Recent Graduate Joins Ranks of Academia

Posted: May 22, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jocelyn Rappaport

Paul Weissburg
Paul Weissburg

While some recent graduates are anxiously combing the Internet for job leads, Paul Weissburg, a 2009 graduate with a PhD in public policy, is comfortably settled at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., as an assistant professor.

Weissburg received his PhD in January 2009. With his dissertation titled “Shifting Alliances in the Accreditation of Higher Education: On the Long-Term Consequences of Delegation of Government Authority to Self-Regulatory Organizations,” it’s no surprise to learn that his passion is in higher education.

While working on his doctorate, Weissburg was a graduate teaching assistant for the Introduction to Public Policy course taught by Lee Fritschler.

“Assisting Dr. Fritschler with the course was a wonderful opportunity to develop my teaching skills and learn from one of the best,” says Weissburg.

“Paul was an ideal teaching assistant,” says Fritschler. “He taught me as much about teaching as he learned from me. He took his work seriously from preparation to fostering meaningful discussion in class to educating through the exam grading process.”

The experience he acquired proved of great value. In August 2008, Weissburg received a teaching fellowship from Augustana College.

After less than a year of teaching at Augustana, Weissburg received a tenure-track position in the college’s Political Science Department, where he also heads the public policy and administration minor program.

“Paul’s initial interest in the history of accreditation of institutions of higher education blossomed into a genuine expertise in accreditation,” says the chair of his dissertation committee, Catherine Rudder.

She notes that Weissburg is continuing his research and has developed a new course at Augustana that explores the effect of private decision making on the larger public.

Weissburg was drawn to SPP after the school was recommended to him by a professor at another school he had considered attending. The professor told him that Mason’s School of Public Policy was outstanding and would probably best fit Weissburg’s interests.

Weissburg believes it was his work as a research assistant that proved most useful to him at SPP.

“Working for Dr. Fritschler and Dr. Rudder was often challenging in the best sense of the word. They were the ones who introduced me to the developing field of private governance, which I now teach at Augustana,” says Weissburg.

“I have been extraordinarily gratified to watch Paul, who is a gifted teacher, become a creative researcher as well,” says Rudder. “That he could land a tenure-track position at a noted liberal arts college in this economic environment speaks to his exceptional qualities.”

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