Karen Hanson named provost of the University of Minnesota

This just in from the U:

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler names alumna Karen Hanson as the new provost

Board of Regents to vote on the appointment at October meeting


University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler today announced that Karen Hanson will be the university’s new senior vice president for academic affairs and provost – subject to approval by the Board of Regents.

Hanson will take the post on Feb. 1, 2012. She currently works at Indiana University, where she serves as provost of the Bloomington campus and executive vice president of the university. She has been in that position since July 2007.

It is a homecoming for Hanson, who received her bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and mathematics from the U of M in 1970. She went on to earn both her master’s degree and doctorate in philosophy from Harvard University in 1980.

“These are exciting times for the U of M, and I’m thrilled to be returning to Minnesota,” Hanson said. “In having liberal arts, engineering, agriculture, an academic health center and more, all on one campus in an urban setting, as well as strong coordinate campuses throughout the state, the University of Minnesota is poised to be in the vanguard for repositioning the nation’s public universities. I am honored to support President Kaler and his team as we move the U forward."

“With Karen as provost, we get the spectacular combination of a leader with a strong academic record and someone who has honed her skills as a seasoned administrator,” Kaler said. “In addition, she comes here with a disciplinary background in philosophy and the humanities, which complements my background as a scientist and chemical engineer.”

The senior vice president for academic affairs and provost is the chief academic officer for the university and ranks second to the president. Current provost Tom Sullivan will remain in his position through January 2012.

Prior to being appointed provost at Indiana, Hanson served there as dean of the Hutton Honors College from 2002 to 2007 and as chair of the Department of Philosophy from 1997 to 2002. A philosophy faculty member at IU since 1976, Hanson is also an adjunct faculty member in the comparative literature, American studies and gender studies departments. She has won numerous campus and all-university teaching awards, along with a Lilly Fellowship and a number of research grants.

Hanson's principal research interests are in the philosophy of mind, ethics and aesthetics, and in American philosophy. She's published many articles and essays in these areas and is the author of the book "The Self Imagined: Philosophical Reflections on the Social Character of Psych"e and a coeditor of "Romantic Revolutions: Criticism and Theory."

Hanson has twice been elected to the executive committee of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association (APA) and to the APA National Board of Officers. She served as chair of the board of the APA from 2004 to 2005. From 1993 to 1997, she served as the APA delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and as a member of the ACLS Executive Committee.

Hanson has been an associate editor of the Journal of Social Philosophy, a member of the editorial board of American Philosophical Quarterly and a trustee for the American Society for Aesthetics. Her current editorial board memberships include Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews and Cognitio, and she is an officer of the board of the John Dewey Foundation and a member of both the advisory and the editorial boards of the Peirce Edition Project.

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