Richard Hanson appointed president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College

Posted: May 19, 2010

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities today appointed Richard A. Hanson as president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College.

Hanson, 60, has 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 James H. 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 will replace Jon Quistgaard, who is retiring. He will take office July 12.


Minnesota's 31 state community and technical colleges, and universities serve more than 430,000 students across the state.