James O’Hanlon Academic Leader Award

Award: $1000

Eligibility: Full-time faculty or staff

The James O’Hanlon Award honors an academic leader who has demonstrated exceptional abilities to lead, serve, inspire, and collaborate on the academic goals of the University. The award is named for Dr. James O’Hanlon, who served the University in academic leadership positions for over 30 years. Awardees are recognized at The Laurels annual award reception.

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Nomination Instructions

Before submitting the nomination form, compile the documents listed below in the order shown and save as one PDF file.

  • Nomination Letter: (Maximum of three pages in length.) Nomination letters should address and include evidence of exceptional academic leadership, including the following characteristics:
    • leads units in working toward achievement of university priorities
    • finds and implements practical solutions for complex problems
    • values and respects the well-being of people in achieving large-scale goals
    • exhibits an openness to new ideas, innovation, and partnerships
    • develops, supports, and inspires other campus leaders
    • models and demonstrates academic excellence
    • values inclusion of diverse perspectives
  • Supporting Letter(s) (Maximum of two letters). Letters can be from current or former colleagues, supervisors, or others within the university community in a position to provide an assessment of the individual’s impact at the University.

Nomination Form

James O’Hanlon
James O’Hanlon, 2013

About the Award

Dr. James O’Hanlon is a professor in the College of Education and Human Sciences with expertise in academic leadership. O'Hanlon previously served as dean of Teachers College, associate vice chancellor for Extended Education, interim director of the Nebraska Alumni Association, interim director of the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, interim dean of the College of Engineering, interim dean of the College of Architecture, and interim dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. He has led the university’s re-accreditation report development.

From 1982-97 O’Hanlon was the university's faculty athletics representative to the Big 8 (later Big 12) Conference, serving as chair in 1990, and a member of the NCAA Governing Council for four years. O’Hanlon received the NU Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award early in his career and served as Faculty Senate president. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Nebraska Alumni Association in 2012.

Past Awardees

Year Recipient Department
2024 John Carroll School of Natural Resources
2023 Jerry Hudgins Electrical and Computer Engineering
2022 Dawn O. Braithwaite Communication Studies
2021 Dan Hoyt Sociology
2020 Elizabeth Theiss-Morse Political Science
2019 Nancy Busch University Libraries
2018 David Hansen Psychology
2017 Nancy Mitchell Undergraduate Education Programs
2016 John Ballard Industrial and Management Systems Engineering
2015 Evelyn Jacobson Modern Languages and Literatures