Karen PugliesiKaren Pugliesi has been selected as dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Northern Arizona University. Her appointment begins July 1.

Provost Laura Huenneke announced the decision after an internal search identified three candidates, who appeared at open forums in mid-April. Stephen Wright has served as interim dean since May 2012.

“Dr. Pugliesi brings a deep professional record of accomplishment to the role of championing this complex and valuable college,” Huenneke said. “I’m grateful that she is willing to turn her expertise and passion to working with SBS.”

Pugliesi, a tenured professor of sociology, is in her 10th year as vice provost for academic affairs at NAU, and also has served as dean of University College for nearly two years.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the faculty, staff, students and friends of SBS to build on the college’s distinctive mix of excellent programs,” Pugliesi said.

Huenneke commended the other candidates—Cynthia Kosso, associate vice president and professor of history, and Craig Bain, professor in the W.A. Franke College of Business—for their willingness to step forward and share their visions for the college.

“The SBS community responded positively to the expertise, experience and values of all three candidates,” Huenneke said. “I thank them and everyone involved in the search process for their energy and feedback.”

Huenneke said the duties of vice provost for academic affairs and dean of University College will be separated, with the launch of an internal search for the vice provost position to begin next week. She added that an interim dean of University College will be appointed, and a formal search for that position will be conducted during the fall 2014 semester.