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Office of the President

Dr. Richard Hanson

The tenth president of Bemidji State University, Dr. Richard Hanson, took office officially on July 12, 2010. He also serves as president of Northwest Technical College.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees announced Hanson’s appointment on May 19, with Chancellor James McCormick formally presenting the president-elect to the faculty and staff of both campuses the following day.

Hanson, 60, had been interim president of North Dakota State University since Dec. 1, 2009. Previously, he served as president of Waldorf College; professor of sociology, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, all at Augustana College; associate vice president for academic affairs, associate director of human development in the Extension Service and director of the Family Studies Institute, all at North Dakota State University; and chair of the Department of Home Economics at California State University, Chico.

"We had some great candidates, but we're confident that Dr. Hanson is the best candidate," said Trustee Ruth Grendahl, who chairs the board’s Human Resources Committee. "He demonstrated a good understanding of the community, and we believe he will be an equally good leader for the campus."

Chancellor McCormick said, "Dr. Hanson’s broad range of experiences as a sitting president will give him a head start on leading these two institutions. I look forward to seeing how the university and college continue to grow with his leadership."

"I think the Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College match is a distinct challenge, and I look forward to it very much,” Hanson said. “The pairing of this university and technical college is going to be one of the most fascinating in my career. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is an attractive one in which to work, and I am pleased to be part of it."

Hanson also has held interim positions at North Dakota State University that included vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College of University Studies. Hanson earned his bachelor's degree in sociology and his master's in child development and family relations, both from North Dakota State University, and a doctorate in applied behavioral science from the University of California-Davis.

He replaces Jon Quistgaard, who has retired.