Orange Alert

Assuring Academic Excellence

Professor Laura Machia named associate dean for academic initiatives and curriculum.

June 18, 2024, by Daeya Malboeuf

Machia Headshot 2024
As associate dean for academic initiatives and curriculum, Laura Machia will work with College leadership to improve the strategic management and analysis of academic programs and operation.

Laura Machia, professor of psychology (PSY) in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), has been named A&S’ associate dean for academic initiatives and curriculum. In this new cabinet-level role, Professor Machia will work closely with the senior associate dean for curriculum affairs, as well as with department chairs, undergraduate directors and the A&S | Maxwell curriculum committee, to improve the strategic management and analysis of academic programs and operations and to further refine the vision and strategies for undergraduate programs in accordance with the academic plans recently released by both the University and A&S. Machia’s is the latest in a line of strategic leadership appointments that also includes Professors Stephen Maisto and Gwendolyn Pough — all of whom will help guide and operationalize A&S’s ambitious new academic strategic plan.

Machia’s other key responsibilities will include designing new academic programs and evaluating current ones, ensuring that course size and instructional resources are optimally managed, developing and integrating study abroad and study away strategies across the curriculum, and overseeing both the course catalog and Middle States assessments. A&S Dean Behzad Mortazavi says that Machia is well suited to her new position given her experience directing undergraduate and Ph.D. programs for the psychology department, which boasts A&S’s largest number of undergraduate majors.

“The College of Arts and Sciences comprises one-third of the University’s undergraduate student body, meaning that our academic excellence and operational efficiency play an outsized role in the lives of our students and the overall campus,” says Mortazavi. “I’m confident that Professor Machia — in partnership with the College’s academic and administrative leadership — will help A&S realize its ambitious ASP goals through a curriculum that is rigorous, relevant, inventive and distinctive.”

“Students at SU receive a world-class liberal arts education from dedicated and passionate faculty across A&S and Maxwell. I am excited to work with our departments and programs to further enhance their strengths and partner in their strategic innovation over the coming years as we align with the new ASP,” says Machia.

Along with the duties described above, Machia will continue to conduct research and teach courses for the psychology department during the term of her appointment noting, “It is a joy to be able to contribute to the College’s academic goals in this new role, in the research lab and in the classroom.”

About Laura Machia

Professor Machia joined Syracuse University in 2012. She is a social psychologist who specializes in research on close relationships, focusing primarily on the question of why some relationships flourish and others fail. An accomplished teacher and scholar, she has taught courses on social psychology, close relationships and social dilemmas; authored or coauthored more than 50 empirical papers; and co-edited a book titled “Interdependence, Interaction, and Relationships” (2020) that explores how theories from social psychology, economics, sociology and learning science combine to explain whether relationships flourish or fail.

Her previous leadership roles have included serving as: director of the College’s social psychology Ph.D. program from 2018 to 2023; director of undergraduate studies and associate chair of the psychology department from 2019 to 2023; and chair of the A&S Academic Committee from 2019 to 2024. She was also a member of the University’s Women in Leadership initiative from 2023 to 2024 and has held various appointments within her professional organizations, such as serving as a senior member of the Relationship Research Interest Group within the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and as an associate editor at Personal Relationships.

Machia holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in social psychology from Purdue University, and a B.A. in psychology and sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Her four-year appointment as associate dean begins July 1, 2024.


Laura Machia Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives and Curriculum, Professor of Psychology

Media Contact

Daeya Malboeuf