Meet Our Esteemed Leadership
Passion. Experience. Commitment. Our leaders bring a breadth of knowledge from diverse backgrounds to redefine the education space and make a college degree accessible for all learners. Meet the team that is paving the way for your education.
Paul Pastorek was appointed Chief Executive Officer and President of the University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) in February 2021. Prior to that, he served as Interim CEO and President, overseeing UAGC’s acquisition and transition of Ashford University in 2020. An advocate for students’ educational access and success throughout his career, Paul previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Loyola University New Orleans. Paul served as Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education from 2007 to 2011, leading the overhaul of New Orleans’ public schools after Hurricane Katrina, and achieving notable and sustainable gains in academic improvement statewide.
Chief of Staff to the President
As Chief of Staff to the UAGC president, Dr. Sarah B. Steinberg is a senior strategic leadership advisor/mentor with a focus in a variety of areas related to the transformation of adult education, including organizational development, innovation in retention and degree completion, workforce development, national and international academic programming, and the intersection of technology and education at the forefront of online and on-site adult education.
Chief Operating Officer
Katie Scheie has been with Ashford University, now UAGC, since 2007. As the Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Scheie provides leadership for the day-to-day and long-term operations of the university including admission and matriculation, student affairs, career services, policy implementation, strategic partnerships, marketing, communications, and institutional effectiveness.
Chief Financial Officer
Jim Smith joined Ashford University, now UAGC, as vice president of finance in 2014. As CFO, Jim serves as the university’s senior financial officer with responsibilities including accounting and financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, enterprise risk management, facilities management, insurance, financial aid policy and compliance, internal audit, and procurement services.
Vice President of Human Resources
Monique brings more than 20 years of human resources experience to the University, most recently serving as the East Market Vice President of Human Resources for Sysco Corporation. Prior to Sysco, Monique worked as the northeast market director of human resources for Graybar Electric Company and Benjamin Moore Paints.
Senior Vice President, General Counsel
Tommy joined UAGC in April 2021. In this role, he serves as the University’s Chief Legal Officer, where he provides legal, regulatory, and compliance guidance and counsel to the board, the president, the administration, and the faculty.
Chief Information Officer
As the first Chief Information Officer for UAGC, Tom is responsible for building our own independent UAGC information technology function. Tom spent more than 26 years at the University of Arizona and brings a broad range of experience in information technology. He led projects to modernize the student information system at Arizona, migrate their email and calendar to Office365, enhance the security of their identity and access management systems, and most recently, significantly improve relationships between the enterprise IT organization and the many distributed IT departments across their campus.
Iris Obille Lafferty, EdD
Interim Provost, Chief Academic Officer, SVP of Academic Affairs, and Accreditation Liaison Officer
Iris Obille Lafferty was appointed as interim provost in February 2021. Dr. Lafferty has been a member of the UAGC, formerly Ashford University, academic team since 2012, where she has served as program chair, associate dean, associate vice president of academic services, executive dean of the College of Doctoral Studies and inaugural dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Most recently, Dr. Lafferty has led the Change Advisory Group on DEI practices, co-chaired the faculty council, and co-chairs the joint academic advisory committee with UAGC.
Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Tony Farrell has been appointed to serve as the Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences. Tony has extensive experience at UAGC. He holds graduate degrees from National University and the University of Oklahoma along with a PhD in Special Education from the University of Hawaii. His professional experiences cover the gamut of education, having been an elementary and high school special education teacher and a school administrator at the elementary and middle school levels.
Interim Dean, Forbes School of Business and Technology®
Maja Zelihic has been appointed to serve as the interim dean for the Forbes School of Business and Technology® and is the chair of the Forbes School of Business and Technology® board of advisors. She holds a PhD in organizational management and is currently serving her Fulbright tenure having successfully completed one project as a primary investigator, and one as a co-investigator. Furthermore, she is a GLOBE research project country-co-investigator, making her contributions in the unique large-scale study of cultural practices, leadership ideals, and interpersonal trust GLOBE currently conducts in 160 countries.