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April 12, 2006
Carlson Named Director of Wendt Center for Character Education


President Jeffrey F. Bullock today announced the appointment of Dr. Paula Carlson as director of the Wendt Center for Character Education at the University of Dubuque. The Wendt Center guides all aspects of the Lester G. Wendt and Michael Lester Wendt Character Initiative. Carlson succeeds Dr. Carlyle Haaland, special assistant to the president, who served as interim director of the Wendt Character Initiative during the initial two years of the program.

"After a national search for a director for this key program, the search committee unanimously recommended Paula Carlson to me as their choice as director," stated President Bullock. "Paula is recognized by students and her colleagues as a master teacher. As associate academic dean, she has provided outstanding leadership for the development of the new Core Curriculum and, most recently, coordinated the University's self-study that was an essential element in the University's successful ten-year continuing accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. I share the search committee's belief that she is the right person to move the Wendt Character Initiative to the next level."

In addition to her responsibilities with the Wendt Character Initiative, Dr. Carlson will continue to play an integral role in the Office of Academic Affairs, the details of which will be attended to over the course of the summer break.

"It is a privilege and honor to work with the University community as we develop new programs and enhance existing programs to foster character development in all aspects of University life," stated Paula Carlson. "I look forward to serving the University in this new position and believe that the Wendt Character Initiative is an significant dimension in our progress toward becoming what President Bullock describes as a 'consequential university.'"

Paula Carlson currently serves as associate academic dean and professor of English. She earned her bachelor's degree at St. Olaf College and both master's and doctoral degrees from Columbia University and has taught on the faculties of St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana and Yale University. Carlson is the co-author of the popular Listening for God series published by Augsburg Fortress Press.

The Lester G. Wendt and Michael Lester Wendt Character Initiative is an ambitious, comprehensive program whose goal is to enhance character formation across the campus among students, faculty, staff, and other constituents in a manner that enhances a shared culture or character incorporating the virtues of truthfulness, honesty, fairness, and the Golden Rule. The Initiative is funded by a generous memorial gift from Richard and Nancy Wendt, the son and daughter-in-law of the late Lester G. Wendt and the parents of Michael Lester Wendt. With their gift, the donors wished to advance those principles of living and working exemplified by Lester and Michael Wendt for living lives of purpose and character.

The Wendt Character Initiative is comprised of faculty support, Wendt Character Scholarships, the Michael Lester Wendt Lecture Series, the Wendt Library Collection, and Dubuque Opportunity Scholars.