Kebbel accepts mobile media role, resigns as dean

Gary Kebbel
Gary Kebbel

Ellen Weissinger, senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, announced that Gary Kebbel, current dean of Journalism and Mass Communications, has agreed to lead a university-wide multidisciplinary initiative related to mobile media at UNL. The project will include faculty, students and staff from the entire campus and may involve opportunities at Innovation Campus.

To concentrate fully on this initiative, Kebbel has resigned as dean, effective June 30, to become a tenured full professor in the college.

Weissinger said that Jim O’Hanlon has agreed to serve as interim dean and Charlyne Berens will continue in her role as associate dean.

The college accomplished many things during the two years Kebbel has served in the dean role — including increased success with external grant funding, fundraising advances, initiation of strategic planning and curriculum revision processes, and student-focused innovations such as the new Drone News Lab, the Nebraska News Service, Nebraska Mosaic and the Jacht student ad agency.

Kebbel also created new collaborations with the Raikes School, computer science, political science and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He placed special emphasis on expanding the college’s international partnerships in China, India, Russia and Japan.

Kebbel became dean on July 1, 2010 after being journalism program director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. He is a tenured professor in the college’s journalism sequence. Kebbel previously was director of AOL News, was founding editor of and

“I couldn’t resist the chance to have a national expert in this vital and mercurial field help UNL coordinate our research, education and innovation related to mobile media," Weissinger said. "Gary’s career is unusually well suited to this role, his network of collaborators nationally and globally is very valuable to UNL, and he has established relationships across campus that will allow him to pull together expertise from many colleges.

"I was pleased when Gary agreed to divert his attention to this campus-wide priority. I know he has cherished his service as dean and he is pleased that this new assignment will be based in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. I look forward to the entrepreneurial vision that Gary will bring to our mobile media initiative. This will be an important and timely contribution to the campus.”