Higher Education Administration
300M Poe Hall
Paul D. Umbach serves as Associate Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Adult and Higher Education. He teaches classes on finance and higher education, organizational theory and higher education, policy analysis, college faculty, survey methods, and multi-level modeling.
Prior to joining the faculty at NC State, he spent four years as an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Iowa. Before joining the faculty at Iowa, he served as a research associate with the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research. At the Center, he was a research team member working on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and a project manager of the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE). His professional background includes several years working in institutional research at Tidewater Community College, Old Dominion University, and the University of Maryland. He earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Maryland, College Park.
His research focuses on policies and organizational structures that affect college student access and success and the careers of college faculty. Central to much of his work are issues of equity and diversity. His work appears in Research in Higher Education, The Journal of Higher Education, the Review of Higher Education, and the Journal of College Student Development. In 2007, the Association for the Study of Higher Education awarded him the Promising Scholar/Early Career Achievement Award.
He has twice been a member of both the AERA J and the ASHE program committees, and he serves as the 2013 AERA Division J conference committee chair. He currently is or has been an editorial board member of Research in Higher Education, the Review of Higher Education, and the Journal of College Student Development. Since 2010, he has been the editor-in-chief of New Directions for Institutional Research, and he recently was named Associate Editor of the Journal of Higher Education.
Current Research Projects:
1. Director of the federally grant funded North Carolina Higher Education Research Consortium (NC-HERC), a grant-funded partnership with the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) and the University of North Carolina (UNC) System. NC-HERC is charged with studying NCCCS transfer student success at UNC System institutions, along with the effects of how UNC student aid affects persistence and degree attainment.
2. Co-Executive Director of the National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness (with Audrey Jaeger) which administers a survey of institutional climate to faculty and staff at community colleges. (Graduate Research Assistants: Antonio Bush, Kyle Verbosh, and Kate Zhang)
3. Causal effect of loan debt on student outcomes (with Steve Porter, a colleague at NC State) - an analysis of NCSU's Pack Promise program, in which students at or below 150% of the federal poverty level receive reduced loans. We will be using regression discontinuity and difference-in-difference models to estimate the effect on academic performenace and persistence. It is scheduled to be presented at ASHE in November 2012.
4. In the early stages of writing a monograph (with Jeremy Tuchmayer and Kyle Verbosh) that examines the pathway to baccalaureate degrees through the community college.