At the end of March, Dr. Ryan Hartnett was appointed Villa Maria College’s vice president for academic affairs. He has served as VPAA in an interim capacity since July 2018.
“Dr. Hartnett has proven himself completely worthy of the full position,” said Dr. Matthew Giordano, Villa’s president. “He is an astute, hardworking, strategic leader and I am confident that he will continue to steer academic affairs expertly. He is committed to increasing shared governance and to promoting collegiality, transparency, and accountability. In addition to his well-known expertise in assessment, Middle States, and curriculum development, Dr. Hartnett possesses the broad range of knowledge and skills that the vice president position demands.”
Dr. Hartnett has played a vital role in the Villa community since 2013, when he was hired as the College’s assistant vice president for academic affairs. During that time, he led the development of several new programs, including digital filmmaking, digital media and communication, game design and computer software development. Further, Dr. Hartnett developed the College’s online curriculum, has been responsible for the review and re-evaluation of all academic policies and procedure, and restructured advisement and student services at Villa, which resulted in an increase in retention. As a member of the advisory board for the Achieve Program, Dr. Hartnett helped to create Western New York’s only collegiate program for students with learning differences.
In addition, Dr. Hartnett served as both co-chair of the College’s ten-year self-study for reaccreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and as the accreditation liaison officer to Middle States.
“I am excited and eager to take on this next step in academic leadership at Villa Maria College,” said Dr. Hartnett. “The College has allowed me to grow and transform exponentially, both personally and professionally. The environment here fosters this kind of transformation. I am joining a brilliant and enthusiastic leadership team, brimming with new ideas and the initiative to take these ideas forward in a serious way, all at a great institution with even greater potential. The Felician Franciscan tradition is at the core of our mission and vision for the College, and permeates everything we do for the students. I could honestly think of no greater opportunity than the one we have at Villa Maria College at this moment.”
Before coming to Villa, Dr. Hartnett spent 8 years working at Trocaire College where he served in a variety of roles, including dean of arts, sciences and professional studies. He earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from SUNY Buffalo and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Psychology, where he graduated with high distinction.