KEARNEY, Neb. — The University of Nebraska-Kearney is moving forward with a longtime professor and administrator as its new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

UNK announced Monday that it has selected Dr. Paul Twigg for the role. He had been serving as the college’s interim dean since Dr. Ryan Teten resigned in September.

“I look forward to becoming the full-time leader of the College of Arts and Sciences. I have always felt that my work is the most valuable when it impacts students and I consider becoming dean as another opportunity to do this,” Twigg said. “I am excited to work with our talented and passionate faculty to move our programs forward and to benefit the students and people of Nebraska. We have strengths in so many wonderful programs that make a difference in the lives of Nebraskans and I am ready to extend our impact.”

Twigg started at UNK as a biology professor in 1992. A news release says he has secured more than $32 million in grant funding and authored 35 peer-reviewed publications since coming to Kearney. Twigg was the graduate chair in the UNK Department of Biology from 2016-20 and helped launch a new master’s degree program in health science. He was an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences until becoming the interim dean.

“During the search process, Dr. Twigg was described by the faculty as having ‘vast institutional knowledge’ and ‘an ability to successfully navigate administrative relationships.’ Paul also has the unique ability to gain trust through transparency and he understands that change is necessary in order for UNK to grow,” Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Kristen Majocha said.

Outside of Arts and Sciences, Twigg served as chair of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance in 2020-21, and he manages the independently-funded UNK Greenhouse.

The College of Arts and Sciences is UNK’s largest academic college, with 2,400 students and 220 full- and part-time faculty.