Lake Superior State University Board of Trustees Chair, Rod Nelson announced March 11, 2018 that the Board of Trustees selected Dr. Rodney S. Hanley to be the tenth president of LSSU. “Dr. Hanley’s leadership experiences in Canada and the U.S., coupled with his achievements in academic program development, enrollment growth, economic development and fundraising equip him to guide LSSU with distinction,” stated Nelson.
Dr. Hanley comes to LSSU after serving at Fisk University since 2014 as the provost and vice president for academic affairs. In addition to implementing a new five-year strategic plan, Hanley developed a new program evaluation system that was career-focused and worked to develop majors in response to student and employer demand – fitting in line with LSSU’s new strategic direction.
Prior to Fisk University, Dr. Hanley was provost and academic vice president at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., Canada; dean of science at the University of Winnipeg; and chair of the Department of Earth System Science and Policy at the University of North Dakota. For an overview of all of Dr. Hanley’s accomplishments, view his CV/resume.
I believe LSSU is well poised for enrollment growth and academic expansion into exciting new areas. I look forward to continuing this exciting momentum. My goal is to elevate LSSU to the next level of achievement as an institution.Dr. Rodney S. Hanley
The presidential search committee, led by Trustee Ann Parker, was tasked with finding presidential candidates who were able to increase enrollment by implementing effective recruitment and retention strategies, have extensive financial management skills, possess the ability to fundraise for key campus initiatives, and be a strong community builder. Parker stated, “Dr. Hanley is uniquely qualified to address these issues head on and lead LSSU into a bright future.”
Nelson praised the committee for their efforts and said, “I am very grateful for Trustee Ann Parker’s leadership as Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, and to the search committee for their outstanding effort in providing the LSSU campus, community and trustees with four outstanding candidates resulting in the selection of Dr. Rod Hanley as our next president. Nelson also gave a special thanks to Dr. Peter Mitchell for providing outstanding guidance throughout the process. “We are excited to welcome Dr. Hanley; his wife, Sara; and their two sons, Harry and Edward, to our LSSU family.”
Higher education is confronted by many challenges, now more than ever. Dr. Hanley recognized these challenges stating, “Shifting financial models, changing student needs and interests, demographic changes, new expectations from industry and society, access for students from all backgrounds, and challenges to academic excellence are all major issues that universities must confront. I have focused my entire career on leading my units and organizations to meet these challenges.”
“As the next president of LSSU, I will bring energy, passion, dedication, good humor, and experience to boldly confront these issues. I believe LSSU is well poised for enrollment growth and academic expansion into exciting new areas. I look forward to continuing this exciting momentum. My goal is to elevate LSSU to the next level of achievement as an institution. I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead LSSU and I offer my thanks to the search committee and the board,” added Hanley.
Having spent time in the Great Lakes region and Thunder Bay, Dr. Hanley is looking forward to his transition to LSSU. “Serving as the next president of LSSU is especially exciting for my family and me. LSSU is clearly a very special place. Preparing students for 21st century jobs, an exceptional commitment to teaching excellence, and an unparalleled dedication to the region are all qualities that have distinguished LSSU,” said Hanley. “I am thrilled to have been selected to lead LSSU to the next level of achievement. My spouse, Sara, and I are also especially excited to return to the Great Lakes and raise our children in beautiful Sault Ste. Marie. We are looking forward to experiencing everything that the region has to offer.”
Dr. Mitchell is looking forward to a smooth and vibrant handover as he and Dr. Hanley work to transition leadership. “Working with Dr. Hanley throughout the search process, I have been very impressed with his grasp of the challenges facing LSSU, but even more for his appreciation of inherent strengths of the faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders and his vision for the opportunities awaiting a university we all dearly love,” stated Mitchell. “Dr. Hanley’s presidency will be marked by significant achievements amidst a culture of optimism and caring. The future will be filled with many Great Days at Lake State.”