Montana State University
Archived Spotlight story

January 25, 2007 -- by Carol Schmidt

Paula LutzPaula Lutz, the current dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri-Rolla and a biologist actively researching the effects of lead on children's immune systems, has been hired as dean of Montana State University's largest college.

MSU Provost David Dooley said Lutz will begin her duties July 1 as dean of the College of Letters and Science. Lutz replaces Sara Jayne Steen who left the post last summer when she was named president of Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. MSU physics professor and associate dean George Tuthill has served as interim dean since her departure.

"Dr. Lutz's talent, experience, and energy position her to become an outstanding leader of the College of Letters and Science," said David Dooley, MSU Provost. "President Gamble and I are very much looking forward to working with her."

"I look forward to working with the excellent faculty at such an outstanding institution," Lutz said. "I know that together we will enhance the tradition of excellence in the college and continue to achieve lofty goals as a university. I am excited by the prospect and eager to begin."

At MSU, Lutz will be supervising more than 500 faculty and staff members and 2,278 students. The college has nearly 50 majors, 25 minors and more than 25 graduate degrees. Lutz' college at UMR is also that university's largest with 1,000 students and more than 100 full-time faculty. Lutz's college at UMR is comprised of nine academic departments with 1,000 students and more than 100 full-time faculty.

Lutz has been dean of the UMR College of Arts and Sciences since 2002, when she became the first woman dean in that university's history. She has received National Institutes of Health support since 1990 for her work on the effects of lead on children's immune systems. To date, she has received nearly $2 million in grant funding for her work from a variety of sources. Her work has been published in journals of immunology and toxicology.

Lutz has continued both teaching and research throughout her administrative career. In nearly two decades at UMR, which is also her undergraduate alma mater, Lutz has won more than a dozen outstanding teaching and faculty excellence awards. She was named UMR's Woman of the Year in 1999, the same year she received a UMR Alumni Merit Award. Lutz is active in mentoring women and minority scientists and academicians. She helped to create a Women's Leadership Institute, worked with her university's chapter of Women in Science and Engineering and helped start UMR's Expanding Your Horizons program to encourage interest in science and math in junior high-aged girls.

Lutz received her doctorate from the Duke University Medical Center's Department of Microbiology and Immunology. She earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry with a life science preference from UMR. As at MSU, the UMR College of Arts and Science also spans the sciences, arts, humanities, and social sciences. Lutz said the college teaches more than 50 percent of the student credit hours at UMR, participating widely in the research efforts of the technological research university.

David Dooley (406) 994-4373, dmdooley@montana.edu