Three finalists for College of Education dean begin interviews

KEARNEY – Three candidates have been selected as finalists for the dean of the College of Education at University of Nebraska at Kearney. They will be on campus this month to interview and make presentations on their credentials and visions for the education college.

The finalists are: Jodi Kupper (Pronounced Cooper), dean of the School of Education at Peru State College; James Hannon, chair of the department of Exercise and Sport Science at University of Utah; and Dennis Potthoff, associate dean of UNK’s College of Education.

Kupper will be on campus March 11-12. Prior to becoming dean at Peru State in 2005, Kupper was at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., where she was director of the School of Education and previously associate and assistant professor of education. Her teaching and research is in K-12 teacher education and instruction, portfolio development and program assessment. Her bachelor’s degree is in secondary education from Wayne State, her master’s from University of Nebraska at Omaha, and her Ph.D. from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Hannon will be on campus March 17-18. He joined University of Utah’s College of Health in 2004 as a physical education teacher in education, later becoming director of graduate studies in the department of Exercise and Sport Science (2008), and in 2013 became chair of the department. He has earned the ranks of assistant, then associate, professor. He earned his bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville), his master’s in physical education curriculum and instruction from Northern Illinois University (DeKalb), and his Ph.D. from Florida State University.

Potthoff will interview March 19-20. He joined UNK in 1996, becoming chair of teacher education in 1998, and associate dean in 2012. Previously he was an assistant professor at Wichita State University and an instructor at UNL, after teaching and coaching grades 7-12 at high schools and middle schools in Nebraska and in Ontario, Canada. Potthoff’s publishing is in democracy education, professional development, portfolios and field experiences. He earned all three degrees from UNL (social science education, curriculum and instruction and administration).

The dean will replace Ed Scantling, who has been dean since 2006. Scantling is returning to the faculty ranks. College of Business and Technology dean Tim Burkink is heading the search.


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