Personal Information:

Dan Ryan
Associate Professor 2005


1999 Yale University, Ph.D. Sociology.
1994 Yale University, M.A., M. Phil. Sociology.
1986 Universität Trier, Germany, Guest Student (German/Politics).
1983 New College of Florida, B.A. Mathematical, Physical, and Computer Sciences



Mills College
Associate Professor of Sociology, Director Innovation Lab
Assistant Professor of Sociology


University of Southern California: Adjunct Professor of Technology and Social Science


Yale School of Management: Instructor, "Geographic Information Systems for Market Analysis"

1994-97 Yale University Founder and Coordinator of The City Room at the Institutional for Social and Policy Studies.
1992-3 Yale University, Part-Time Acting Instructor
1990-91 New College of Florida, Visiting Instructor in Sociology
Various times Consultant higher education, data visualization, organizational behavior, software development


Courses taught in the last three years

Courses Taught
Title (enrollment|credit)
Fall 15 Spring 16
Hist. Sociological Thought (34|1.0) Proseminar (11|1.0)
IS Human Centered Design (6|0.5) Research Methods* (42|1.25)
Assignment: Innovation Lab GIS (23|0.5)
IS Design Thinking Prototyping (2|0.5) Modeling & Simulation + LAB (17|1.25)
* team-taught
Fall 14 Spring 15
IS GIS (1|1.0)
IS Technology and Society (1|1.0)
Fall 13 Spring 14
Modeling & Simulation + LAB (6|1.0)
Course or curriculum development; other contributions to teaching.
  1. New courses: Design Thinking as Liberal Art, Social Network Analysis
  2. Introduced video course descriptions
  3. Developed and implemented oral exam protocol
  4. Teaching wiki – all of my teaching materials are available online
  5. Wikipedia editing in class
  6. Coursera-based blended course in PPOL225
  7. Blended course using Novo-Ed/IDEO platform for independent study in Human Centered Design
  8. Developed and taught in "popUp curriculum" at USC Iovine Young Academy and introduced same at Mills

Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities


  1. The Ghosts of Organization Past (2015). Temple University Press. (original edition)

Articles in refereed journals.

  1. "Democracy and the Information Order," G. K. Hadfield and D. Ryan European Journal of Sociology / Volume 54 / Issue 01 / April 2013, pp 67-95. Fully equal co-authorship.

Book reviews, other articles, and notes.

  1. Chapter for revision of the Handbook of Community Movements and Local Organizations (from Carl Milofsky, Bucknell, and Ram Cnann, Penn 2016)
  2. Review of Networked by Barry Wellman and Lee Rainie. Contemporary Sociology, March 2014 vol. 43 no. 2 180-183 (doi: 10.1177/0094306114522414b)
  3. "But What if the Shared Vision Is Myopic?" Dan Ryan and Sara Goldrick-Rab. Chronicle of Higher Education, January 12, 2015. Fully equal co-authorship.
  4. "Majoring in the 21st Century," Mills Quarterly Winter 2015

Talks, abstracts, and other professional papers presented.

Invited talks, etc.
  1. "(Disruptive) Innovation as a Liberal Art", College for a Day, Denver Colorado (2016)
  2. "The Wellbeing University," George Mason University, November 2015, cancelled due to events at Mills.
  3. "(Disruptive) Innovation as a Liberal Art", Washington D.C. Mills Club (2015)
  4. "If Small Liberal Arts Colleges Did Not Exist, Would Someone Invent Them?", Address at Palo Alto Mills Alumnae Club Meeting (2014)
  5. "Learning to be a Node," USC Department of Sociology (2014).
  6. "Can EdTech Save Liberal Arts Colleges or Can Liberal Arts Colleges Be Saved From EdTech," Mills College Alumnae San Diego Chapter (2014).
  7. "Majoring in the Twenty-first Century," Mills College Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Society and The Cyrus and Susan Mills Society (2013)
  8. "Democracy and the Information Order," USC Law School Faculty Workshop (with G Hadfield)(2013)
  9. "In the Beginning…" Mills College Baccalaureate Address (2011)

Other Talks

  1. "Better Meetings: DeBono's Six Hats Method," USC Iovine Young Academy popUp Series (2015).
  2. "Tricks of the Trade for Speaking in Public" USC Iovine Young Academy popUp Series (2014).
  3. "Pedagogical Productivity and the Survival of SLACs in the Age of MOOCs," Mills College Faculty Colloquium, December. (2012)
  4. "How to Run a College Like a Business Without Running a College Like a Business" (2010)
  5. Guest lectures, Mills College. "19th German Social Theory" (for HIST127, Germany and Central Europe); "Power in Organizations" (for GOVT101 "Organizational Theory") 2011
  6. "A Pre-Transition Agenda for Mills College" (2010)
  7. "Democracy, Courts, and the Information Order" (co-authored with Gillian K. Hadfield) presented at Annual Meetings of the Pacific Sociological Association, Oakland, CA April 2010.

Web Presence

  1. - a wiki on which all of my teaching materials are made available on the open web. In 2015 the site received 44,000 visits from over 35,000 unique visitors with about 170,000 page views based on web logs.
  2. Numerous videos for college planning processes and instruction
  3. "Mills Innovation Minutes" – proof of concept for series of short videos highlighting teaching innovations at Mills
  4. Blog : The Sociology of Information: research related essays (195 posts with 39,000 page views)
  5. Blog : Assessing Assessing: organizationally informed commentary on the assessment industry in higher education (36 posts with 1200 page views).
  6. Blog: Majoring in the 21st Century: investigations into what college should look like in the 21st century (44 posts with 1300 page views).
  7. Blog: ICYMI:In Case You Missed It –aggregates articles on higher education issues for colleagues (197 posts with 3300 page views).
  8. Blog: Sociology @ Mills (316 posts with 13,000 page views)
  9. Blog: That's Interesting Radio Sociology (8 posts with 2400 page views)
  10. Blog: Excel Mills (34 posts with 1100 page views)
  11. Blog: Mills 2017: Strategic Planning Ideas (66 posts, 819 pageviews)
  12. Twitter @djjr
  13. Facebook group Mills Sociology/Anthropology Alums for continued contact with over 100 alumnae
  14. Facebook group Innovation@Mills promotes innovation activities for Mills students, staff, and faculty

Contracts and Grants

2015 Mills MAK Curriculum Development Grant with Maia Averett for Data Science, $3,000.
2014 Haverford College Workshop on Teaching Integrity in Empirical Research, ~$500.
2012 Mills College Research Grant for "Mapping the Higher Education Lobby," $1,245

Fellowships and Prizes


Sabbatical Leave, Mills College

2012-15 Kathryn P. Hannam Professorship in American Studies

Baccalaureate Speaker, Mills College


Visiting Scholar, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences


Robert and Ann Wert Chair, Mills College


2013 National Endowment for the Humanities: Member, Review panel for NEH Collaborative Research in Social Sciences Grant Applications.
2012 Loyola Marymount College: Program Review Department of Sociology.



  1. Undergraduate: See above.
  2. Graduate: I am regularly consulted by graduate students in public policy, management, interdisciplinary computer science.
  3. Other advising activities. I am the faculty advisor to the campus student democrats organization, "FemDems"

Campus service: Departmental.

I have either organized or participated in numerous iterations of our graduate and career workshops, orientation activities, etc.

Campus service: College.

  1. Travel and talks for Mills Alum Association
  2. Travel and talks for Mills Undergraduate Admissions
  3. Talks for Southern California admitted students (2014,2015)
  4. Ongoing Mills College: Interdisciplinary Computer Science Program Committee, Political Legal and Economic Analysis (PLEA) Program Committee
  5. 2015 President's ad hoc planning group for innovation
  6. Leader of undergraduate academic initiatives working group for strategic planning process and member of strategic plan steering committee.
  7. Consulting with marketing/branding consultant.
  8. 2012-13 Mills College, Chair Course Evaluation Committee, Chair Strategic Planning Working Group on Undergraduate Program
  9. 2011-12 Mills College, Campus Budget Committee
  10. 2011-13 Mills College, Chair ad hoc committee on electronic course evaluations.
  11. 2011 Fall Mills College, Chair of Faculty Executive Committee
  12. 2010 Mills College, Presidential Search Committee
  13. 2010-11 Mills College, Chair of Faculty Executive Committee

Professional service.

  1. 2013-15 American Sociological Association Committee on Awards
  2. 2012 Loyola Marymount College: Program Review Department of Sociology
  3. 2013 Review panel for National Endowment for the Humanities for Collaborative Research Social Sciences Program
  4. 2011-13 Secretary-Treasurer and Information Officer, American Sociological Association Section on Communication and Information Technology
  5. 2013-15 Member Committee on Awards, American Sociological Association
  6. 1995-2015 Organizer, "Soon-to-be-Author-Meets-Non-Critics: Leave Your Swords at the Door" Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association

Reviewing, etc.

At various times I have reviewed scholarship for Contemporary Sociology Temple University Press, University of Chicago Press, Sage, Symbolic Interaction, Time and Society, The Sociological Quarterly, Social Psychological Quarterly