KEARNEY – Kristen Majocha has been selected as the new senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Chancellor Doug Kristensen made the announcement Wednesday, following a national search.
Majocha is currently dean of the College of Social Sciences and Human Services and College of Education and Liberal Arts at California University of Pennsylvania. She will replace Charlie Bicak, who is retiring after serving in the position for 13 years. Pending presidential and University of Nebraska Board of Regents approval, she will begin at UNK on July 1.
A U.S. Navy veteran and first-generation college graduate, Majocha has served in her dean role since 2018. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Slippery Rock University and a master’s degree in communication and doctorate in rhetoric from Duquesne University.
She oversees three campus locations and more than 250 faculty and staff. Her focus on student success led to improved rates of retention and persistence by 7%, graduation by 4% and retention of international students by 50%. She actively works with faculty and government to create pathways that ensure student support and develop responsive academic programming.
Majocha is a champion of the teacher-scholar model, where faculty research informs the classroom, students participate in research opportunities with their teachers, and the results inform best practices in the job market. Her leadership style is steeped in the servant-leader model, and she completed the Penn State Academic Leadership Academy and Jenny Bloom’s Appreciative Administration program.
In previous roles, Majocha played a key part in developing Pennsylvania Western University, and she previously served as assistant vice president of academic affairs and director of international program support and services at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
The senior vice chancellor for academic affairs is the chief academic officer at UNK, overseeing three academic colleges, general studies and Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach, including UNK Online. The position also oversees the library, Academic Resources and Institutional Research, assessment, Sponsored Programs and Research, International Education, registrar and academic programs such as undergraduate research, honors and Thompson Scholars Learning Community. Additionally, they serve as liaison to the Higher Learning Commission and OneIT.