Karen Ryan Named Dean of School of Liberal Arts

Karen L. Ryan will join Merrimack College as the dean of its School of Liberal Arts. She begins July 1.

“After a nationwide, inclusive and collaborative search process, Merrimack College has chosen Karen Ryan to shepherd our School of Liberal Arts into what promises to be a very bright future,” said Provost Allan Weatherwax. “Her record of program development, experience in building relationships within and across schools, and fierce devotion to liberal arts education will serve Merrimack extraordinarily well.”

Ryan, former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Stetson University, is a professor of Slavic languages and literature. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from Cornell University, and before Stetson, taught at the University of Virginia, Iowa State University and Williams College.

President Christopher Hopey said Ryan will continue to build Merrimack’s record of momentum and success. “Dr. Ryan has the brilliance, creativity and perseverance to create boundless opportunities for our students and faculty in the liberal arts, and we are pleased she has chosen to join us on our trajectory.”

As dean at Stetson, Ryan oversaw recruitment of 50 faculty members over five years and created several graduate and undergraduate programs, ultimately overseeing 19 departments and six interdisciplinary programs. She created and stewarded external partnerships for experiential education placements, and championed cross-college relationships with her counterparts in business and music.