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The Antelope

Shaffer appointed senior vice chancellor

Julie Shaffer was one of three finalists for the position. Photo by Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff

Julie Shaffer has been selected as the new senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNK after serving as interim since August 2023.

During her time in the interim role, Shaffer was tasked with big responsibilities from the beginning, equipping her for the permanent position. 

“The first thing that they asked me to do when I took over as interim senior vice chancellor was that we were going to have to cut the budget,” Shaffer said. “From the very start, I had to start looking at data, making decisions, offering suggestions and helping to guide the campus through that process.”

After this challenging task, Shaffer is looking forward to growing in this position and accomplishing some more positive goals.

“I like solving problems and trying to find solutions, like a puzzle,” Shaffer said. “I hope to make UNK an even better place to be and get to a point where we don’t have to cut money from our budget. Those are significant goals that I am really going to devote my time to.”

Shaffer started in the UNK Department of Biology in 1999 as an assistant professor, working her way up to professor in 2010. Over the years, she held various leadership roles within the department, including serving as the graduate program chair for seven years and as the online director for one year, before assuming the role of department chair in 2017.

She said that her duties as the department chair share similarities with her role as senior vice chancellor, and the size of the biology department prepared her for working with large budgets.

Additionally, she held many leadership roles outside of the biology department that made her an active member of campus.

“I was on the faculty senate for a few years which helped me understand all of the processes and different perspectives from other colleges,” Shaffer said. “I was also on grievance committees, program reviews and tenure and promotion evaluations. All of these really helped me to understand how different departments function and how to work with people from different perspectives.”

Chancellor Doug Kristensen shared his support for her appointment.

“Julie has shown her commitment to UNK through a variety of activities, from mentoring student researchers to serving as interim senior vice chancellor during an important time,” Kristensen said. “I’m very pleased that she has accepted this position, and I know UNK is in good hands.”

Shaffer’s appointment to the permanent position is pending approval from the NU System president and Board of Regents.

“I hope students will feel supported and create amazing memories here,” Shaffer said. “But I also want the faculty and staff to find this a good place to work and a place where they’re able to do their best jobs.”

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Rachel Ostdiek
Rachel Ostdiek, Executive Editor
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