MNU news

Center for Academic and Professional Success Takes Shape


As MNU continues work on its strategic plan, various areas of the university are implementing plans and creating new resources for growth and achievement. An exciting development in the work of delivering excellence and building resources for MNU students, alumni and faculty is taking place this summer with the hiring of Dr. Rick Hanson (’88) as associate vice president for Academic and Professional Success. 

Hanson will direct the new Center for Academic and Professional Success at MNU. This new unit will be tasked with creating services and resources that support academic success, career services and faculty development. 

Under Hanson’s direction, the center will also create personal development opportunities for students in order to result in a stronger academic experience and prepare them for professional roles. Up first this summer is an expansion of the existing learning center with the hiring of a full-time reading specialist and a math specialist. 

Hanson has a long background of helping students discover their gifts, talents and passion as the director of the Counseling Center at Rockhurst University for the last 14 years. Prior to earning his Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University, he served MNU as a resident educator, an assistant football coach and an instructor in psychology and physical education. Hanson says it was his work at MNU that ignited his desire for a career in higher education.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to come back to MNU and be engaged in something meaningful to me in an area I’ve been actively involved in for 20 years,” he says. “These activities are the right things to put in place at MNU anyway. But the funding we have from the Title III grant allows us to do it well and with excellence.” 

Hanson is married to Kim (Haller ’88). They have three children, Melody (20), and twins Michael and Jonathan (18).


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