Jean Haar Retires After Stellar Service

After many years of serving in the College of Education, Dean Jean Haar has announced her retirement. 

Before coming to Minnesota State Haar worked as a teacher and served as a high school principal. She then came to MSU as a faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership. Soon after, she was offered a dean’s position in the College of Education, where she served as chief academic officer for the college, advocated for student opportunities and represented the college in many other ways.

“Faculty members can have ideas and interests and might ask me as the dean, ‘Can you support this work or can you support these students getting involved in this experience?’ And I want to be able to say yes, try to figure out how to make that happen because I know the difference that makes in people’s experiences,” said Haar.

Haar provided leadership and strategic direction to guide the college’s work around racial equity and to make changes in policies, procedures, and practices to advance the vision, commitment and values. 

She provided support and development of the aviation professional pilot program to include securing and maintaining national accreditation and in partnership with North Star Aviation securing two CRJ700 Jet Simulators for use as a capstone for the program, and to provide students with quality preparation for ongoing training expectations in the industry.

Moreover, Haar increased yearly student scholarships from $60,000 to $445,000. Throughout her service at MSU, she connected with different student groups to listen to their concerns and help them overcome obstacles on the way to success. 

Haar said she was constantly thinking about ways to support students and create a supportive and encouraging culture.

“I feed a lot off of listening to others and if they have something and if it’s going to be positive and impact students, I’m all in,” said Haar. “And that’s the part I like about this position. You get to try to get rid of the barriers or remove things that might get in the way and just create these opportunities.”

Haar said she feels the goal of creating a supportive culture was accomplished and with her stepping away from the position, there are people who will continue and advance the work.

“I always say, one person leaving shouldn’t curtail or stop any part of the work. I really feel, when I look at who’s in what position, who the faculty are, who the staff are, that we’re in a good place,” said Haar. “That’s an accomplishment that I think is awesome.”

Haar accomplished many of her goals and improved many programs within the college. 

“It really has been awesome and humbling to hear from people who are acknowledging and thanking me for my service and my time and sharing the impact that us working together made,” said Haar. “I was really appreciative of that acknowledgement.”

Once retired, she will spend more time with her grandkids while also volunteering in different organizations.

“I don’t like homelessness and knowing that there are people who do not have enough food. I think I will volunteer at nonprofits that are really trying to think about how to make sure people have a secure place to be at night and while they’re struggling,” said Haar. “I know I’ll do something with education, which really is back to connecting with students.”

Write to Amalia Sharaf at

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