Debbie Eno has been appointed to the position of Vice President for Academic Administration at Union College. Having served as the interim VP for almost a year, she enters the role already experienced in leading Union’s faculty and academic operations.

After graduating from Union in 1999, she worked in Lincoln as a medical/surgical nurse. She became a traveling nurse and during that time completed a postgraduate degree. In 2003 she returned to Union as a nursing professor. Eventually, she advanced to Nursing Program director, helping build the nursing school into one of Nebraska’s top programs—consistently earning the best first-time board pass rate scores in the state.

In 2011 students chose her as Teacher of the Year. “I love teaching and being in the classroom,” she said. Even now, she plans to continue teaching a research class for nurses.

Eno spent the last several years in the Academic Administration office, most recently serving as one of three academic deans at Union, each of whom oversees the administration of several academic disciplines. During that time she oversaw many college programs, including communication, business, and the popular International Rescue and Relief program.

She was approached about a promotion to the top academic position last summer, but she waved it off. 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

While she worked as the interim, 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. “She is a results-oriented leader. And very good at collaborating and working with teams.”

Union College uses Gallop testing to measure the strengths of the staff, and dealing with responsibility is recognized as one of Eno’s strengths. It is a strength she will need 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 admits. The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program launched in 2020 is an example of how the college is adjusting its offerings to match the demands of the market.

“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. Best of all, she approaches her job as a calling and is committed to Christian education.”

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,” said Eno. And now, she is ready to help set the direction of those steps.

Kim Peckham is the director of communication strategy for Union College.