Recently, James Temme announced another major change -- he intends to retire in the next year, after more than 40 years at UNMC. He had been associate director of the division of radiation sciences technology education (RSTE) since 2006 and Charles R. O'Malley Chair since 2010.
Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., dean of the CAHP, has appointed Lisa Bartenhagen, associate professor and program director of radiation therapy, as chair of the newly-formed department. Bartenhagen assumed her duties Jan. 1, and will work closely with Temme through this year.
The transition will be a smooth one, Dr. Meyer said, thanks to the foundation laid by Temme.
"Our ability to create this new department rests largely on the foundation Jim created," Dr. Meyer said. "When Jim assumed his current role in 2000, his primary job was to mentor what were then a group of new program directors. His legacy is that these individuals are now leaders in their fields and at UNMC."
"I've been here for a long time and over the years we've hired some very capable individuals to be program directors," said Temme. "They've been able to assume many of my former duties, and have done it very, very well."
Dr. Meyer agreed. "Lisa is perfectly suited to serve as the inaugural chair of the new MITS department," he said.
Bartenhagen began her career at UNMC in 2000, following seven years in clinical practice as a radiation therapist. Since then, Bartenhagen has elevated the CAHP radiation therapy program to national status. The program is one of only a handful in the country to educate students using the Virtual Environment Radiotherapy (VERT), a fully-immersive virtual reality simulator that allows students to acquire treatment competencies before they begin to work with patients.
Bartenhagen said she is excited to continue to grow the new department's momentum.
"We have great faculty in this department, and we're very supportive of each other," she said. "I am honored to assume this new role and excited about our transition.
"We all have the same goal -- collaborating to provide outstanding educational programs for our students."
Temme said that over the next year he will spend more time on alumni affairs, fundraising, recruitment and engaging in external outreach, including with clinical sites.