Hannaford comes 'home;' Settles in as dean

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Hannaford comes 'home;' Settles in as dean

August 27, 2012

 Dr. Bo Hannaford
Dr. Bo Hannaford

After a career in coaching and teaching, Dr. Bo Hannaford, 1992 and 1996 alumnus, has returned to his hometown of Alva and his alma mater Northwestern Oklahoma State University where in his second year he’s leading the School of Professional Studies as dean.

“I’ve always wanted to make my way back,” Hannaford said.

Hannaford came to Northwestern from Ponca City where he served as high school principal. He received his doctorate from Walden University in 2010 and has certification from the State Board of Education in the areas of school superintendent, secondary principal, world, American and Oklahoma histories.

When Hannaford first arrived at Northwestern in the fall of 2011, he served as the chair of the Division of Education. As chair he was immediately immersed with all essential requirements in preparation for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) site visit, which is to take place this fall.
When the opportunity arose for him to possibly make an advancement at Northwestern, he applied for the dean position and was accepted. Hannaford credits his coaching background as the foundation to help him make a positive impact on the administrative side.

Hannaford began his career as an assistant football coach and instructor at Sapulpa High School. He held several other coaching jobs across the state before he was led back to Northwestern. However, making the transition to administration from coaching was the easy part.

“Coaching has prepared me for my role as an administrator,” Hannaford said. “Especially as head coach I had to deal with different types of people – students, boosters, media, parents and other teachers.”

As with any new role, the role as dean brings on many new challenges. Hannaford will lead the School of Professional Studies, includes the Divisions of Agriculture, Business, Education, Health and Sports Science Education, Nursing and Psychology. Along with becoming very familiar with these six programs, Hannaford will learn the ins and outs of the Office of Graduate Studies.

“I hope to be the person that department members feel comfortable to go to for support so that we can work together to make better programs,” Hannaford said.

Hannaford says he’s aware that he has big shoes to fill with the retirement of Dr. James Bowen who is now at Southwestern Christian University in Bethany with former Northwestern faculty member Dr. Ed Huckeby. He will take on this learning curve knowing he has great mentors and senior staff to turn to if needed.

“Dr. Knedler (School of Arts and Sciences dean) is a great mentor and has already helped answer many questions,” Hannaford said. “I’m part of a great administration, and I will continue to support other faculty and staff for the growth of Northwestern’s future.”

Returning home was something Hannaford said he always had in the back of his mind. He’ll admit that he’s a Ranger through and through. His life at Northwestern began when he played for the Ranger football team.

“I feel that I’ve always been a part of the Northwestern family, and it’s great knowing I get to raise my kids in a smaller town,” Hannaford said. “I’m very excited to be back.”