With more than 16 years of administrative and leadership experience, including working in libraries, education and management around the world, Eric Hanson has been appointed dean of Cal State Fullerton’s Pollak Library.
The former librarian and teacher starts his new role Jan. 2, following the conclusion of a national search.
“As a leader in the California Community College system, I have been looking for new opportunities to broaden my knowledge and use the skills and experience I have to continue to improve the educational experience for Southern California students,” Hanson said.
For the past nine years, Hanson, a first-generation college graduate, has served as dean of the library, learning support services and visual and performing arts at Glendale Community College. He focused on strategic planning, team building and caring for students, faculty and staff to build a sense of belonging for the entire campus community.
“Eric’s forward-thinking mindset and library experience will serve our Titan community well,” said Amir Dabirian, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “I am thrilled we have the pleasure of welcoming him to Cal State Fullerton.”
In the top leadership role at Pollak Library, Hanson is responsible for administering instructional programs, planning and administering the annual budget, physical infrastructure, and outreach and fundraising efforts.
Other duties include overseeing personnel matters; providing leadership in library development and innovation; and creating and sustaining an environment supportive of research, scholarship, teaching, academic excellence and student success.
“I am looking forward to learning all I can about Cal State Fullerton and using that knowledge to address students’ needs,” Hanson said. “I am excited about how we can incorporate technology and changing learning modalities into libraries and knowledge seeking.”
As the new dean, he plans to assess the library’s assets, identify opportunities and shape the library’s future by incorporating cutting-edge technological advances.
“Students, faculty and staff deserve to have the best and most modern library available to support their studies and research,” he said.
Some areas Hanson wants to focus on to bolster students’ college experience include artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
“Both could have significant effects on learning and research. As new tools become available, it is important that we assess and use them appropriately so we don’t miss the opportunities they may provide,” he added.
During his career, Hanson served as the knowledge and information management officer for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and as a librarian at the agency’s David Lubin Memorial Library in Italy, which houses food, agriculture and international development resources.
At the United Nations agency, he planned, designed and managed the pilot program for a new records management system. Hanson wrote the policies and procedures manual for the library’s publicized digital resources.
He also taught high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District and was an instructor and librarian at Pasadena City College.
As Hanson prepares to join the Titan community in the new year, he looks forward to serving the university’s large and diverse student body.
“I am most excited to delve in and become part of the community and to understand its strengths and future needs so that I can make a contribution and difference as the university moves forward,” he said.
A Los Angeles native, Hanson has studied and completed degrees in library and information science, organizational leadership in education, history and Italian literature. He takes pride in his Italian heritage and speaks Italian at home with his family.
He earned a doctorate in education-organizational leadership in education from the University of La Verne. Hanson also holds a master’s degree in library and information science-academic librarianship from UCLA, a master’s degree in Italian literature from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in history from UC San Diego.