Paul Teske, PhD

Dean and Distinguished Professor

Portrait of Dean and Distinguished Professor Paul TeskeEmail Address:

Office Hours: By appointment 





Paul Teske was named Dean of the School of Public Affairs (SPA) in 2008. Prior to his appointment, Teske created and served as Director of CU Denver’s Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA), in addition to his teaching and research activities as a Professor. He was also director of the SPA PhD program. From 1988–2003 he was a professor of political science at SUNY Stony Brook. He earned his PhD (1989) and MPA (1982) degrees in Public Affairs from the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs. He earned his BA in Economics and Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was a Johnston Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa.

Teske won the 2005 Distinguished Research Award from the 300-college-member group NASPAA/ASPA (National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration/American Society for Public Administration). He also won the 2005 Excellence in Research and Creative Activities award from the University of Colorado Denver.

In 2008, the CU Regents and CU President named Dr. Teske as a University of Colorado Distinguished Professor, one of just 90 scholars across all fields in the CU system (including 3,000 faculty members) ever given this designation, and the first ever honoree on the downtown Denver campus.

Teske is very active in real world public affairs issues and is often quoted in the media in Colorado. He has advised the state’s Department of Regulatory Affairs on the regulation of professions. Teske was a member of the Denver Public School’s School Improvement Grant committee from 2006–2008, was appointed by Governor Ritter to the state’s P20 System Transformation Committee from 2009–2011, and was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper as Colorado at-large representative to the federally-funded Regional Education Laboratory for 2012–2017. He served on the boards of the nonprofits Great Education Colorado, Get Smart Schools, and Catapult School Leadership.  He currently serves on the board of CiviCO, and is the academic partner for the Colorado Governors Fellowship program.

Teske’s research has centered on local and state education, regulatory, budgetary, and economic development policy. His most recent research examined performance management programs in the Colorado state government.  He has written eight books, 50 articles and 20 book chapters on these topics. His 2009 co-edited book (with Colin Provost) examined “President George W. Bush’s Influence over Bureaucracy and Policy — Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Powers?”  A prior book, “Pay for Performance Teacher Compensation: An Inside Story of Denver’s ProComp Plan” (Harvard Education Press, 2007, with Phil Gonring and Brad Jupp) analyzes the entrepreneurial policy development of the nation’s leading market-based teacher pay plan. His co-authored book, “Choosing Schools” (Princeton University Press, 2000, with Mark Schneider and Melissa Marschall), won the Aaron Wildavsky Award for best book from the American Policy Studies Organization.

Areas of Expertise

urban policy, regulatory policy, state and local education policy

Education, Licensure & Certifications

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs
Princeton University

Master of Public Administration
Princeton University

Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


2008 Named University of Colorado Distinguished Professor
2005 NASPAA/ASPA Distinguished Research Award
2005 University of Colorado Denver Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Award

School of Public Affairs

CU Denver

Lawrence Street Center

1380 Lawrence Street


Denver, CO 80204


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