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Paula Myrick Short, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, UH

Paula Myrick Short

Paula Myrick Short came to the University of Houston July 2012 as Distinguished Professor and Founding Director of the Institute for Policy, Research, and Evaluation. In January 2013, she was appointed Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UH System and Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Houston. In June 2013, her appointment was made permanent.

 Prior to joining the University of Houston, Dr. Short served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the Tennessee Board of Regents since 2001. The Board of Regents is the 6th largest governing board system of higher education in the United States serving over 210,000 students.  As Chief Academic Officer, she had major system-wide responsibilities including approval of new academic programs and supervision of initiatives in TBR strategic planning, institutional effectiveness, Regents Online Degree Program, student learning, program review, faculty development, research, student affairs, and transfer and articulation.  

Prior to serving on the Board of Regents, Dr. Short was Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for the University of Missouri System and Department Head of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia where in her third year as Head, led the Department to a ranking of #15 in the US News and World Report.  The Department had not previously been ranked.  Also as Head, she led the successful recruitment efforts for the College and Department to serve as headquarters to both the Association for the Study of Higher Education and the University Council for Educational Administration.

At the Tennessee Board of Regents, Dr. Short led the development and Board approval of the System-wide General Education Core Curriculum, TBR efforts to establish Local P-16 Councils, the redesign of undergraduate teacher education, the redesign of remedial and developmental studies,  leadership development for department chairs through the Regents Academic Leadership Institute, and implementation of the Academic Audit.   During Dr. Short’s tenure, external research funding at TBR universities increased over nine year from $69 million to over $200 million.  She was instrumental in establishing two schools of public health in Tennessee and in the development of online learning through the Regents Online Degree program which has grown from 2000 students at its initiation in 2001 to over 20,000 students by spring 2012.

Securing funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she led the implementation of the TN Transfer Pathways as part of the Complete College Tennessee Act.  She led the development of accelerated, cohort-based programs in the Tennessee community colleges with support from the Lumina Foundation.  She successfully secured funding from the AT&T Foundation to support student scholarships for those in the piloted block-schedule/accelerated programs. She has been invited to work with institutions of higher education nationally on cohort-based programming as a completion strategy.  She served as an expert on the topic at the National Convening of the Complete College America conference held in Austin, TX in fall 2011 and was an invited presenter on cohort-based programming at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Council on Education.  She conducted a workshop on accelerated programming for the Community College System of Colorado and currently is beginning work with the Houston Community College System on block scheduling/cohort based/accelerated programming. 

Recently, Dr. Short was one of 150 nationally to be invited by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to participate in the Innovation and Productivity in Postsecondary Education symposium to be held in October in Washington DC.  Co-sponsoring the event is the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Considered an expert on academic quality, Dr. Short has presented on the topic at national conferences including the National Productivity Conference sponsored by the Lumina Foundation, the Education Trust, and the invitation-only Aspen Institute on the Future of Higher Education for which she has been invited to become a permanent member.  She was nominated and chosen to be an academic auditor for the Australian Universities Quality Agency as recognition of her international standing in this area.  She has written journal articles and co-authored the book on Academic Audit, Academic Quality Work (Massy, Graham, Short, 2007). 

Dr. Short also is recognized nationally for her redesign of remedial education via a FIPSE grant and has been invited to present at national conferences such as the Education Commission of the States and presented workshops at the invitation of the Nevada Board of Regents and the National Association of System Heads.  Dr. Short served on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation as an appointee by the TN Legislature; the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Institute of Public Health; the Advisory Board of the Emerging Technologies Life Sciences Center, a Partnership of Cumberland Pharmaceuticals and Vanderbilt University; the Steering Committee member of TN EPSCoR; and the National Advisory Council, American Student Association of Community Colleges.  She currently serves on the International Leadership Board of the Chair Academy.  She was named in 2013 to the Board of the Excellence Foundation of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

In 2009, she was recipient of the Paul A. Elsner International Excellence in Leadership Award in recognition of her multiple accomplishments in improving higher education.  She also received the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Regional Council on Educational Administration.   A nationally recognized scholar and researcher in the field of administration, Dr. Short was chosen as the recipient of the 1993 Jack A. Culbertson Award, given by the University Council for Educational Administration, for research contributions to the field of administration.  She is credited with developing the only empirically-derived measure of organizational empowerment which has been used on over 500 research studies and translated into eleven languages.  She has published over 95 scholarly articles and 14 books, book chapters, monographs, and technical reports; and received over $2.4 million in funded grants. She served six years as Editor of the Journal of School Leadership and served three terms on the editorial board of Educational Administration Quarterly.  She has served as a tenured faculty member at Auburn University, The Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Missouri-Columbia.  

Dr. Short has been president of the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration, the Southern Regional Council on Educational Administration, the University Council for Educational Administration, and two terms on the Washington-based National Policy Board for Educational Administration.  Recently, she was selected by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board as a Fulbright Specialist.  Dr. Short received her Ph.D. in Administration in the Department of Organizational Development and Institutional Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.