Skip To Top Navigation Skip To Content Skip To Footer

Dr. Dean Van Galen

Dr. Dean Van Galen


Dr. Dean Van Galen was appointed as the sixth president of Missouri Southern State University in 2020.

As a first-generation college student, Van Galen attended and graduated from the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Kansas State University. He then conducted post-doctoral chemistry research at the University of California at Berkeley prior to beginning his academic career as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Truman State University. As a faculty member, he was recognized as Truman’s Educator of the Year, and developed and lead an environmental science study abroad course to Norway.

Over his career, he progressed to senior leadership roles, serving as Vice President for Advancement at Truman and the University of West Florida. From 2002-2020 Van Galen lead the University of Wisconsin-River Falls as chancellor, before coming to MSSU.

Dr. Van Galen believes that student learning and success must be at the heart of the university’s mission, and that the ability to innovate and build partnerships are among the keys to the university’s future.

Mary Van Galen, his wife, taught adult English language learners from 19 different countries in rural Wisconsin. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Washburn University, as well as master’s degrees in nursing and in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

The Van Galens have one adult daughter, who is a public school teacher.