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College of Arts and Sciences Newsroom

Pautz named College associate dean for curriculum and student academic success

By Dave Larsen

The value of learning in community has special significance for Michelle Pautz, who was appointed associate dean for curriculum and student academic success in the University of Dayton College of Arts and Sciences, effective Aug. 16.

Pautz, a professor in the Department of Political Science, was an adjunct instructor at Virginia Tech in April 2007, when 32 students and faculty members died in a mass shooting at the Blacksburg, Virginia, campus. Three of the victims were students in her American government course.

“In the weeks, months and years that have followed, I have come to recognize the importance of community and caring for the whole person, whether that is a student, staff or faculty member,” Pautz said. “In returning to a classroom in which three students would never return, the community was critical. No matter what learning did or didn’t happen the remainder of the semester, being together and valuing the humanity of each of us was what mattered. Undoubtedly, this experience had a profound effect on me and one of the positive aspects I take from it is a deep and passionate commitment to learning in community and a tremendous desire to help support our students and each other.”

In her new role, Pautz will lead graduate and undergraduate curriculum development in the College, and develop, administer and evaluate programs and policies that promote student success and persistence toward graduation. She also will provide administrative oversight of the Integrated Learning and Living Communities, and coordinate and promote the Dean’s Summer Fellowship program. In addition, she will serve as director for the master’s degree programs in interdisciplinary studies.

Pautz joined the UD faculty in August 2008, earned tenure in 2014 and was promoted to professor in 2019. For the last five years, she served as assistant provost for the Common Academic Program, where she administered the general education undergraduate curriculum and orchestrated assessments of student learning. She served as director of the Master of Public Administration program from 2014 to 2017.

In January, Pautz became co-chair of the University’s Blue Sky Think Tank working group. Part of the Committee for Sustainable Institutional Transformation, the group’s charge is to consider more dramatic and even deeply fundamental ideas of how UD might intentionally change in the years ahead.

“I believe Michelle is positioned best to lead a College strategy for student success, integrating graduate and undergraduate curriculum innovation, and for providing opportunities for faculty to cultivate student success in their classrooms,” said Danielle Poe, College dean. “I am also impressed with her research focus on pedagogy that serves student success. In addition, she has experience with graduate education at UD and with the University's strategic vision, including her current Blue Sky work.”

Pautz joins a College leadership team that also includes Denise James, associate dean for assessment and program review, whose portfolio also includes department chair and program director development support. Interim Associate Dean Carissa Krane’s portfolio includes faculty hiring, tenure and promotion, and research support.

Pautz holds doctorate and master’s degrees in public administration from Virginia Tech, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, political science and public administration from Elon University in North Carolina.

Since coming to UD, she has published nine books and more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles. She has been invited to speak at the University of Michigan, Elon University, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Naval Institute. In addition, she gave a keynote address at a major public administration conference in Australia.

For more information, visit the College of Arts and Sciences website.

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