Paul Cooper Joins Hallmark University as Associate Dean for School of IT
Hallmark University was proud to recently appointed Dr. Paul Cooper as the new Associate Dean for Hallmark University’s School of Information Technology. Dr. Cooper oversees the programs and curriculum offered in the School of IT and ultimately works to ensure the success of the students.
Dr. Cooper’s journey in higher education began after retiring from the United States Marine Corps after twenty-two years of service. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, and returned for his second master’s degree in Information Systems, and finally returned for his doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership. But before receiving his degrees, Dr. Cooper wasn’t familiar with the value of higher education.
“I found out how valuable education was when I retired,” said Dr. Cooper, Associate Dean for the College of Information Technology. “The best job I was offered was as a greeter at a store since I didn’t have a degree, so I fixed that. In 15 years I’ve got a bachelor, two masters, and a doctorate while working, so I know it can be done. But I want everybody to understand that education is critical to your progression and advancement in life.”
Dr. Cooper believes ensuring the students’ success is the highest priority in higher education, and every change being made to benefit students also benefits each program overall. His extensive work in leadership roles has taught him what needs to be done to ensure the success of each student ultimately.
“I’ve been a lot of things over the years. I’ve been a Director of Operations, a Director of Student Services, a Faculty Development Chair, and I have been a Director of Finance. I’ve learned a lot of stuff over the years, and it’s all about leadership. I happen to be a leader that’s in the classroom helping others reach their potential and their goals and their dreams. Being with the students and (in) all of those roles, you learn to deal with people. And that’s what it’s all about; the students are not just a number. They are people, and they have to be approached as people, and you have to deal with them and understand how they need to be dealt with. So everything that I’ve learned has led to student’s success. I can’t put it any simpler than that.”
Dr. Cooper is currently focusing on Hallmark University’s new Masters of Science in Cybersecurity and ensuring the new courses and faculty are prepared for students enrolling in the program. But even with the task of building out a new degree program, Dr. Cooper ensures he is available to students that need him and setting high expectations for them.
“I believe in helping the students, and I will not sacrifice rigor and I will not lower expectations, as a lot of my students find out. But if you set high expectations, the students will rise to it. Set the expectations low, and they’ll meet it. They will meet whatever you’re setting for them, so we have to set it high. So that’s why I’m here.”