Hansen to serve as the Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Former Dean of Graduate Studies and Research and history professor Stephen Hansen will serve as Interim Dean until Aug. 2015 when a faculty search committee reviews and identifies applicants for the dean’s position on a continuing basis.

Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Stephen Hansen. Photo courtesy of Howard Ash

Hansen came to SIUE in 1984 as Assistant Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the Office of Research and Projects after having worked at The Newberry Library, Northern Illinois University and Georgia Southern University. He served as Acting Dean of the Graduate School and became the Dean in 1998 and Associate Provost for Research in 2006.

“In 2010, I decided to return to the History Department because I wanted to finish my career teaching and researching, the reasons why I began working in a university over 30 years ago,” Hansen said.

Hansen received a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Illinois Chicago and have taught a variety of courses in American history. Additionally, Hansen have taught courses and made a number of public presentations on Abraham Lincoln and recently co-authored and co-edited a book with professor Caroline Pryor in the School of Education on Teaching Lincoln (2014).

According to Hansen, his research interests focus primarily on the dynamics of political party formation during the Antebellum period from 1848 to 1860. However, Hansen is currently examining the question of why slaveholders in St. Louis remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War.

Hansen said his main function as Interim Dean is to support the faculty in their teaching, research, and service in providing an excellent education for SIUE’s students. Performing this function means encouraging faculty innovation in the curriculum, facilitating faculty research and creative activities, and promoting shared governance and service, according to Hansen.

Hansen said he has four main objectives while serving as Interim Dean.

“First, I want to strengthen communication among the CAS units, the CAS faculty, and the Dean’s Office.” Hansen said. “Second, I want to foster faculty creativity in teaching and in the curriculum. […] Third, I want to encourage faculty research and creative activities [and] fourth, I want to strengthen cooperative activities with the other units in the University.”

According to Hansen, CAS provides the essential liberal arts foundation to all the schools at SIUE and it is critically important that CAS work closely with the other schools in order to assure quality education to all of SIUE’s students.

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