Theiss-Morse named interim dean of arts and sciences

Theiss-Morse named interim dean of arts and sciences

Elizabeth Theiss-Morse
Elizabeth Theiss-Morse

Elizabeth Theiss-Morse has been appointed to the position of interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, made the announcement April 24.

Theiss-Morse will formally begin the appointment, pending University of Nebraska Board of Regents approval, on July 1.

An experienced academic and campus leader, Theiss-Morse is associate dean for faculty for the College of Arts and Sciences and Willa Cather Professor of political science. She has been a faculty member in the college since 1988, advancing to full professor in 2002.

Joseph Francisco

Theiss-Morse succeeds Joseph Francisco, who is resigning positions as dean of the college and professor of chemistry. Francisco’s resignation is effective June 30.

“Beth brings considerable academic and administrative experience to this position along with the respect of college and campus leaders,” Plowman said. “She seems to have her pulse on everything that is happening in the college, its priorities and needs. I have full confidence she will help continue and expand upon the college’s positive momentum.”

Theiss-Morse has served as associate dean for faculty since 2015. She also served as chair of the Department of Political Science from 2008 to 2013.

“I’m excited to help the college continue to reach for its goals in teaching, research and engagement through this transition in leadership.”

-- Elizabeth Theiss-Morse, interim dean, arts and sciences


While an active teacher, Theiss-Morse has focused her research on American public opinion and democracy, including support for civil liberties, congress, democratic processes and the American people. She is the author or co-author of 10 books, has received five National Science Foundation grants, and earned the college’s distinguished teaching award.

“The College of Arts and Sciences plays an important role in advancing global understanding of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, while also preparing students to become leaders in a variety of fields,” Theiss-Morse said. “I’m excited to help the college continue to reach for its goals in teaching, research and engagement through this transition in leadership.”

The College of Arts and Sciences is largest college at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, with more than 5,200 students enrolled within 59 departments/units and 34 majors. It includes more than 530 faculty and 252 staff employees.

A national search for Nebraska’s next dean of arts and sciences will launch in the fall. A search committee will be formally announced in the summer.