GENEVA, N.Y. — Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark D. Gearan announced today the appointment of Dr. Patricia Stranahan to the position of Provost and Dean of the Faculty.
In her new position Stranahan will be the chief academic officer of the Colleges, charged with stewardship of the academic program including personnel decisions regarding the hiring and evaluation of faculty as well as oversight of the curriculum and departmental majors, the registrar, academic schedule, and the Library.
Stranahan's 20-year career in higher education began as a faculty member at Texas A&M University, and she most recently served as director of the Asian Studies program and professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh. Under her leadership the program expanded opportunities to study abroad, established interdisciplinary and intercollege courses and programs, promoted visits of speakers, performers, and exhibits to the campus, and collaborative efforts with other colleges at the University of Pittsburgh and with universities in Hong Kong, China, and Japan.
Her administrative experience includes her directorship of the Asian Studies program and her appointment as interim vice president for academic affairs at Chatham College in Pittsburgh. At both institutions, Stranahan established new venues for faculty members to participate in the decision making process. As director of Asian Studies, she successfully obtained funds from The Henry Luce Foundations, the Department of Education, and Freeman Foundation, among others, to support the work of faculty.
Stranahan's interest in small liberal arts colleges began with her own career as an undergraduate at Westminister College. She has served as visiting faculty at Grinnell College in Iowa and Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. According to Stranahan, “liberal arts education is the best preparation young people can have for life in a rapidly changing world.” Her master's and doctoral degrees in Oriental Studies are from the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
“I am excited to welcome Dr. Stranahan to the Hobart and William Smith community,” Gearan said. “I look forward to working closely with her.”
Hobart College and William Smith Colleges are coordinate, private, liberal arts institutions located in Geneva, N.Y. – the heart of the Finger Lakes region. The Colleges, which have a combined enrollment of 1,800, offer a remarkably broad array of majors and minors, which a cross-disciplinary flavor intended to better inform both professional and intellectual pursuits. The Colleges are noted for an ambitious emphasis on international study and for their programs in community service. Hobart College for men and William Smith College for women share faculty, facilities, and curriculum, but maintain separate dean's offices, athletics programs, students governments, and traditions.