The University of New Mexico-Gallup has hired an employee who has worked for the branch campus for 17 years as the new dean of instruction effective July 1, 2023.

John Zimmerman, the chair of the UNM-Gallup Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Division, has been appointed as the new dean of instruction, Chancellor Sabrina Ezzell announced recently.

John Zimmerman
John Zimmerman named dean of instruction at UNM-Gallup. 

“Professor Zimmerman has dedicated much of his professional career to our institution and brings several years of leadership experience to this new position,” Ezzell said. “I look forward to working together and having him at the helm of Academic Affairs.”

Zimmerman has been the chair of the Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Division since 2021. He has worked at UNM-Gallup since 2006 — first as an assistant professor of fine art, then as an associate professor of fine art, and finally as a professor of fine art.

He was also the director of the Ingham Chapman Gallery on campus from 2006 to 2021.

“I am humbled by the trust placed in me by my colleagues, the search committee, the provost’s office and Chancellor Ezzell,” Zimmerman said. “Gallup is my home, and I look forward to serving UNM-Gallup's students, staff, faculty and community for many years to come.”

Current Dean of Instruction Dan Primozic, who served in the role for five years, will step down at the end of June and will return to teaching at UNM-Gallup in the Spring 2024 semester.

“I have enjoyed the position especially here with good folks at UNM-G and look forward to becoming a full professor of philosophy and religion next year,” Primozic said.

Zimmerman holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, and a Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics from San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif.

Zimmerman has an extensive career as an internationally recognized ceramic sculptor, including:

  • Artist in residence at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, from 2002-2004.
  • Visiting artist and studio technician at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, from 2004-2006.
  • Summer resident artist at The Clay Studio of Missoula, in Missoula, Montana, in 2011.
  • Artist in Residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in Houston, Texas from 2011-2012.
  • Summer resident at The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Mont., in 2013.
  • Invited artist at The FuLe International Museum of Ceramic Art in Fuping, China, in 2014 and 2016.

His leadership experience includes three terms as president of the UNM-Gallup Faculty Assembly and as chair for several advisory and search committees at the branch, including the most recent chancellor search committee.

His service experience includes being a member of the gallupARTS Board of Directors, the United Academics of The University of New Mexico Bargaining Team, the New Mexico Curricula and Articulation Committee, and the Mellon Foundation Grant: Extending Humanities Pathways.

“I have worked with Professor John Zimmerman for close to five years and have found him to be a consummate professional regardless of what title he has held: associate professor of fine arts, full professor of fine arts, chairperson of the Division of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences,” Primozic said. “I am confident that he will carry that professional integrity into his work as dean of instruction. He shall do very well, indeed.”

The dean of instruction is the college’s chief academic officer with overall responsibility for leadership and administration of the instructional programs and the faculty.

Approximately 70 full-time and 50 part-time faculty are fully engaged in the shared governance system, and the dean works closely with faculty leaders to ensure excellence in the academic programs.

The dean is a member of the Campus Executive Leadership Team, giving guidance to instructional activities of the campus under the chancellor's leadership.