David Keck, who has served as director of the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management since 2001, will step down from his leadership role and join the school’s faculty in August.
“It’s been a privilege to lead this innovative program from the beginning, and I’m excited to continue to work with our students at the dynamic intersection of business and innovation,” Keck said.
During his 14-year tenure as the school’s first director (he was preceded by two interim directors), Keck oversaw the transition of what was originally named the J.D. Edwards Honors Program from a scholarship-based honors program for students majoring in business and computer science to a nationally recognized interdisciplinary academic program.
Since its founding, the school has attracted the highest-achieving students — more than a fourth of them were high school valedictorians or National Merit Semifinalists, and their median ACT score is 34. Graduates are highly sought after by firms like Microsoft, Amazon and Google, and many have earned advanced degrees. The school’s alumni have also been major contributors to the growth of Lincoln’s Haymarket district with new businesses like HUDL.
In his role, Keck led the development of the school’s professor-of-practice faculty, who collaborate with peers from partnering academic units — principally the College of Business Administration and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering — to integrate computer science and management course content using the themes of model thinking and design thinking. Keck advocated for utilizing new technology and instructional methods to push the limits of what is possible and instituted a number of successful programs to facilitate greater interaction between the university and strategic corporate partners.
The Raikes School is a forerunner of the growing movement for interdisciplinary study in higher education and in recent years has expanded its collaborative reach across several of UNL’s academic colleges. The school’s innovative Design Studio program has grown under Keck’s leadership and has resulted in more than 130 software solutions for nearly 60 partnering organizations in and outside of Nebraska. Keck is currently leading a National Science Foundation grant-funded UNL faculty team that will connect the Design Studio methods and experience to capstone projects in business, engineering, and computer science.
“David’s visionary leadership of the Raikes School has laid the foundation for continued growth of the one of UNL’s most high-profile programs,” said Ellen Weissinger, senior vice chancellor of academic affairs. “It’s considered a higher ed leader in engaging students in large, interdisciplinary projects. We thank David for developing its momentum, and we look forward to continuing to work with him as a member of the school’s faculty.”
Keck will assume his new position in August, teaching computational approaches to business and continuing his research on innovation.