Published: February 25, 2013
Jack Geller, currently professor and head of the Liberal Arts and Education Department at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, has been named by The University of Tampa as the dean of the College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education (CSSME).
As dean, Geller will oversee the departments of criminology, education, government, history, sociology, mathematics and psychology. He will begin on July 1.
“I am honored to have been selected as the next dean of the College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education at The University of Tampa,” Geller said. “The college has an outstanding and well-credentialed faculty, along with a first-rate student body. This is a wonderful opportunity for both me and my family.”
In his current role as department head, Geller has led the redesign of the freshman seminar with a focus on enhancing student retention and success, developed with his faculty colleagues new programs in criminal justice and elementary education, and served as his university’s representative to the state’s Board of Teaching.
Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Crookston in 2008, Geller served nine years as the founding chief executive and president of the Center for Rural Policy and Development, based in St. Peter, MN, the only statewide non-partisan rural policy research center.
David Stern, UT’s incoming provost and vice president for academic affairs, said UT is fortunate to have attracted someone with Geller’s extensive background and accomplishments to lead CSSME.
“Jack Geller’s leadership experience inside and outside higher education is unusual for an academic leader,” Stern said. “He brings an abiding commitment to undergraduate liberal education, has direct experience with the social sciences and with teacher education, and has demonstrated a capacity to work with faculty and university leaders to create new programs that respond to the needs of today’s students, all of which make Dr. Geller an excellent match for CSSME. He has also been active in engaging business and political leaders in the communities in which he has worked, and we look forward to his continuing that sort of leadership in his new role at The University of Tampa.”
Before Geller’s leadership role outside of academe, he was a faculty member at the University of North Dakota in sociology and also later in community medicine and rural health. He was also a senior research scientist for the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Marshfield, WI.
He has authored numerous publications and has received numerous grants.
Britt Shirley, professor of information and technology management, and chair of the search committee, said the committee was impressed with Dr. Geller's record as an administrator, a scholar and president of the Center for Rural Policy and Development.
“During his visit to campus, he came across as genuine and honest. Those are qualities that faculty, staff and students appreciate in a dean," Shirley said.
Geller earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Montana State University, a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas, and his doctoral degree from Iowa State University.