Dr. Karen Marrongelle

Dr. Karen Marrongelle is dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Portland State University, a position she’s held since 2014. She oversees 24 departments and programs and more than 2,000 employees across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. 

Dr. Marrongelle has led a collaborative, College-wide effort to imagine new pathways that will increase student and faculty success at PSU and strengthen the College’s position in the community and across the country. As a result, she moved forward the creation of an interdisciplinary School of Gender, Race and Nations to be a resource for the Portland community in the areas of race and social justice; and identified a goal for PSU and the College to become the premier institution in Oregon for students pursuing pre-health sciences. 

Under Dr. Marrongelle’s leadership, the College connects student learning to the community and provides student access to high quality research opportunities. During her tenure, the College has increased its research funding, while helping raise the profile of student and faculty-led research and innovation at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Through key faculty hires, she has helped undergraduate science programs innovate their teaching methods and improve student success in STEM courses. Dr. Marrongelle also oversees many nationally ranked graduate programs, including speech-language pathology, industrial-organizational psychology, mathematics education, and applied linguistics. 

Dr. Marrongelle is a professor of Mathematics and Statistics, holding an undergraduate in mathematics and philosophy from Albright College, a graduate degree in mathematics from Lehigh University, and a PhD in mathematics education from the University of New Hampshire. Her research examines how students learn college level mathematics and identifies ways to innovate teaching methodology and curriculum design to enhance student learning.  Her research has helped teachers, schools, and university systems design more engaging and meaningful courses that lead to greater student success.

Prior to serving as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dr. Marrongelle held positions as Vice Chancellor for Academic Strategies and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Standards and Collaboration with the Oregon University System, overseeing seven public universities in Oregon. In those positions, she helped transition academic and student programs from the Oregon University System to the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission; provided strategic planning leadership for student success initiatives; prepared academic policies to address critical program needs; and fostered public-private partnerships in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Dr. Marrongelle has also served as a program officer at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. and led numerous grants, collaborating with researchers nationally and internationally to improve undergraduate mathematics education and K-12 mathematics professional development.