Skip to main content

Christine Palus, PhD, Named Dean of the College of Professional Studies

Dr. Palus will continue to serve as Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Christine Palus, PhD, Dean of Graduate Studies and Dean of the College of Professional Studies

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, announced on June 25 that Christine Palus, PhD, has been named Dean of the College of Professional Studies.


Dear Members of the Villanova Community,

Provost Maggitti and I are pleased to share that Christine Kelleher Palus, PhD, has been named Dean of the College of Professional Studies. Dr. Palus’ appointment is effective immediately. 

Dr. Palus brings extensive experience in program development, teaching and learning to her role as dean of CPS. She is a passionate academic leader who cares deeply about enhancing programs, promoting collaboration across the University, and staying on the cutting edge of technology to ensure an authentic Villanova experience—both on campus and online. She has also demonstrated success in seeking opportunities for innovation and creativity and in building a portfolio of academic programs.

At this time, Dr. Palus will continue to serve as dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. As dean, Dr. Palus has set the strategic and operational directives for current and future programs in CLAS and has led the College’s graduate programs, which enroll more than 1,300 students across PhD and master’s programs. She has also guided the launch of new programs, including a master’s degree in Environmental Science and a PhD in Theology, and spearheaded numerous initiatives related to online and blended learning. This experience has prepared her well for her new role.

Dr. Palus holds the rank of associate professor in the Department of Public Administration, which she chaired for several years while also directing Villanova’s nationally accredited master’s program in Public Administration. Under her leadership, the Public Administration graduate program increased its enrollment, introduced a highly regarded certificate in Non-Profit Management in 2011, and in 2012 launched an online version of the MPA degree. Dr. Palus is an accomplished scholar in her field, focusing her research on public administration and management, state and local politics, urban politics and women in politics. Her work has been published in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, State and Local Government Review, American Review of Public Administration and the British Journal of Political Science.

A member of the Villanova faculty since 2006, Dr. Palus earned her BA at Fairfield University, where she double-majored in Visual and Performing Arts (Music) and Politics. She earned her MA and PhD in Political Science at the University of North Carolina. Notably, Dr. Palus (with co-author Susan Webb Yackee, PhD) won the Beryl Radin award from the Public Management Research Association for Best Article in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory published during 2016. This award is one of the highest honors in the field of public management. 

I am excited to have Dr. Palus leading the College of Professional Studies. She brings a deep commitment to the mission and values of Villanova and is a true teacher-scholar who is passionate about the transformative power of education at all levels. Her work in Graduate Studies demonstrates her dedication to ensuring that Villanova’s programs continue to stand out and attract high-quality students, particularly online. I am confident she will bring this same passion as dean of our newest college.


Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA


About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.