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Last modified: Wednesday, January 4, 2012

IU program and reception to honor departing Provost Karen Hanson

Jan. 4, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will bid farewell to IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson on Jan. 12 with a program and reception at the IU Auditorium.

The event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the IU Auditorium. The event is open to the public; RSVPs, which are appreciated but not required, may be sent to

Hanson's distinguished career at Indiana University has included serving as provost and executive vice president, dean of the Hutton Honors College, and chair and professor of the Department of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences. On Feb. 1 she will become senior vice president for academic affairs and provost of the University of Minnesota.

Lauren Robel, dean of the Maurer School of Law, will serve as interim provost at IU Bloomington. A search committee will be created to make a recommendation to President Michael A. McRobbie on a permanent successor to Hanson.

Gwyn Richards, dean of the Jacobs School of Music, will serve as master of ceremonies for the Jan. 12 program, and musicians from the Jacobs School will perform. Also scheduled to speak are McRobbie; Fred Cate (via video), Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law and chair of the search committee that recommended Hanson as provost; Lisa M. Pratt, Provost's Professor of Geological Sciences; Sonya Stephens, vice provost for undergraduate education and professor of French; and Daniel C. Smith, dean of the Kelley School of Business.

Hanson has been the IU Bloomington provost and university executive vice president since 2007; she has been an IU faculty member since 1976. She chaired the Department of Philosophy from 1997 to 2002 and has been Rudy Professor of Philosophy since 2001. She also is an adjunct professor of gender studies, American studies and comparative literature.

In 2002, she was named dean of the Hutton Honors College. In that position she worked to enhance the collaboration between the college and other units on campus and increase the endowment for the International Experiences Program, which offers qualified students an experience of study, service or student teaching abroad.

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

A Minnesota native, Hanson received a B.A. degree in philosophy and mathematics, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota and Ph.D. and A.M. degrees in philosophy from Harvard.