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Last modified: Friday, January 13, 2012

Karen Hanson receives Presidentís Medal for contributions to Indiana University

Jan. 13, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie presented the President's Medal for Excellence to Karen Hanson, who is leaving IU after a distinguished career that has included serving as provost and executive vice president, dean and professor.

The presentation was made during a program honoring Hanson that took place Thursday, Jan. 12, at the IU Auditorium. The President's Medal is one of the highest awards the university can bestow.

Karen Hanson Receives Presidential Medal

Karen Hanson receives the IU President's Medal of Excellence at a ceremony Jan. 12.

Print-Quality Photo

"For 3½ decades, Karen has been an outstanding teacher and scholar," McRobbie said. "She has inspired personal and professional growth, reflection and renewal among her colleagues, and she has encouraged critical thinking and motivated countless students to become lifelong learners. By virtually any measure, Indiana University is a stronger academic institution thanks to her many contributions."

An IU Bloomington faculty member since 1976, Hanson has been provost and university executive vice president since July 2007. She was dean of the Hutton Honors College from 2002 to 2007, 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.

On Feb. 1, she will become provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Minnesota. Lauren Robel, dean of the Maurer School of Law, will serve as interim provost at IU Bloomington.

Hanson, in her tenure as provost, reorganized the Dean of Faculties Office and created the offices of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, co-chaired the New Academic Directions Committee and worked diligently to implement a number of its recommendations and established task forces on undergraduate education, student life, academic advising and traffic safety.

She also advocated relentlessly for diversity, fostered collaboration across disciplines and the schools, helped develop scholars at all stages of their academic careers and worked unremittingly to ensure and enhance academic standards, McRobbie said.

The President's Medal recognizes, among other criteria, distinction in public service, service to IU, and extraordinary merit and achievement in the arts, humanities, sciences, education and industry. The medal itself is a reproduction in silver of the symbolic jewel of office worn by Indiana University's president at ceremonial occasions.

A list of past recipients of the President's Medal is available online. Note: The list does not include emeriti faculty members John Preer and Ting-Kai Li, who received the president's medal in September 2011, and Vice President Emeritus Patrick O'Meara, who received the award in November 2011.