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Texas Tech Appoints Interim Dean of University College

Valerie Osland Paton will serve as interim dean, effective June 1.

Written by Karin Slyker

Valeria Paton

Valerie Osland Paton will be the interim dean of the University College, effective June 1. The announcement came from Provost Bob Smith.

Paton currently supervises Texas Tech’s institutional effectiveness infrastructure, including Institutional Research, Academic Services and Facility Resources, the Office of Planning and Assessment, and the Quality Enhancement Plan/TTU Ethics Center. She also serves as the university’s accreditation liaison.

"Paton is the ideal person to assume the interim deanship in the University College. She is an accomplished administrator, teacher and scholar who has the support of the University College staff," Smith said. "Moreover, her commitment, background and experience are just what are needed to help advance the mission and goals of the college."

After Matt Baker announced his plans to step down as dean of the University College at the end of May, Paton was assigned oversight during the transition. Smith said Paton’s term of appointment is likely to extend up to one year, and that she is eligible to apply for the permanent position once a search process gets underway.

"The University College is growing and providing significant leadership to Texas Tech in distributed learning. Since its founding in 1923, Tech has endeavored to increase access for students by delivery courses to one of the largest underserved higher education regions in the United States – more than 141,000 square miles in West Texas alone," Paton said. "I look forward to expanding this role further to students who are place-bound, but need access to undergraduate and graduate education and want to be Red Raiders."


During the time that she serves as interim dean, Paton also will continue in her role as vice provost for planning & assessment.

Paton earned her doctoral degree in education from the University of Southern California, her master’s in counseling psychology from Santa Clara University, and her bachelor’s degree in American studies from San Jose State University.

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University College

Texas Tech's University College offers more than 30 college distance and off-campus instruction programs, a variety of K-12 distance education options that include a high school diploma track, professional and personal enrichment classes, certificates and short courses.

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