Peru State President to Retire, Search Begins for Successor

Dr. Dan Hanson, Peru State President

LINCOLN – The Nebraska State College System is conducting a search for Peru State College’s 34th president following President Dan Hanson’s retirement announcement to the Peru community today. After twelve years of service to Peru State College and Southeast Nebraska, Dr. Hanson will leave the role in June 2021.

In a letter announcing their intentions to retire to the Peru State community, President Dan Hanson and First Lady Elaine Hanson said, “Serving as President and First Lady for over a decade has been the privilege of a lifetime. Partnering with Peru State’s outstanding faculty, staff, and administrators, completely committed to transforming lives through personal and engaging educational experiences, has been a distinct honor. We can think of no better way to have invested our time and our lives.”  

“President Hanson and his wife Elaine genuinely embody the servant leadership role of a couple committed to creating a community on the Peru State campus,” said Chancellor Paul Turman of the Nebraska State College System. “From ice cream socials at their home, to filling sandbags in preparation for the 2019 floods, they have been pillars of the community, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to learn from their strength and dedication. Peru State has been forever changed because of President and First Lady Hanson.”

“The Board sincerely thanks President Hanson for his dedication to Peru State College and Southeast Nebraska for the past decade. His ability to lead by example and to truly serve the community of Peru will be greatly missed,” said Gary Bieganski, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Nebraska State Colleges.”

Download a high-resolution photo of President Dan Hanson

Career Highlights

  • Dates of Service – Fall 2009 through June 30, 2021
  • Over 4,450 degrees awarded – The College averaged just under 500 graduates each year with a dramatic increase in the number of transfer students completing their degrees at Peru. 
  • Over $48.6 Million in Capital Improvements – During President Hanson’s tenure, Peru State has invested in the campus by renovating several buildings including the Performing Arts Center, the Field House, Delzell Hall, the Park Avenue Entrance, T.J. Majors Hall, Oak Bowl Stadium, and Eliza Morgan Hall. 
  • Active Member of Peru Community – President Hanson has been very active in the community of Peru, including his involvement in the long-term recovery group created in response to the 2019 flood and levee breach. He advocated the importance of levee repairs to state and federal leaders.
  • Fall 2019 – The College recruited its largest incoming freshman class in over thirty years.
  • Corrections Workforce – Under President Hanson’s leadership, Peru State College is poised to begin an innovative and first of its kind partnership with the Department of Correctional Services. The 4-year academic program will prepare students interested in a career in correctional services with the leadership skills and education needed to succeed. 
  • Career Scholarships – The College is also in its inaugural year of the Career Scholarships, offering students more opportunities than ever before to prepare for a high-demand career with minimal to no debt.

About the Search

The Nebraska State College System has launched the search for the next president of Peru State College, planning to build on the growth and innovation of new programs at the state’s oldest college. 

The Nebraska State College System (NSCS) has retained Academic Search, Inc. to assist in the search for the next President of Peru State College. The search will begin immediately, and Academic Search is accepting applications for the position. The search will remain open until filled.

Interested candidates can learn more about the position by contacting Academic Search via email at

Information and updates on the Peru State President search are available here

Judi Yorges, Director of External Relations and Communications
402.471.2505  |

"I am a first-generation student, and it was a really hard decision for me to attend college or not. Then, I found Peru State College. With the scholarships and affordable living expenses here, Peru made the decision a lot less difficult."

Photo of Carlene Riley

Carlene Riley

Peru State College