNK

Renee Ballenger
Director of Media Relations and Internal Communications 308.865.8136


Gail Zeller, director of Academic Success at the University of Nebraska, Kearney, was approved Friday, June 13, by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, as the new Interim Dean of Student Life at UNK.

Zeller will assume this new appointment on July 1, upon vacation of the position by Dr. Peter Longo, who served in this capacity throughout the last year.  Longo is returning to the classroom this Fall, to resume his full teaching responsibilities as faculty in the Political Science department.


Upon this announcement, Dr. Finnie Murray, senior vice chancellor of Academic Affairs and Student Life, thanked Longo, on behalf of the entire University, for his year of “truly excellent service and leadership in the Student Life Division.”


Zeller has many years of direct experience in the area of Student Life at UNK, as well as other institutions.  She has been serving the UNK community since 1993, impacting the areas of services to students with disabilities, the center for academic success, learning strategies, and student support services.  She came to UNK from Kansas State University where she was an academic advisor coordinator.  She also has worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and career planning coordinator.  Zeller has an extensive background in grant-related experience, strategic planning and retention student success.  She has produced numerous publications and presentations on subjects ranging from data management to parenting assistance to transforming postsecondary educations.  Her contributions to her community and professional field through leadership and volunteerism, too, are considerable and worthwhile.


Dr. Zeller received her terminal degree in Philosophy from Kansas State University; her master’s degree in Student Personnel and Educational Psychology also from KSU; and her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Washburn University.


Murray comments on Zeller’s appointment:  “She brings both the experience and vision needed to carry the Division of Student Life toward full participation in an enrollment management program at UNK.  We welcome (her) and look forward to her work in this tremendously important field.”