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Benedictine selects Paula Norby as dean of Mesa branch campus

April 12, 2017

Paula Norby, Ed.D.Mesa, Ariz. ~ Benedictine University has tapped Paula Norby, Ed.D., to lead the University’s Mesa branch campus as dean. 

She will be responsible for all academic and operational areas, and be charged with developing strategies to continue to grow the Mesa campus.

Norby has nearly 30 years of higher education experience including operations, instructional and curriculum management, student planning, and leadership and professional development. She is currently interim dean of instruction for Mohave Community College (MCC), a comprehensive community college system with more than 60 programs serving more than 13,000 students, and served as dean of MCC’s Lake Havasu City campus.

As the chief operational and academic officer at MCC, Norby oversees all academic areas throughout the college’s four campuses, and provides leadership and direction for library services, assessment and curriculum, employee performance and training, and program budgeting. At the Lake Havasu City campus, she provided leadership and direction for administrators and faculty, the facilities department, on-campus food services staff and student retention programs.

Her accomplishments include renovations to include a Linux computer lab and state-of-the-art instructional equipment for the Surgical Technology, Physical Therapist Assistant and Medical Assisting programs; implementing a campus crisis management and five-year facilities plan; establishing new strategies for broadening a “Writing Across the Curriculum” philosophy; assigning a taskforce to develop polices on prior learning assessment and receiving approval from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for implementing competency-based instruction.

At MCC, Norby is the chair of the Dual Enrollment Committee, co-chair of the Curriculum, Academic Standards and Assessment Committee, and a member of the Distance Education Advisory Committee, HLC Steering Committee, Title IX Compliance Team and President’s Council.

Prior to her tenure at MCC, Norby was the vice president for Academic Affairs at Maricopa County Community College District’s GateWay Community College in Phoenix, Ariz., where she oversaw a $16 million budget for academic affairs and learning support, and a Title V grant for Hispanic-serving institutions.

Her other previous leadership positions in higher education include dean for Workforce Education, Basic Skills and Corrections Education at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Wash., and associate dean for Extended Learning at Pierce College District in Puyallup, Wash.

In addition to her work as an administrator, Norby is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Havasu Regional Medical Center and has provided several professional presentations throughout her career on such topics as the state of higher education in Arizona, accreditation, integrated instruction, career pathways and workforce education.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Montana, a Master of Science in Occupational Education at Central Washington University and a Doctorate in Community College Leadership at Oregon State University.

“Dr. Norby will be a great fit for Benedictine as her extensive administrative experience and background dovetails well with the University’s goals for the Mesa campus,” said Benedictine University President Michael S. Brophy, Ph.D., M.F.A.

Norby will begin her new role at Benedictine on May 22.


Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine was named among “America’s Top Colleges” for the sixth consecutive year in 2016 by Forbes magazine. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (602) 888-5500, or visit

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