Dr. David C. Hyland has had a long and successful career as a scholar-teacher and as an academic administrator. Hyland has taught more than 3,500 students and published or presented more than 100 articles, book chapters, papers, reviews and reports. He has also overseen and managed numerous labs, the biology department and the School of Health Professions and Public Health. In April 2017, he was named vice president for Mercyhurst North East. Previously, he served as associate vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer of the North East campus.
Hyland joined Mercyhurst as a full-time faculty member in 1995, having previously served as a staff archaeologist in the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute (MAI) for four years. Hyland, who holds a joint appointment in the departments of anthropology/archaeology and biology, was awarded tenure as an associate professor in 2001 and promoted to full professor in 2008. With MAI, Hyland served as director of the Organic Residues Analysis Facility from 1991 to 2011 and as director of the R. L. Andrews Center for Perishables Analysis from 1995 to 2001.
Hyland also chaired the biology department for nine years (2001–10), during which time he revamped the academic program, increased the number of majors from 25 to 155, and designed and oversaw the construction of the Donald and Judith Alstadt Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Research, the Ecology Laboratory and the Hirtzel Human Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology Laboratory.
Hyland was elected president of Faculty Senate and served on the Mercyhurst University Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2011. More recently, Hyland served as the inaugural associate dean of the School of Health Professions and Public Health from 2013 to 2015.
Hyland earned a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Cincinnati and a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. Though principally trained as a biological and archaeological anthropologist, his research interests are wide and varied. Hyland’s most recent project took advantage of the university’s cadaver lab and involved an investigation of the anatomical variations in the architecture of the thumb. In the past, he has explored the social connections between theories of culture and artistic movements, conducted archaeological fieldwork in faraway places like Mongolia and Ukraine, analyzed the material culture and perishable industries of the early Native American site of Pendejo Cave, New Mexico, and developed immunological techniques for identifying historic and prehistoric protein residues. Taken together, Hyland’s work has always been about creating a multi-vocal and holistic picture of the structure, function, history and culture of the human species.