- President; Commonwealth University
Bachelor of Arts in biology - Temple University; Master of Science in developmental biology - Temple University; Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology - Temple University
Bashar W. Hanna, Ph.D., was named the 19th president of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in July 2017. Dr. Hanna was a professor of biology and formerly vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown. Hanna serves as Commonwealth University's 1st President.
As the vice president for academic affairs at Delaware Valley from 2011 to 2016, Hanna helped implement a $60 million capital campaign; launched four bachelor degrees, four master’s degrees and the institution’s first doctoral degree. He also guided the institution through a successful change to university status and created articulation agreements with five community colleges leading to a significant increase in transfer students. Additionally, under his leadership, graduate enrollment increased by 65 percent. Dr. Hanna also launched Experience360 (E360), an experiential learning and career services program giving every student real-world experiences.
Prior to Delaware Valley, Hanna served as associate provost at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. There he launched the college’s Integrative Core, increased external grant funding 20 percent and co-authored the institution’s academic strategic plan, IC 20/20.
Dr. Hanna served as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and interim provost at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania from 2005 to 2009. At Kutztown, he helped increase enrollment 11 percent, while also improving the academic profile of incoming classes. Hanna also conceived and assembled the school’s inaugural Board of Visitors, raised funds to create 22 new scholarships, increased tenured-track/tenured faculty from 64 to 77 percent and launched new programs including a minor in German and Bachelor of Arts in religious studies.
Dr. Hanna earned his Bachelor of Arts in biology; his master’s degree in developmental biology and his Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology from Temple University.
Hanna was also the chief academic officer and dean of academic affairs for DeVry University – Pennsylvania leading the launch of operations in five sites in Pennsylvania. He led the efforts to secure permanent authorization to operate in the Commonwealth, as well as gaining accreditation for the university’s engineering technology program.
Before DeVry, he served his alma mater, Temple University, in various capacities. He was the associate dean of the College of Science and Technology. As associate dean, Dr. Hanna co-chaired the College’s strategic planning committee, helped increased undergraduate enrollment by 35 percent and graduate enrollment by 70 percent. He led the effort to secure a multi-million dollar, multi-institution, National Science Foundation grant – the Philadelphia Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP).
In his career, he has garnered more than $8 million in external funding for projects, programs and scholarships.
He is a member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute, the American Association of University Administrators and is an editorial board member of the Journal of Education Management and served on the board of the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County.
As an active member of his community, Hanna has earned the Caring Community Award from the Bucks County Intermediate Unit and the Outstanding Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America – Minsi Trails.
Dr. Hanna is a passionate educator, and in addition to his administrative assignments, he continues to teach graduate and undergraduate courses in biology, cell biology, neurobiology, gerontology, biotechnology, mathematics and bioethics.
He and his wife Deanna are the parents of two children, Christian and Lauren.