Task force to look at program and seek improvement
As the University of Delaware settles in to the academic year, Paul Laux, professor in the Department of Finance and JP Morgan Chase Fellow at the Institute for Financial Services Analytics, will transition into a new role as interim director of the UD Honors Program.
While new to the position, Laux is no stranger to the Honors Program. Since arriving to UD from Case Western Reserve University in 2004, he has taught Honors courses in finance, advised students, served as a departmental liaison to the Honors Program and regularly participated in interviews for the prestigious Distinguished Scholars awards. One of the teaching approaches he developed for his Honors Capstone Finance course has been showcased by Bloomberg for use in other business schools.
“Most of what faculty members devote themselves to over time is research and teaching,” said Laux. “I’m excited for the opportunity to work with the staff and faculty I care so much about, to contribute to student success in another way.”
“Paul’s enthusiasm for the Honors Program is contagious and his interdisciplinary and experiential Honors coursework is exemplary,” said Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs Lynn Okagaki. “I am pleased to welcome Paul into the position of interim director and know that he will help advance the mission of the Honors Program in many ways.”
Michael Arnold, associate professor of economics, served as director of the Honors Program for seven years before assuming a new role, in July, as chair of the Department of Economics.
Toward a New Vision
A taskforce to strategize an enhanced path forward for the Honors Program has been established by Okagaki and is led by Laux, Kristi Kiick, deputy dean in the College of Engineering, and John Pelesco, associate dean of the natural sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“We are all passionate about the big picture goals,” Laux said. “This is an opportunity for growth on a solid foundation. We’ll be putting forward a document that charts an ambitious plan for what Honors can be for the future and what we can do with our students to prepare them as the next generation of leaders across many disciplines.”
To help guide them, the task force will draw on the recommendations of the program’s 2017 Academic Program Review. The proposal will address everything from a shared vision to administrative structure and resources, admissions processes, curriculum, community building and more.
According to Laux, UD’s faculty, staff, students and alumni will play an important role in the visioning process. “The first stage is to reach out, open the door to the campus community and to hear what our stakeholders think we can accomplish together,” he said.
The task force will share its report in spring 2018.
“The Honors Program has a great legacy of preparing our brightest students to solve some of their communities’ most pressing challenges,” Okagaki said. “I look forward to seeing the program continue to grow under a new and inspiring vision.”
About the Honors Program
Founded in 1976, the UD’s Honors Program has earned a national reputation for rigor, creativity and the quality of its students, who are bright, enthusiastic and intellectually curious. UDHP challenges its nearly 1,800 students in the classroom through small, engaging courses and interdisciplinary Honors curricula.
Laux said the program encourages students to enrich their experience through exclusive study abroad programs and by awarding enrichment funds for service learning opportunities and undergraduate research. “These awards empower our students to draw their own lines and make their own path,” he said.
In addition, the Honors Program prepares its students for competitive graduate programs and supports students in their applications for prestigious awards including the Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, Fulbright and Goldwater.
To learn more, follow @UDHonorsProgram on social media, visit the UD Honors Program website or email program staff with specific questions.