College of Arts and Sciences Dean: Dr. Joshua Hagen
During the spring semester of 2016, a search committee comprised of College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) faculty and a Student representative frequently met to choose a replacement for Dr. Mendez, the CAS dean who retired at the end of the 2015-16 school year. After the committee narrowed down the search to four finalists, Dr. Joshua Hagen was chosen as the new CAS Dean.
Dr. Hagen completed his undergraduate education at the University of Northern Iowa, where he double majored in Geography and Political Science. He then attended the University of Madison, where he got both his MA and PhD in Geography. Prior to accepting the CAS Dean position at NSU, Dr. Hagen taught at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, where he held the position of Professor of Geography. Although he has never before served as a dean, Dr. Hagen did hold the position of department chair from 2010 until he left Marshall University at the end of the 2015-2016 academic year; making him a very well-qualified administrative successor to Dr. Mendez. Dr. Hagen was initially attracted to the job at NSU because of its location. Originally from a small town in Iowa, Dr. Hagen missed the Midwest—and, believe it or not, he was attracted to the small size of Aberdeen. Although he had never visited Aberdeen specifically, he had been to Brookings, and he enjoyed the atmosphere of South Dakota. His interest in the job started out as geographical; however, as he did more research on NSU, he realized what a great fit the school was. He loved NSU’s emphasis on maintaining smaller class sizes, and its dedication to undergraduate education. In addition to liking the location and mission of NSU, Dr. Hagen believed that NSU would provide a “great atmosphere to grow professionally.” As a new dean, Dr. Hagen has a vision for the CAS moving forward. “Looking ahead, I see CAS as the foundation of the Northern experience, providing the foundation for college education, whether a student majors in the arts and sciences or in business or fine arts,” he said, explaining how the education CAS provides, if done correctly, a foundation for both students’ careers but also their lives. The students and faculty of CAS are excited to see how this enthusiasm helps build up CAS in the following years.