Paula O'Loughlin


Associate Provost and Dean of Arts and Humanities in Provost's Office

I am Associate Provost and the Dean of Arts and Humanities at Gustavus Adolphus College. I am passionately devoted to the liberal arts and the life-changing possibilities of education at a small liberal arts college. Gustavus’s core values, rooted in the Lutheran tradition of higher education, resonate for me both in the ways they help enhance the liberal arts experience for students and the way they contribute to graduates committed to life-long learning and to making a difference in the world.

I am involved in a lot of areas on campus including but not limited to General Education, Curriculum, Writing Across the Curriculum, Assessment, Three Crowns Curriculum, Title IX, and support of the Humanities and Arts faculty. While these responsibilities and involvements may seem unconnected, they are all about providing Gustavus students’ the most challenging and developmental life-changing small liberal arts college experience possible.

I grew up on the East coast and went to a small liberal arts college (Smith, 1986) which changed my life. After getting my Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, I joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota-Morris, a public liberal arts college. Before coming to Gustavus, I was on the faculty there for 16 years and taught primarily American political behavior courses. As a faculty member there, I had the chance to be involved and lead in multiple ways.

About me: When I am not working, I am usually helping my partner parent her teenage triplets. My other preferred activities are exercise of any form, reading, watching almost any sporting event, looking at art, live theater and going to dance performances. I also am known for puttering in my garden. I am the quintessential liberally educated life-long learner and cannot drive by a historical marker without wanting to read it.


B.A., Smith College, 1986; Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1998.