Dr. Yan Searcy, Dean, Educator, and Clothing Store Owner

Dr. Yan Searcy
Dr. Yan Searcy

Just after Yan Searcy finished his MSW degree in the early 1990’s, his entrepreneurial bent and multitasking ability that would be evident throughout his career, led him to open a retail clothing store near the UW campus. Yan continued this multitasking when he entered the PhD program at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Services Administration, and his entrepreneurial approach has continued while in higher education.

In 2018, Dr. Searcy was named Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at California State University, Northridge, a vibrant, diverse university community of 38,000 students on a 356-acre campus in the heart of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. In 2020, CSUN was named the nation’s fourth-ranked school on CollegeNET’s 2020 Social Mobility Index, acknowledging its success at enrolling students from low-income backgrounds and graduating them into well-paying jobs.

Yan comes to his current position following 20 years as a faculty member at Chicago State University where he served as the President of the Faculty Senate for seven years, and four years as the Associate Dean in the School of Health and Human Services at Southern Connecticut State University.

When asked what he sees as his philosophy of educational leadership, Yan explains he believes the role of a dean is, “to move a college from what is merely tolerated to what is desired.” His experience, expertise, and a strong commitment to diversity, racial and social justice, also shapes his vision.

Echoing his entrepreneurial approach, Yan stresses the importance of “selling” the idea that education can transform lives. He plans to build on CSUN’s successes and further harness the strengths of his students, faculty, and the community to transform lives and build social mobility.