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Jack Geller, Ph.D., Named Head of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Department at the U of M, Crookston
February 21, 2008

Contact: Tom Baldwin, senior vice chancellor, 218-281-8340 (, Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (

Jack Geller, Ph.D.
Jack Geller, Ph.D.
Crookston, Minn. (February 18, 2008) – Building on its exceptional faculty and staff, the University of Minnesota, Crookston has appointed Jack Geller, Ph.D., as the new head of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Department. Geller comes to Crookston after serving as president of the Center for Rural Policy and Development, based in St. Peter, Minn. for the past ten years.

Well-known throughout the state as well as the area, Geller raised his family in the region and is passionate about both higher education and rural economic development. He brings his extensive experience, respected leadership style and keen interest in rural research to the position. As head of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Department, Geller will provide academic and administrative leadership, foster research efforts in the department and promote and maintain an exceptional learning environment for students.

“We are extremely pleased to have Jack Geller onboard and excited about the expertise and experience he brings to the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Department at the University of Minnesota, Crookston,” said Charles H. Casey, D.V.M., chancellor at the Crookston campus. “He brings with him a wealth of knowledge, extensive contacts from throughout the state and proven leadership.

“Jack’s industry experience and dedication to academic excellence will enhance the hands-on educational environment for students in his department.”

The Crookston campus Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Department houses degrees in applied studies, early childhood development, communication and organizational psychology. It is the core department for delivering general education courses to students in all majors and advises all undeclared majors, which make up a large portion of incoming freshman.

Geller begins his duties on April 1, 2008, and takes over for interim department head and math professor William “Bill” Peterson, who will remain in his vital faculty role.

Prior to leading the Center for Rural Policy and Development in Minnesota, Geller was a senior research scientist for the Marshfield Medical Research Foundation in Marshfield, Wis., and a professor of community medicine and rural health at the University of North Dakota (UND). A current member of the board of directors for the Minnesota Rural Health Association, Geller was appointed by the governor to serve on the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice in 2006. He has authored numerous publications, serves as managing editor of the Rural Minnesota Journal and is an extremely successful grant writer. He also served as the director of the Center of Rural Health at UND.

Geller earned his doctorate from Iowa State University in Ames and his master’s degree from University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in rural sociology. His bachelor of science in sociology is from Montana State University in Bozeman.

The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. Invent yourself at the University of Minnesota, Crookston – become a leader, innovate through technology and research and secure the career you want. To learn more, visit