Dr. Sandra L. Visser, an experienced administrator and longtime member of the faculty at Valparaiso University, has been named dean for the arts and humanities at Hope College.
Visser, who has also been appointed a professor of philosophy at Hope, is currently associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of philosophy at Valparaiso. She will begin in her new role at Hope on July 1.
“Dr. Visser is an experienced teacher, scholar and academic leader,” said Dr. Karen Nordell Pearson, who is interim provost and a professor of chemistry at Hope. “We are excited to have her join our community to provide creative and thoughtful leadership for two vibrant and thriving divisions of Hope’s academic program. Together with the faculty and staff of those divisions, I am confident that Sandra will strengthen and enhance both the arts and humanities programs for our current and future students.”
The college’s academic departments are grouped within four divisions: the arts, the humanities, the natural and applied sciences, and the social sciences. The arts include art, dance, music and theatre; the humanities include English, history, modern and classical languages, philosophy and religion.
Visser has been a member of the Valparaiso faculty since 1997. Her service to Valparaiso has also included chairing the Department of Philosophy and serving on numerous university committees as well as on the Faculty Senate.
Her scholarly specialization is in metaphysics; the philosophy of religion; and Saint Anselm, a philosopher and theologian who was archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 until his death in 1109. Her additional areas of teaching emphasis include logic, the philosophy of language, epistemology and military ethics.
Visser is co-author, with Thomas Williams, of the book “Anselm.” She is also the author of several book chapters, scholarly articles and book reviews, and has presented numerous scholarly papers at professional conferences and as a guest lecturer. She has also served as a referee for several publishers and academic journals, including Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.
She graduated from Wheaton College with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1986, and completed her master’s degree in philosophy at Northern Illinois University in 1990 and her doctorate in philosophy at Syracuse University in 1995. In addition to Valparaiso, she has taught at the United States Military Academy, Northern Illinois University, Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh. She has also been a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University.