Vice President of Academic Affairs
Mid-State Technical College
Plover, WI, USA
Field: Educational Leadership and Development
An educator for nearly 40 years, Dr. Ann M. Krause-Hanson has one desire: to provide everyone with opportunities to learn. A lifelong learner herself, she believes that her constant desire to learn has been a key element in her success. She is currently the vice president of academic affairs for Mid-State Technical College located in Marshfield, Wis., where she is charged with overseeing all programs, faculty, institutional research and the library. She also provides marketing services for the school and presides over all workforce development strategies to meet the needs of admissions each year.
Earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, with a minor in psychology, from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1974, Dr. Krause-Hanson began her career teaching mathematics at the K-12 level, a position she held for 16 years before transitioning into administrative roles. In 1990, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Master of Education in Professional Development. Nearly two decades later, she earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a certified instructional supervisor, has a lifetime certification in mathematics, as well as a certification in vocational mathematics.
The field of education is constantly changing and Dr. Krause-Hanson is always looking for new bits of knowledge. In order to stay current, she maintains affiliations with the Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education (WACTE), and the Association for Career and Technical Education. She is also the president of Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership. Additionally, she serves as a mentor and facilitator for The Chair Academy, an international academy that conducts leadership training for chairpersons, deans and vice presidents in higher education.
Dr. Krause-Hanson attributes much of her professional success to the mentorship and opportunities given by those around her. In 2012, she was given the President’s Award by WACTE, and in 2008, she was given the Region III Award of Merit by ACTE. As the years progress, she intends to continue working in a leadership position.
Conversation with Ann M. Krause-Hanson, Ph.D.
Worldwide Publishing: On what topics do you consider yourself to be an expert?
Ann M. Krause-Hanson: Leadership, teaching mathematics, educational administration, curriculum development, and facilitating meetings, strategic planning, change, and processes.
What characteristics help to separate you from other administrators?
I am a lifelong learner. It’s my curiosity and constant reading that separates me from others. I am always collecting new and innovative knowledge, and implementing and applying it daily, whether in education or in life. My strengths-based approach to teaching and administration, and my engaging personality also separate me.
What motivates you?
People who step up, taking advantage of opportunities to grow and learn, and networking with others and sharing my experiences motivate me.
What lessons have you learned as a professional in your field?
I have learned to make informed decisions and own the decisions that I’ve made. I have also learned to continually stretch and look for something new every day — something new to learn or new people to meet. Also, I’ve learned that listening to others and using my communication skills, both verbal and nonverbal, is important. This is a critical skill for anyone to have in any field.
What short-term and long-term career goals are you currently pursuing?
My short-term goal is to become a president of a community college. That’s where my experience and passion is; I believe that I can connect with those students and faculty because of the way I was brought up. I focus more on applications than on research.
My long-term goal is to do consulting work on leadership, particularly in the two-year, post-secondary systems.
How do you plan to achieve these goals?
I will network with others.
What is the most difficult obstacle or challenge you have faced in pursuit of your goals?
Previously it was geographic limitations. Now, I get so connected with people that leaving my current position will be very difficult when that happens. I have to stay engaged and continually find new challenges in my current position and place of employment in order to stay focused.
What is the most significant issue facing your profession today?
Funding is an issue. The accountability expectations, cost in terms of cost per student, and financial aid accessibility are all issues.
What are some questions that an individual interested in your services can ask to ensure a more productive relationship?
They can ask questions about anything regarding strengths-based leadership, strategic planning, change processes, curriculum development, leader versus manager, focus feedback, and coaching.
Did you ever consider pursuing a different career path or another profession?
Not in the last 38 years. I never really planned to go into administration — I was going to stay in education and earn a Ph.D. in education instead of leadership. That was the change I made.
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your profession?
When the light bulb goes on for students and for faculty. When I can get faculty to see the bigger picture and how everything they do affects the students and the college.
What is your favorite or least favorite work-related task to do and why?
My least favorite is dealing with nonperformers — having those difficult conversations that you anticipate will go poorly, but go better than expected.
My favorite part of my day is teaching and interacting with the students and faculty.
Who have been your mentors or people who have greatly influenced you?
Former teachers, including Phil Makurat from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, who is the one who got me into education in the first place. Dr. Idahlynn Karre from The University of Colorado, Denver, is a facilitator extraordinaire and I appreciate what I’ve learned from her.
What changes have you observed in your industry/field since you started?
Classroom strategies have changed from being lecture-based to a constructivist-based approach (hands-on application focus and integration focus). I think we are doing a better job at answering the question, “How will I use this?” The technology has also changed.
How do you see these changes affecting the future of your industry?
Education will be more accessible for all students.
Do you do any public speaking?
I do presentations at national conferences on strengths-based leadership for The Chair Academy. I have also done presentations on applied and integrated mathematics for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ annual conference.
I also do many nationally based conferences where I speak on strengths-based leadership.