Dr. Susan Larson, dean of the college and professor of psychology, has been named provost and dean of Concordia College.
“I am pleased to be able to serve Concordia College in the role of provost,” Larson said. “Concordia has been my professional home since 1998 and I am thrilled to be able to continue to serve this institution that I love in this new role.”
In Spring 2019, the Board of Regents affirmed a new college plan for leadership in Academic Affairs. Larson, chair of the Division of Sciences and Mathematics and professor of psychology, was named dean of the college for a two-year term, and was appointed provost and dean for a four-year term in June 2021 by President William Craft following Larson’s term as dean.
“Dr. Larson is doing outstanding work as our college dean, uniting genuine vision with discipline, good-humored stamina, and a commitment to engaging her colleagues. She brings a deep understanding of our mission, the trust of our faculty and staff, and a national network of colleagues from other institutions,” Craft said. “Larson exemplifies the life and work of a teaching scholar called to collegiate leadership and continuity in academic leadership will enable us to fulfill more completely and more quickly the transformational learning, excellence through diversity, and community well-being goals of the strategic plan.”
Larson earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, and her doctorate in experimental psychology from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. In addition to her role in the psychology department, Larson has been a member of Faculty Senate and governance committees, served as the inaugural director of Undergraduate Research and Student Scholarship at Concordia, is a past national president of the Council on Undergraduate Research, and has extensive research of her own.
Prior to transitioning into her role as dean two years ago, Larson thought about how the new position would take her further away from the daily lives of young adults studying at Concordia. However, spending some time with young family members gave her some insight.
“It reaffirmed my careerlong commitment to being a part of an institution that educates young people for a complex world, a world in which we need our students to understand and integrate multiple perspectives; understand themselves, other people and cultures, and the world around them; to think critically and be open-minded; and to responsibly participate their communities,” she said.
Growing up on a farm in the North Interlake region of Manitoba bordered by two communities representing Indigenous Peoples of Canada taught Larson not only the importance of “everyone belonging,” but that respect for and curiosity about others matters – something her dad embodied and something she strives to live by.
When beginning the role of dean, she reflected on her relationship with faculty and said she would endeavor to make decisions carefully, when possible with collaboration and input, and always with the mission and vision of Concordia top of mind.
Larson says she is eager to continue the implementation of “Concordia Leads: The Plan for 2030” and to prepare students for responsible citizenship with the college’s exceptionally strong academic and cocurricular programming.
“I am humbled and excited to be able to provide academic leadership to Concordia College and look forward to continuing the work of preparing our students to influence the affairs of the world,” Larson said.