Debbie Eno has accepted the position of Vice President for Academic Administration at Union College. Having served as the interim VP for a year now, she enters the role already on the downward slope of the learning curve.
Eno graduated from Union in 1999 and went to work in Lincoln as a med/surg nurse. She became a traveling nurse and completed a postgraduate degree. She returned to Union in 2003 as a nursing professor, and was honored in 2011 as the students’ choice for Teacher of the Year. “I love teaching and being in the classroom,” she says. Even now, she plans to continue teaching a research class for nurses.
Before serving as interim vice president, Eno was one of three academic deans at Union, each of which oversees the administration of several academic disciplines. She was approached about a promotion to the top academic position last summer, but said she wasn’t interested. She did agree to step in as an interim VP. “I thought it was good for the college to have someone in that role while the search committee did its work,” she said
As the months passed, she began to change her mind about the job. “I’m very deliberate,” she said. “It takes me a while to think through these things.”
Meanwhile, her colleagues took notice of how adept she was at her temporary position. “In just the short time she was interim, she moved along initiatives and projects that had been in the wings for years,” said Union president, Vinita Sauder. “I could see as she worked, she felt like she was growing into it.”
Dealing with responsibility is one of her strengths, and it is needed in her new position. “It is a lot of responsibility to keep our current academic offerings market-matched to the needs of the students,” she said.
“We looked for someone who fit the culture and could lead us forward,” said Sauder. “She’s going to make sure our academic programs are sharp and up to date. She approaches her job as a calling and is committed to Seventh-day Adventist Christian education in general and Union in particular.”
When not engaged in the adventures of budgeting and accreditation reports, Eno and her family enjoy canoeing in the Boundary Waters and hiking Colorado’s fourteeners. Her husband, Alan, is a professor at the UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communication. They have two young children, Devin and Elle.
“I’m always excited to see what the possibilities are for the next steps at Union,” says Eno. And now that she has taken a few months of deliberation, she is ready to help set the direction of those steps.