College President

Dr. Paul Carlsen

Dr. Paul Carlsen joined Lakeshore Technical College as the institution’s 4th president in 2017. He leads a dedicated, student-focused team of 300+ who each make significant contributions to the transformation of the nearly 8,000 students served by the college each year.

Under Paul’s leadership Lakeshore has gained significant national recognition – Washington Monthly ranked the college #2 in the nation, Forbes ranked the college #17 in the nation, the Aspen Institute named the college a top 150 two-year college in the nation three times, and the college was named a Bellwether Finalist four times.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Paul consistently rallied the faculty and staff to prioritize student learning. Lakeshore resumed on-campus learning in April 2020, becoming one of the first colleges in Wisconsin and the country to resume in-person instruction. The college’s enrollment throughout the pandemic consistently outperformed the two-year college sector nationwide.

Paul has prioritized finding new revenue sources to support the college’s mission. Paul led efforts to secure more than $24,000,000 in competitive grant awards – including securing the two largest competitive grant awards in college history and the college’s first four grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). In 2022, Paul cultivated a $1,000,000 donation to the college’s foundation – the largest donation in the foundation’s history. In 2023, Paul successfully led the college’s largest capital campaign in history.

In 2020, Paul was one of 25 community college leaders selected by the Aspen Institute for the inaugural cohort of their New President Fellowship. The Fellowship was a multifaceted program to help community college presidents in the early years of their tenure accelerate transformational change on behalf of students.

Paul currently serves as the Chair for the Wisconsin Technical College System President’s Association and serves on the American Association of Community College’s Commission on Public Relations, Advocacy, and Advancement.

Prior to joining Lakeshore Technical College, Paul served in a variety of leadership roles at the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and was an adjunct instructor of American Government at River Parishes Community College in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. Before working in higher education, Paul worked in statewide economic development at Louisiana Economic Development under Governor Jindal’s administration and the South Carolina Department of Commerce under Governor Nikki Haley’s administration.

Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado, a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Denver, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Georgia.

Paul and his wife, Christina, are the proud parents to two young daughters. Paul’s family enjoys traveling, watching cartoons, sledding, and new adventures.

Paul is active in a variety of local, regional, and national organizations, including:

  • New North
  • Bay Area Workforce Development Board
  • Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation
  • The Economic Club of Sheboygan County
  • Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance
  • HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital Advisory Board
  • Froedtert Holy Family Memorial Hospital Board of Directors
  • Kohler School District Board of Education

Paul’s peer reviewed publications include:

  • “The (Questionable) Importance of New York at the Constitutional Convention” with Jac Heckelman. Journal of Early American History, 7: 1-25, 2017.
  • “State Bloc Versus Individual Delegate Voting at the Constitutional Convention: Did it Make a Difference?” with Jac Heckelman. Southern Economic Journal, 82(3): 781-800, 2016.
  • “A New Dataset of Delegate Positions on all Substantive Roll Calls at the U.S. Constitutional Convention” with Keith Dougherty, Jac Heckelman, and David Gelman. Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, 45: 135-141, 2012.

Paul’s professional publications include:

  • “Hiring and Onboarding Investments are Critical in Today’s Environment.” Community College Journal, 2022.
  • “Generational Difference: Transitioning from a Baby Boomer CEO to a Millennial CEO.” Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Trustee Quarterly, 2018.
  • “South Carolina Innovation Plan” with David Clayton and Martin Ettlemeyer. Prepared at the request of the South Carolina Knowledge Sector Council, 2013. 
  • “The Economic Impact of the Military Community in South Carolina” with Lu Wang and David Clayton. Prepared at the request of the South Carolina Military Base Task Force, 2012. Designated a notable state document by the South Carolina State Library in 2013.

Contact President Carlsen:
Lakeshore Technical College
1290 North Avenue
Cleveland, WI 53015
1.888.GO TO LTC
Phone: 920.693.1000