Skip Navigation


Engineering News

Dean Allen resigns; O'Hanlon to serve as interim COE dean during search

David Allen announced to College of Engineering faculty and staff April 29 that his last day as dean of the college will be June 30. Allen said he looks forward to returning to his faculty position in the Department of Engineering Mechanics after eight years as dean of the college.

UNL Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ellen Weissinger praised Allen’s service and relayed a message from Chancellor Harvey Perlman: "David Allen's leadership was instrumental in transforming the College of Engineering and placing it on an upward trajectory. He saw the potential for enhanced enrollment, enhanced research, and enhanced quality and worked hard to achieve all three. UNL is in his debt for contributing to our record of success."

Weissinger said, “I’m pleased to report that James O’Hanlon, dean emeritus of the former Teachers College at UNL, will serve as interim dean until a national search is completed. Such searches typically take up to a year. Since leaving Teachers College in 2003, Dean O’Hanlon has spearheaded UNL’s decennial accreditation process and served as interim director of the UNL Alumni Association and most recently, the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, an Omaha-based unit within the College of Engineering.”

Under Allen’s leadership, the College of Engineering’s enrollment stands at about 3,080 including 2,580 undergraduates; graduate enrollment has increased by more than 25 percent in the past five years. External funding for research has more than doubled to $30 million annually, and the endowment has grown to nearly $70 million.

The college initiated the new Nebraska Transportation Center, a federally funded research center. In 2003, Donald F. Othmer Hall, adjacent to Scott Engineering Center, became the home of the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Dean's Office suite.Allen has hired 62 new faculty members since his arrival in September 2002, and has more than doubled the number of women faculty (to 25 from 12).

The college also has made significant improvements and updates in programs offered in Omaha at The Peter Kiewit Institute. The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction is the only program in the nation that combines architectural engineering, construction engineering and construction management under one school.

A hallmark of David Allen’s tenure has been his interest in international opportunities for students; he has directed study abroad programs in Italy, France, Brazil, Spain, Sweden, Greece and most recently, Egypt.

Update (June 18): Allen has accepted appointment as dean of the newly-formed College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas-Pan American, starting Aug. 1.