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Karen Paisley, PhD Appointed as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies

Headshot of Karen Paisley

The Office of Undergraduate Studies is pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Paisley, PhD as the assistant vice president for academic affairs and senior associate dean for Undergraduate Studies (US). In this crucial leadership role, Dr. Paisley will be assisting US with navigating through an exciting period of transition, in which exceptional education, proactive academic advising, and One U strategic success initiatives will be at the core of our mission.
Throughout her twenty-two years at the University of Utah, Dr. Paisley has had numerous administrative roles. As faculty in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism in the College of Health, her research has ranged from topics exploring learning transfer and social justice in experiential education to outdoor education as a component of sustainability learning. Her focus on experiential learning and equity, diversity, and inclusion work aligns with the university’s commitment to deeply engaged learning experiences for all students. Her teaching efforts, including providing support for the new Teaching Assistant Orientation run by the Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence focused on preparing graduate students for success as future faculty. Through this work she earned the U’s Early Career Teaching Award (2005), Society of Park and Recreation Educators Excellence in Teaching Award (2007), College of Health Distinguished Teaching (2011) and Mentor (2015) Awards, and Fellowship in the U’s Academy of Health Science Educators (2014).
Her service and administrative work for the last 15 years has focused primarily on curriculum policy and decision-making in relation to student success. These roles have included the director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism; associate dean for faculty and academic affairs in the College of Health; and special assistant to the president & NCAA faculty athletics representative. Each of these roles has intersected with Academic Affairs and the Office of Undergraduate Studies in myriad ways.
“This is a dream opportunity for me,” says Dr. Paisley, “surrounded by a dedicated and talented team of colleagues and collaborators, at the perfect time in the U’s history. There is phenomenal energy and enthusiasm around success for all students at all levels of leadership. I am grateful to join the team in Undergraduate Studies and look forward to the future of the U.”
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Paisley join Undergraduate Studies in this leadership role,” said T. Chase Hagood, senior associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of Undergraduate Studies. “From her extensive background in experiential education to an unwavering commitment in seeing every student at the U has access to an exceptional educational experience, Karen will be an incredible asset to US." Hagood added: "Under Dr. Paisley's leadership, we will see a renewed focus on data-informed, student-centered innovations in systems, policies, and more as well as a steadfast determination to maximize institutional effectiveness through collaboration and shared values."
Dr. Paisley's appointment in Undergraduate Studies commenced on January 1, 2022
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Last Updated: 12/12/23