Katherine Ankerson, an academic leader who led the revitalization of the College of Architecture, has been named the next Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Selected by internal research, Ankerson will assume the new role on January 18, the first day of the university’s spring semester.
“Kathy is the right leader at the right time for this very important role,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said in a Jan. 10 campus announcement. “She is a collaborative, inclusive and strategic leader who will take a ‘what if’ approach in this role vital to our academic mission and help us move forward. “
An award-winning author and leader in design education, Ankerson has been Dean of the College of Architecture since July 2016. She was previously Professor and Head of Interior Architecture and Product Design at Kansas State University and was a Professor and associate dean. in Nebraska from 1996 to 2011.
Under her leadership as dean, the College of Architecture flourished, particularly in faculty success and student success. Key metrics include 24% of recognized architecture teachers with the highest academic and professional accolades; improving the six-year graduation rate from 50.9% to 71.9%; and the five-year employment rate for college graduates ranging from 95% to 100%.
She also played an active role in the N150 Commission and the N2025 Steering committee, helping to shape the vision and strategic goals of the institution.
“I am honored, touched and excited by this opportunity to lead the Nebraska University business,” Ankerson said. “Our university is a place where every person and every interaction matters. I look forward to building on our shared momentum, our unwavering faith in the transformative power of education, and our ability to effect positive change in this world.
Ankerson, the 2020 International Interior Design Association Educator of the Year, advocates for interdisciplinary and interdisciplinary engagement, the value of design and manufacturing, and the adoption of new technologies to strengthen traditional design tools. His leadership is focused on enhancing inclusive innovation and celebrating differences and excellence between academic disciplines.
She led the Nuckolls 20th Anniversary Lighting Grant, which included nine educators in architecture, interior design, engineering and lighting design, and represented four major universities. The project produced the award-winning Web-based Lighting Across the (Design) Curriculum.
An architect and designer, Ankerson has held academic positions at Radford University and Washington State University. She received her Masters, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Architecture degrees from Washington State University.
Sharon Kuska has been appointed Interim Dean of the College of Architecture. A Nebraska alumnus, Kuska has served on the college faculty for 35 years and, since 2018, has been the Associate Dean of University and College Programs.
Details on the search for a new dean for the college will be announced.
The Executive Vice Chancellor of Nebraska reports directly to the Chancellor, is the Academic Director and the responsible authority in the absence of the Chancellor. The position directs and coordinates the academic enterprise of the university. The academic deans of the university, other than those of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, report directly to the Executive Vice-Chancellor.
Bob Wilhelm, Vice-Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, has served as Acting Executive Vice-Chancellor since November 20. Elizabeth Spiller held this position previously.
The research committee was chaired by co-chairs Sherri Jones, Dean of the College of Education and Humanities; and Steve Kolbe, President of the Faculty Senate and Associate Professor at the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film.
Learn more about the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor of Nebraska.