New Vice President for Academic Affairs announced!

May 23, 2011

Delaware Valley College named Dr. Bashar W. Hanna from Ithaca College as its new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. Dr. Hanna starts July 11 and replaces Dr. Dorothy Prisco, who is retiring from the position.

Dr. Hanna is a graduate of Temple University, where he earned his B.A. in biology, his M.A. in developmental biology and his Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology.

“Dr. Hanna has a deep and diverse academic background that will be a critical asset for DelVal,” said College President Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan. “He will be a primary force in the implementation of the strategic plan.”

At Ithaca College, a selective school in New York with approximately 460 full time faculty members and about 6,850 students, Dr. Hanna provided leadership in the areas of academic assessment, academic enrichment services, grants and sponsored projects, fellowships and scholarships and the college’s Integrative  Learning Initiative (IC)2 through his position as associate provost.

Before that, Dr. Hanna served as dean of Arts and Sciences and interim provost at Kutztown University. He was the founding dean of Academic Affairs – Pennsylvania at DeVry University, as well as associate dean of Science and Technology and assistant vice provost at Temple University.

In addition to being an accomplished administrator, Dr. Hanna loves teaching. He was a lecturer at Ithaca College, a biology and mathematics instructor at Temple, and a National Science Foundation teaching fellow in Philadelphia and Camden.

He hopes to continue to teach because he believes that being in classrooms helps administrators relate more effectively to faculty and students.

“I think it is incumbent on any academic administrator  to continue first hand contact with the students in the classroom,” said Dr. Hanna.

He said this will allow him to bring first-hand knowledge to conversations with faculty.

The second reason he thinks it is important to continue teaching is, “the students  are who you ultimately serve,” and  not having contact with them is a “lost opportunity.”

Dr. Hanna said he was drawn to DelVal because of the founder’s passion for helping people out of hard economic circumstances and providing opportunities through education.

“One of the first things that I looked at, being the product of a blue collar family, was DelVal’s noble mission,” said Dr. Hanna. “And having that mission withstand the test of time was tremendously attractive.”

He’s coauthored books on topics ranging from nutrition and wellness to college algebra.

He has also published work and presented at conferences on wide range of topics such as: online learning, strengthening academic departments by empowering faculty and staff, collaboration between two and four year colleges, ethical challenges facing higher education, better ways of teaching mathematics, minority student retention, improving retention through peer mentors and more.

His first order of business in July will be to get to know the community and build support for the strategic plan.

“The first and most important thing is to get to know my faculty and staff colleagues,” said Dr. Hanna. “I want to get to know our faculty and staff and begin  working with them to identify their  passion so they can fully embrace  the strategic plan and help us implement it. I’m delighted to be joining the college at such an important and transformative time.”