From a School to a College
In 1968, Cecil Wittson, MD, chancellor of UNMC, conceived of a School of Allied Health Professions as a unit within the College of Medicine. This was approved by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents in 1972. The school was led by an associate dean and education program directors. Inaugural administrators were named to oversee distance education (Janice Tompkins, MPH, MT(ASCP), 2006), academic affairs (Greg Karst, PhD, 2007), research development (M. Patricia Leuschen, PhD, 2008), and finance and administration (Pat O’Neil, MPA, 2010).
In the ensuing years, it grew in both size and reach, establishing itself as a national leader in allied health education. In 2015, UNMC’s newly appointed chancellor, Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, championed the transition of the School of Allied Health professions to become UNMC’s sixth college.
Ryan Splittgerber, PhD, was named the first assistant dean of the Health Science Education Complex in Kearney in 2016. In 2021, the college modified its organizational structure to create four departments, each housing similar health profession education programs, and established a formal department for interprofessional and distance education.