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Dr. M. Jean Keller has been appointed as the acting dean for the University of North Texas' Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism, effective Sept. 4. She replaces Dr. Roy Busby, Regents Professor of journalism, who had served as interim dean since June 2011 and has returned to his role as a faculty member and associate dean in the school's graduate program.
Keller, a professor of kinesiology, health promotion and recreation, served as dean of UNT's College of Education from August 1997 to August 2008, when current dean Jerry R. Thomas was appointed. As dean, Keller was responsible for a $19 million annual budget, 300 faculty and staff members, 5,200 undergraduates and 3,300 graduate students enrolled in the college. Keller also served as the college's associate dean of academic affairs from September 1993 to July 1997. In that position, she was responsible for institutional effectiveness, program development and evaluation.
From 2008 to 2011, Keller was a special assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Campus Academic Transition. She has also served UNT as a member of the University Curriculum Committee, University Equity and Access Committee, Academic Affairs Committee, Evaluation of Teaching Committee and Student Success and Enrollment Management Review Committee, among others. She has mentored students in UNTs McNair Scholars Program, a highly competitive, federally funded program that prepares students who are from low-income households, are first-generation college students, and/or are underrepresented in higher education to earn doctoral degrees. Keller has also been a mentor to students in UNT's Emerald Eagle Scholars Program, which provides tuition and fees to academically talented students with high financial need.
Dr. Warren Burggren, UNT provost and vice president for academic affairs, said a search for a permanent dean for the Mayborn School is continuing. He thanked Busby for his service as interim dean.
"As we move into the new academic year, we are very fortunate to have some of Jean Keller's caliber and experience to fill the position of interim dean while we conclude our search for the permanent dean," Burggren said.
Keller has been a faculty member in UNT's Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation since 1989. She received her doctor of education degree from the University of Georgia, and master's and bachelor's degrees from Florida State University. She has participated in the Governor's Executive Development Program at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, and in the Baylor College of Medicine professional development institute in Houston.
— Nancy Kolsti, UNT News Service