Texas Tech University

Valerie Osland Paton, Ph.D.

Educational Psychology & Leadership

Email: valerie.paton@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-834-5986

Valerie Paton serves as a tenured Professor in Tech's College of Education and as the Program Coordinator for the Ph.D. in Higher Education. Her research interests include higher education policy and law, engagement, online learning, planning and assessment. During 2012-13, Paton was a Fellow with the American Council of Education and her host institution is Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso.

In addition to her faculty role, Paton has extensive experience leading institutional initiatives related to strategic planning and success, academic and administrative assessment, academic program review, institutional research and accountability.  She has served at two institutions, one public and one private, as the regional accreditation liaison and has been appointed to several accreditation or reaffirmation teams. Other academic leadership roles include supervision of an institutional ethics office, academic facility planning and scheduling, and community-academic partnerships.

As an interim dean of Texas Tech's University College, Paton led the transition of organizational structure to increase productivity and effectiveness in online degree and certificate offerings, off-campus site operations, interdisciplinary academic offerings, K-12 online offerings, and institutional outreach and engagement activities. She has served as PI or co-PI for numerous grants, including two Hispanic Serving Institutions STEM grants with Texas community colleges and community partners. In 2011, Paton was recognized as an “Integrated Scholar” at Texas Tech and received the “Texas Luminary” award from North Central Texas College.

Paton represents Texas Tech as Chair-elect of APLU's Council on Engagement and Outreach Executive Committee, and was conference co-chair for the 2013 Engaged Scholarship Conference (formerly NOSC) held at Texas Tech. Paton has also represented Texas Tech as an executive committee member of Texas Women in Higher Education. 

Valerie Paton, Ph.D.


  • B.A. in American Studies, San Jose State University
  • M.A. Counseling Psychology, Santa Clara University
  • Ph.D. in Education, University of Southern California

Areas of Expertise

  • Higher education policy and law
  • Engagement
  • Online learning
  • Planning and assessment

Selected Publications

Paton, V. (Guest Ed.). (2014, October). Boundary spanning: Engaged scholarship across disciplines, communities and geography. [Special Issue]. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 18(3). Retrieved from http://openjournals.libs.uga.edu/index.php/jheoe/issue/current 

Paton, V., *Elliott, R.W., *Barnard-Brak, L., *Ryan, P.M. (2015, Spring). Vertical transfer   success: Hispanic student perceptions of transfer and transition issues. Journal for College Orientation and Transfer, 22(2), pp. 40-60.

Paton, V., Fitzgerald, H., *Green, B., Raymond, M., & Borchardt, M. P. (2014, December). U.S. higher  education regional accreditation commission standards and the centrality of engagement. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 18(4).

*Barnard-Brak, L., Paton, V. O., & Sulak, T. N. (2012). Institutional distance education goals and the frequency of students with disabilities requesting accommodations. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 25(1).

*Gard, D., Paton, V., & *Gosselin, K. (2012). Student perceptions of the factors contributing to community college to university transfer success. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 36(11).

*Barnard-Brak, L., Paton, V.O., & Lan, W. Y. (2010). Profiles in self-regulated learning in the online learning environment. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 11(1).

Paton, V.O., Dizinno, G., & Mathew, R. (2011). Advocating for a valid method for “value added” research in a political context. In H. Burley (Ed.), Cases on institutional research systems. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.