Ann Elisabeth Larson, Ph.D.
CU of PA College of Education and Human Studies, Dean and Professor

Ann Larson, Ph.D., is dean of Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania College of Education and Human Studies (CEHS): Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, Mansfield, and Clearfield campuses. She is the daughter of an art professor (potter and art historian) and a registered nurse. She grew up in Lindsborg, KS, “Little Sweden, USA,” and comes from a family of educators and medical practitioners. Larson previously served as a faculty leader and administrator, including as a dean, for nearly three decades at the University of Louisville.   

Larson has served as special assistant to the president as a member of the president’s cabinet, dean, vice dean, associate dean, department chair, and doctoral program director, at the University of Louisville. She held the rank of professor and has taught throughout her career in higher education in undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs, including general education classes. She is a former middle and high school English language arts teacher in Kansas in three school districts. Her administrative expertise in leadership and operations with a focus on academic affairs, education, human development and human performance programs, accreditation, assessment, and community engagement with school, business, and military partners, reflects her passion for these areas and working with students.  

Larson earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in curriculum and instruction and educational policy studies. She worked extensively in community engagement partnerships in PK-12 schools in Louisville and the surrounding region, and in Chicago including metro Chicago and suburban districts.  

Larson has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign College of Education Distinguished Alumni Award, and Bethany College Distinguished Alumni Award. At the University of Louisville, students consistently nominated Larson for Faculty Favorite distinctions, and she is a former recipient of a Provost’s Exemplary Advisor Award. She helped lead the Multicultural Teacher Recruitment Project at the University of Louisville and served on the Jefferson Community and Technical College Foundation Board. Larson served for many years as a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) coach in Kentucky to support teachers in earning their national board certification. As a dean at the University of Louisville, she worked closely with the Early Learning Campus, a NAYEC-accredited early child development center that offers full-day curriculum for children aged six weeks to pre-kindergarten. 

Beginning July 1, 2024, Larson will serve as dean of CU’s College of Arts, Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences (CAHESS), as the institution merges two colleges into a larger academic unit. She is grateful to work with central administration and college teams of diverse personnel in various roles at CU.   

Larson and her spouse, William, co-owned and operated The Swedish Crown and Vasa Club, Lindsborg, KS, their hometown, for many years while she taught middle and high school. In addition to her passion for education and human studies and inclusive and reciprocal community engagement, Larson enjoys music and the arts, reading, outdoor activities, sports, traveling, and cooking.