Skip Navigation

Richard A. Hanson, Ph.D.

President, 2010-present
Bemidji State University & Northwest Technical College

Dr. Richard Hanson is president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College.

Since arriving in Bemidji in July 2010, Dr. Hanson has implemented a broad restructuring of course offerings at Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College to better meet current market conditions, resulting in an increased competitiveness for both institutions.  He ushered in a new era in men’s and women’s athletics, when in 2010, the BSU Beavers opened a new arena for the start of Division I WCHA hockey.  With the help of the student body, Dr. Hanson implemented a tobacco-free policy on both campuses.  In addition, he founded the Bemidji School of Nursing, coordinating the instructional efforts of both NTC and BSU.  He renamed the Education-Arts building as Bensen Hall, in honor of President Emeritus James Bensen. During the 2012-13 school year, he has overseen development of an academic master plan as part of the strategic plan for both institutions.  All the while, he has been heavily involved in an extensive capital campaign to raise funding for student scholarships and endowments. 

Dr. Hanson participates in several organizations including:

  • Minnesota Campus Compact
  • Workforce of the Future – a Minnesota State Colleges & Universities initiative
  • Greater Bemidji board of directors
  • Bemidji Leads!
  • American Association of State Colleges & Universities
  • Association of American Colleges & Universities
  • Higher Learning Commission

Prior to his service in Bemidji, Dr. Hanson served as interim president of North Dakota State University in Fargo. For approximately five years before that, he served as president of Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. In addition, Dr. Hanson was dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., from 1995 to 2005. He has also served North Dakota State University for 15 years as a professor, department chair, dean and associate vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Hanson is an award-winning teacher and academic advisor.  He has authored more than 25 competitive grant awards, 19 refereed journal articles, 12 other publications, five books and monographs and more than 30 professional conference/association presentations. He also maintains a successful record as a consultant, program evaluator and fund raiser.

Dr. Hanson and his wife, Dianne, have three grown daughters and one granddaughter.

Curriculum Vita