Allen Hance to Join RWU as Associate Provost for Community Engaged Learning

Newly created position will provide strategic leadership and champion community-engaged activities across the university

By Jill Rodrigues '05
Allen Hance

BRISTOL, R.I. – In a new position to lead and strengthen the university’s multifaceted civic scholarship initiatives, Allen Hance will join Roger Williams University as Associate Provost for Community Engaged Learning.

A distinguished administrator, educator, researcher and policy analyst, Hance will serve as a strategic leader and catalyst for community-engaged learning, working with faculty and staff across RWU and an extensive network of community partners to deliver the highest quality civic scholarship efforts in our courses, programs, schools, and divisions. As part of the university’s mission to develop Civic Scholars – students who apply their knowledge and skills toward working on real issues with community partners – the Associate Provost will oversee all community-engaged centers and activities at RWU, unite diverse efforts already underway, support the leaders across campus to move this work forward, and foster partnerships and initiatives at the local, national and international level.

“The Associate Provost for Community Engaged Learning is an exciting new position that will elevate RWU’s capacity to provide engaged scholarship and research across the many communities we serve and to fulfill our commitment to developing all of our students into dedicated and passionate Civic Scholars,” said RWU President Ioannis Miaoulis. “A champion of community-engaged learning with exceptional knowledge and leadership skills, Dr. Hance will help RWU realize our institutional mission of being the university the world needs now.”

“I am thrilled and honored to be joining the RWU community in this new role focused on advancing the visionary Civic Scholars initiative. Few universities have recognized as fully as RWU the transformative potential of civic and community engagement for deepening student learning, spurring innovative teaching and scholarship, and building strong community partnerships,” Allen Hance said. “I look forward to collaborating with colleagues and partners across and beyond campus in making this vision real, enduring, and exemplary.”

Since 2016, Hance has been Assistant Dean of the College for Community Engaged Curriculum at Brown University, where he developed strategic partnerships and academic pathways for community engagement scholarship and experiential learning. In this role, he advanced a new curriculum program for Community Based Learning and Research courses, and authored reports on awarding credit for internships and designing meaningful capstone experiences.

Concurrently, Hance has served as Director of Academic Engagement at Brown’s Swearer Center for Public Service, designing and implementing community-engaged scholarship programs for undergraduates, building grant programs to help instructors integrate community engagement into their courses, and leading faculty learning communities on high-impact teaching and learning practices. A prolific writer and sought-after expert, he has written and presented extensively on community-engaged pedagogy and research, environmental and agricultural policy, and philosophy.

“We are very excited about the appointment of Dr. Allen Hance as our inaugural Associate Provost for Community Engaged Learning. Dr. Hance brings a wealth of experience and a distinguished record of achievement in engaged scholarship. His work, both inside and outside of the academy, is marked by numerous programmatic successes that will translate well to RWU,” said RWU Vice Provost Robert Shea. “We are confident that his collaborative leadership style, as well as the depth of his knowledge and experience, will deepen our institutional commitment to strengthening society through engaged teaching and learning.” 

Hance will begin as RWU’s Associate Provost on Jan. 15. Hance has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Philosophy from Boston College, an M.S. in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Dartmouth College.