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ISU remembers outstanding educational leader Paul Vogt

Paul Vogt '65

Paul Vogt '65

The Illinois State University community is mourning the loss of Paul Vogt ’65, a prolific researcher, outstanding leader, and fierce advocate for P-12 and higher education. Vogt passed away on Wednesday, April 27.

Described as a lifelong learner and educator, Vogt earned his degree in social science from the University in 1965 and went on to earn his master’s and doctoral degrees in history from Indiana University.

He served the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany for 28 years where he demonstrated exceptional teaching and leadership abilities as a faculty member, chair of three separate departments, and associate dean for the School of Education. He returned to Central Illinois to serve his alma mater as associate dean for the College of Education from 1998-2000 and professor from 1998-2006 in the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations (EAF).

Vogt retired from full-time service to the University in 2006, and continued to teach statistics and support research efforts for the University’s Center for the Study of Educational Policy (CSEP). During his time at Illinois State, Vogt served on 25 dissertation committees, and his career works include more than 65 authored and coauthored publications. His research demonstrated impressive versatility and scope, ranging from sociology to educational leadership; and from statistical methodology guides to music therapy in special education.

His interests also extended into French philosophy and history, and several of his works were translated into French, some by him personally.

Vogt’s colleagues remember him as a voracious lifelong learner who was dedicated to leaving the field better than he found it, but also as a friend who brightened his colleagues’ day with his intellect, humility, and relentless sense of humor.

Vogt served as a mentor to many, including Mohamed Nur-Awaleh, associate professor in EAF, who credits his late colleague with being someone he could always count on for advice and support. Vogt’s presence was one of the reasons Nur-Awaleh chose to come to Illinois State.

“Paul was a part of my life for 20 years as an informal mentor, and was someone I could always lean on for support,” Nur-Awaleh said. “This is a great loss for ISU, and his impact on the field was huge. Paul mentored hundreds of graduate students now serving across the country and around the world.”

Professor Jim Palmer, also of EAF, recalls Vogt’s ability to inspire new ideas even while completing the most mundane of tasks.

“Every conversation I had with Paul left me with new insights and a renewed sense of how exciting and interesting our work is,” Palmer said. “I will never forget how a chance encounter at the office copier led to an hour-long conversation about teaching in the medieval universities and, as a consequence, a new unit in our course on the history of higher education.”

Dianne Renn, also a professor in EAF, gives Vogt the highest praise.

“Paul truly was incomparable,” she said. “Not only was he a brilliant researcher; he was a brilliant collaborator. Having both of those qualities is rare. Paul was also a tremendous leader who was invested in nurturing others’ leadership capabilities.”

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