Sherri Jones has been named interim vice chancellor for research and economic development at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Announced by Chancellor Rodney Bennett, the appointment begins Oct. 9. Jones replaces Bob Wilhelm, who stepped down after leading the university’s research and economic development enterprise for five years.
“Sherri’s passion for Nebraska and proven record for building research success in the College of Education and Human Sciences is an ideal combination as we move forward with work to elevate our university’s national reputation,” Chancellor Rodney Bennett said. “I am pleased she has agreed to take on this new role and serve our land-grant, flagship, R1 institution in a new capacity.”
Nick Pace, professor and chair of educational administration, will serve as acting dean in the College of Education and Human Sciences.
Jones, the Velma Warren Hodder Professor, has served UNL for almost 12 years — including as dean since 2019. Prior, she led within the college for seven years as chair/professor in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders and director of the Barkley Memorial Center.
Her work as an academic leader has focused on establishing a collaborative culture that built success in areas of research, grant applications, partnerships, clinical services and study abroad opportunities.
“I am honored to take on this interim role leading our research and economic development enterprise,” Jones said. “It is a tremendous opportunity to foster growth and collaboration during this transitional period.
“Working together, we will strive for continued excellence and success as we focus on expanding our research impacts on Nebraska and the world.”
In the lab, Jones earned numerous grant awards to support her research. She investigated inner ear functional development and aging, as well as the genetics of inner ear dysfunction. Her clinical research collaborations examined dizziness and imbalance following blast or blunt head trauma. The work included developing new testing methods aimed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of dizziness.
Jones’ career includes nine years at the University of Missouri, where she held research and assistant professor positions in the medical school’s surgery department, otolaryngology division and as a doctoral faculty in an interdisciplinary neuroscience program. She also served eight years as professor of communication sciences and disorders at East Carolina University.
She is a fellow of the American Speech Language Hearing Association and received the Honors of the Association in 2019 recognizing her distinguished contributions to audiology and hearing science. Jones participated in the Big Ten Academic Alliance’s Academic Leadership Program and the Food Systems Leadership Institute.
A proud Husker alumna, Jones earned all three of her degrees from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln — Bachelor of Science (1985), Master of Science (1987) and doctorate in education/psychological and cultural studies (1994). Her studies focused on speech pathology, audiology and hearing science.
The university will conduct a national search to permanently fill the vice chancellor role. Details will be announced.
Nebraska’s vice chancellor for research and economic development provides intellectual, strategic and visionary leadership. Responsibilities include collaboratively establishing programs and research directions; fostering partnerships to advance research, economic development and the university’s national standing; strengthening national and international relationships; and articulating the overall vision for partnership-based research and economic development.