Dr. Paula Lutz, dean of the University of Missouri-Rolla College of Arts and Sciences since 2002, has announced plans to leave UMR in June to direct the College of Letters and Science at Montana State University in Bozeman.
“Dr. Lutz has been an outstanding dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,” says UMR Chancellor John F. Carney III. “She has exhibited high standards in every aspect of her work, and her two decades of outstanding service to UMR have done much to advance the stature of the university. We wish her all the best in her new position at Montana State University.”
Lutz, a UMR graduate and a member of the UMR faculty since 1987, was the first female dean in the university’s history and was named UMR’s Woman of the Year in 1999. She joined UMR in 1987 as an assistant professor of life sciences and was named chair of the biological sciences department in 2000.
“I have enjoyed my 20 years here, and in many ways it will be difficult to leave such great friends and colleagues,” Lutz says. “UMR will always have a special place in my heart — as an alumna and as a former faculty member. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead in my new position, and I wish UMR well in these exciting times. I know that this university will continue to grow and prosper in the years to come.”
Previously, Lutz served as a research associate and postdoctoral fellow at both Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Under Lutz’s leadership at UMR, the College of Arts and Sciences raised its profile and increased scholarship and funded research. The college also enhanced mentoring of new and underrepresented faculty and emphasized teaching effectiveness by implementing programs like the CAS Excellence in Teaching Awards.
Lutz also helped to increase interest in math and science careers among young women by developing an annual program called “Bridging the Gap.” The program, formerly called “2+2 in the Laboratory,” introduces Girl Scouts to hands-on science. In addition, she co-directed Expanding Your Horizons, a one-day conference held annually for approximately 500 seventh and eighth grade girls, since 2000.
Also during her tenure at UMR, Lutz excelled in research, leading a National Institutes of Health-sponsored program to determine the possible effects of lead on children’s immune systems.
Lutz received a bachelor of science in chemistry with a life sciences preference from UMR in 1976 and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Duke University in 1981.