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.


Related News

Photo of Laura Kurdziel at Merrimack's 2023 Commencement.

Psychology Professor Earns Merrimack College’s Highest Teaching Honor

By: Michael Cronin
Over the past seven years, Laura Kurdziel has worked to expand Merrimack’s Department of Psychology and its curriculum.
Headshot of Daniel Herda.

Merrimack Sociology Associate Professor Maps Out Political Unrest in Chicago for New Book

By: Michael Cronin
Daniel Herda collaborated on numerous research papers on ​Chicago’s policing and racial segregation prior to the publication of “Chicago's Reckoning.”
Photo of Andrew Cote teaching.

Merrimack Music Program Director named quarterfinalist for Grammys’ 2024 Music Educator Award

By: Michael Cronin
Under Andrew Cote’s leadership, more student musicians are enrolled at Merrimack than ever before.