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Paul J. Ballard

Associate Dean of Student Success and Retention

B.A., Hope College
M.A., Michigan State University
Ph.D., Western Michigan University

Programs: Leadership Studies

Paul J. Ballard joined the college in 2014 as the Associate Dean of Student Success and Retention and he also teaches in the Leadership minor. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope College with a major in Learning Disabilities and Social Studies; his Master of Arts from Michigan State University in K-12 Educational Administration; and his Doctor of Philosophy from Western Michigan University in Higher Education Leadership. His dissertation was entitled “Measuring Institutional Performance Excellence: Key Performance Indicators for Institutions Accepted in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP).” He has also taken additional coursework from Grand Valley State University and Drake University in curriculum and instruction.

Dr. Ballard has spent his entire career in education. The first part of his career was spent as a K-12 special education teacher, teacher consultant and basketball coach. He then moved to higher education where he at first directed student access then was promoted to Executive Director of Student Affairs. He also has worked as a consultant assisting organizations develop programs for degree completion, K-16 curriculum alignment and partnerships, educator training, and college access.

Dr. Ballard’s research interests include the use of data for continuous improvement in educational organization and factors in student success, retention and access especially for students from historically marginalized groups. He is a member of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) where he the past-chair of the Taskforce for Campus Safety and Emergency Preparedness. He also is a member is Association on Higher Education and Disability, where he served as secretary for the Michigan division of the organization.  

In his spring and summer months, Dr. Ballard loves to play golf, enjoy the outdoors, and yell at his beloved Detroit Tigers through the radio or TV. In the winter, he attempts to find time to use his season tickets for Michigan State basketball, “Build a Better Ballard” and catch up on shows on Netflix. 

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