Biography of President Haney

Image: President Haney during graduation

Dave Haney has been in higher education for over 30 years. Before coming to Hiram, he was president of Centenary University in New Jersey. He holds an MA and PhD in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a BA in English from Macalester College, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

He began his administrative career as Dean of Students at the Cambridge School, a progressive secondary boarding school near Boston, MA, where he discovered that working with smart team members to provide transformative education to students was the best career possible. After five years he returned to higher education with a one-year sabbatical replacement appointment at Swarthmore College followed by a 12-year faculty career at Auburn University in Alabama, where he also served as Director of Undergraduate Studies and then Director of Graduate Studies for an English department with over 100 faculty members. He moved to Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, to chair the English department, and then entered university-level administration as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. In that role he implemented a new general education program, reshaped student services and interdisciplinary programs into a University College, and created an early intervention program for at-risk students.

Following a year as Provost of Black Hills State University in South Dakota and as a policy analyst for the South Dakota Board of Regents, he moved to private higher education as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Emory & Henry College in southwest Virginia. There he led the founding of the Emory & Henry School of Health Sciences, raising $5.7 million to inaugurate graduate programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant studies. He also led the development of a strategic initiative for project-based liberal education, the expansion of community engagement initiatives, the growth of the honors program, and the expansion of international education. As president of Centenary University, he led the effort to achieve financial sustainability, reorganized the university’s administration, developed a strategic plan using the principles of human-centered design, expanded both institutional and student connections to the community, and raised $2.8 million for the construction of a turf baseball field. After departing from Centenary in December 2018, he developed a consulting practice on strategic planning, published articles in the national higher education press, and began drafting a book that uses “hermeneutics,” or the philosophy of interpretation, to address problems arising from the modern emphasis on the individual and to provide a philosophical basis for successful administrative practices.

His scholarship has focused on British Romantic poetry and the philosophical connection between interpretation and ethics, with two monographs on Penn State Press’s Literature and Philosophy series, as well as articles on British Romanticism, literature and philosophy and higher education. Dave is married to Lisa Baldwin, a veteran elementary school teacher and musician, who holds an MA in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University. As the presidential couple at Centenary University, they regularly welcomed students, staff, faculty, trustees, and alumni to the president’s home, and they attended student events whenever possible. Lisa was the leader of a grant-funded initiative to connect Centenary students with the local elder community, and she served on the board of a local nonprofit that addressed issues of domestic violence. Dave has a previous career as a bluegrass musician, and Lisa is a singer-songwriter with her own children’s music and movement program, “Music, Minds, and Motion,” so they continue to play music together. Dave relaxes by building things (most recently a she-shed for Lisa), and they love to travel through national parks with their teardrop camper and their blond lab rescue dog, Jefferson. They have one son, James, who currently teaches English in Spain.