Walker, Bellows appointed to leadership posts in academic affairs

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Walker, Bellows appointed to leadership posts in academic affairs

Judy Walker has been named the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s interim associate vice chancellor for faculty affairs, and Laurie Bellows is Nebraska's new acting dean of graduate studies. Marjorie Kostelnik, interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, announced the appointments July 13.

The appointments, pending the approval of the Board of Regents, begin this week.

The associate vice chancellor for faculty affairs is responsible for addressing faculty issues and professional development, monitoring promotion and tenure, conducting post-tenure review as needed, overseeing academic program reviews and participating in the university's re-accreditation process, among other duties.

Walker, who has been chair of the Department of Mathematics for the past 4 1/2 years, will begin her new role July 15. The appointment’s length is expected to be at least one year.

“Judy has gained invaluable experience in her tenure as department chair. She understands needs, processes and corresponding issues involving faculty,” Kostelnik said. “Her expertise in faculty support will be a definite plus in her new role.”

Walker, the Aaron Douglas Professor of Mathematics, has been at Nebraska since 1996. She earned her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Illinois and her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. Earlier this year, she earned the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education; in 2014 she received a University of Nebraska system-wide Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award. She became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2012.

"I'm honored to have this opportunity to serve the university, and I look forward to supporting my fellow faculty members and the important work that they do," Walker said.

Bellows’ role as acting dean of graduate studies will include oversight of graduate recruitment, admissions and retention; budget and personnel management; facilitating new degree and certificate programs; graduate program reviews; and the Graduate Council, among other duties.

Bellows, a professor of practice in graduate studies who was previously associate dean of graduate studies, begins her new duties immediately, Kostelnik said. The length of the appointment is indefinite.

“Laurie’s experience and expertise will serve her well in this role,” Kostelnik said. “In her time in graduate studies, she has forged strong relationships with both graduate students and faculty, and that has led to a deep understanding of both groups’ issues and specific needs. I’m excited for Laurie as she steps into this new responsibility for the university.”

Bellows earned her doctorate in psychological and cultural studies from Nebraska. In addition to directing the McNair Scholars Program, Bellows serves as the institution’s Higher Learning Commission accreditation liaison and, for the past two years, has led the university's reaffirmation process. Accreditation is a process of external quality review created and used by higher education to scrutinize colleges, universities and education programs for quality assurance and improvement. Bellows will continue in this role during her tenure as acting dean of graduate studies.

“Graduate studies is a catalyst for innovation, research and teaching and it serves a vital role of preparing students as leaders in their chosen fields,” Bellows said. “I am looking forward to providing a strong framework for graduate education at the university and providing graduate faculty and students resources for success.”