Dr. Karen Pugliesi has served as Executive Vice President & Provost since June 2021. She is Professor of Sociology and has served in a variety of leadership positions at NAU for over 20 years.
Through June of 2020, she served for six years as Dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. As dean she provided leadership for twelve departments, schools and programs offering degrees in social sciences, related professional, and interdisciplinary programs. The college was also home to three public service and research institutes focused on disabilities, family violence and volunteerism. Her leadership focused on increasing student success; growing enrollment; cultivation of diversity, inclusion, and equity; building support for faculty scholarship; development of new academic programs responsive to student interests and professional opportunities; forging partnerships to enhance college outreach and community impact; and participation of students in research, internship and community focused service. Dr. Pugliesi spearheaded a partnership with community leaders focused on criminal justice and behavioral health issues, which yielded the college’s first endowed chair supported by a philanthropic gift.
Dr. Pugliesi served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs from 2004 through 2014. As Vice Provost she provided leadership for advancement of university academic programs, use of technology in instruction, and business processes supporting enrollment and student progression, curriculum, instructional planning, and academic assessment. She provided leadership and support for the University Honors Program, Professional Education Unit for University Teacher Education Programs, Departments of Military Science, eLearning Center, Office of the Registrar, and Office of Curriculum, Learning Design and Academic Assessment. Dr. Pugliesi directed academic program review, institutional accreditation processes, as well as numerous initiatives to increase institutional performance in student learning and graduation outcomes. Dr. Pugliesi served as a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission and was a consultant for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Graduation Rate Project.
Dr. Pugliesi also served as founding Dean of the University College and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Social Work. As the founding Dean of University College, Dr. Pugliesi provided leadership for a suite of programs and operations serving undergraduate students, with a focus on the first year of college, including first year courses and learning initiatives, the Liberal Studies Program, Bachelor of University Studies, University Advisement and Career Services, Gateway Student Success Center, Academic Transition Programs, student success coaching, and student success analytics. Dr. Pugliesi served for five years as Chair of the Department of Sociology and Social Work. During her tenure as chair, the department developed student learning outcome focused curricula and expanded statewide and online programs. Her research has focused on the impact of chronic stressors linked to social roles, work conditions, and familial caregiving on well-being; social support networks; emotion management in the workplace; gender and well-being; and the links between social conditions, and the links between emotional experiences, medicalization, and the self-diagnosis of premenstrual syndrome.
Dr. Pugliesi joined the faculty at NAU as an Assistant Professor. She earned a BS in Sociology and BSW in Social Work from Utah State University, and an MA and PhD from Washington State University, both in Sociology.