Meet Karen Hanson

Karen Hanson
Karen Hanson
Executive Vice President and Provost

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Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson is the chief academic officer of the University of Minnesota multi-campus system and provost for the Twin Cities campus, with overarching responsibility for fostering the academic excellence of the educational and research missions of the University and providing leadership for undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.

Executive Vice President and Provost Hanson has system-wide oversight responsibility for promotion and tenure, for policies and practices spanning all operational areas that affect the academic life of the university and faculty development, and for the development, revision, and approval of academic programs. She also plays a collaborative leadership role for the University’s academic planning and budgeting process, for academic technology, and for capital planning. Provost Hanson further has responsibility for managing the colleges, schools, and academic units of the Twin Cities campus and for advancing academic mission through the vice provostial areas. She also has responsibility for implementing the Twin Cities campus Strategic Plan, Driving Tomorrow.

Executive Vice President and Provost Hanson works with the president, chancellors, and other leaders to leverage strengths across the multi-campus system to support and strengthen the five distinct campuses—each of which brings distinctive history, vision, and strategy for contributing to excellence in ways that bring value to students, the region and the state, and our nation and globe. 

Biographical Information

Provost Hanson began her post at the University on February 1, 2012. Her arrival was a homecoming for her, having received her bachelor of arts, summa cum laude, in philosophy and mathematics here in 1970. She went on to earn both her master’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Harvard University in 1980.

Prior to returning to Minnesota, Hanson served as provost at the Bloomington campus of Indiana University and executive vice president of that university from July 2007 to January 2012.

Provost Hanson’s research interests are in the philosophy of mind, ethics and aesthetics, and American philosophy. She has published many articles and essays in these areas and is the author of the book The Self Imagined: Philosophical Reflections on the Social Character of Psyche and a co-editor of the book Romantic Revolutions: Criticism and Theory.

She has twice been elected to the executive committee of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association (APA) and to the APA National Board of Officers. She served as chair of the APA board from 2004 to 2005. From 1993 to 1997, she served as the APA delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and as a member of the ACLS Executive Committee.

Hanson has been an associate editor of the Journal of Social Philosophy, a member of the editorial board ofAmerican Philosophical Quarterly and a trustee for the American Society for Aesthetics. Her current editorial board memberships include Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews and Cognition, and she is an officer of the board of the John Dewey Foundation and a member of the advisory board of the Peirce Edition Project.