Stephens College has named Dr. Suzan Harkness—an experienced higher education leader with an extensive and diverse background in academic leadership, most recently serving as Special Assistant to the President, University of the District of Columbia—to the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Harkness offers a wealth of expertise in areas, including academic programming, strategic planning, advancement efforts, strategic enrollment, accreditation, instructional delivery and technology, government relations and strategic management of international partnerships. She has been involved in Board/President relations, fiscal management, athletics and institutional leadership; recently served as a liaison to the President on Title III, IV and Title IX compliance review and engagement; and championed online education initiatives.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Harkness to Stephens College,” Stephens President Dianne Lynch said. “As an experienced higher education leader and innovator, she has consistently demonstrated her commitment to the success of students, institutions and outcomes. Her proven ability to collaboratively implement change will help propel Stephens forward as a institution committed to the creative arts and sciences; to educating successive generations of women; and to building on Stephens’ national reputation.”
About her appointment to Stephens College, Harkness said, “I am drawn to Stephens College because of its rich history, its innovative spirit and its experiential pedagogical approach. Visiting campus, I was struck by the dedicated faculty and staff, the amazing students, notable rankings, and visionary leadership of President Lynch. The institution has produced powerful alumnae and does so through its creativity and passionate ambition. It is literally bursting with big ideas, and I wanted to hitch my wagon and join hands in lifting Stephens College to its next paradigm.”
“I am committed to building upon existing strengths, supporting innovation and creativity, and leading the academic area with passion,” Harkness added. “As a team, we will explore new high-demand programs, new collaborations and flexible instructional modalities. I am dedicated to helping students live the dream.”
Dr. Harkness’ background includes several key positions at the University of the District of Columbia, including Assistant Dean, Learning Resources Division Founding Director, Center for Academic Technology; and as an ACE Fellow (Mount St. Mary’s University).
She served as Managing Director, Academic Affairs for the Washington Center for Internships & Academic Seminars, and as the legislative assistant to Congresswoman Diane E. Watson with oversight on health, gender, and educational issues.
She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii. She also earned an M.A. in International Relations-Intercultural Studies from United States International University (Alliant International); and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
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