Professor Randy Hanson Appointed Dean of School of Business & Social Sciences

Professor Randy Hanson has been named Colby-Sawyer College’s next dean of the School of Business & Social Sciences. He will begin a five-year appointment as dean in January 2024.

Hanson, who teaches in the history and political studies program and holds the David H. Winton Endowed Teaching Chair, has been a member of the Colby-Sawyer faculty since 1996. A two-time winner of the Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching, the college’s highest teaching award, he holds a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington. He received the New Hampshire Professor of the Year Award from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2001.

“Randy Hanson is a deep thinker and joyful collaborator who cares deeply about his students, his colleagues, the School of Business & Social Science and Colby-Sawyer College,” Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty Eden Wales Freedman said. “He is a tremendous professor and an experienced administrator and, with almost three decades of experience at Colby-Sawyer, brings considerable institutional knowledge to the role. He continually seeks innovative ways to support faculty, improve policies and processes, and develop programs and partnerships. I am eager to work with him as dean.”

As dean, Hanson will provide leadership to the School of Business & Social Sciences faculty, staff and students, developing and managing its human, physical and financial resources. Working closely with Wales Freedman, he will be involved with strategic planning for the school, including new program development and program changes that align with the college’s strategic plan. Hanson will also lead efforts in accreditation, professional partnerships and community relationships to develop enhanced curricular opportunities, student internships and employment opportunities for graduates.

Hanson said that while he plans to continue teaching in some capacity — he and Student Learning Collaborative Director Caren Baldwin-Dimeo will co-teach an honors course this spring — he’s looking forward to what lies ahead in his new role.

“I’m excited to start a new adventure in my 28th year at Colby-Sawyer, and I’m looking forward to collaborating in new ways with my colleagues to best serve the needs of students,” Hanson said. “One of my top priorities as dean will be to work with various areas on campus, whether it be Admissions or Marketing & Communications, to help prospective students and their families understand the amazing opportunities and value of what our school has to offer.”

Hanson currently serves on the college’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, the Campus Safety Advisory Committee and the Wesson Honors Advisory Group. In the past, among other leadership roles, he has served as chair of the Social Sciences and Education Department, coordinator of the college’s Liberal Education Program and chair of the Academic Policies Committee.

Hanson will replace Tom Kealy, who has served as the School of Business & Social Sciences dean since the position’s inception in 2019. Kealy, who joined the Colby-Sawyer faculty in 2000, will be leaving the college at the end of 2023 to assume an academic leadership position at Clemson University.