Skip to main content

Dean, School of Education

Dean, School of Continuing and Professional Studies

Pictured is Shari Payne. Photo by Jordan Bellotti.Contact Information

  • Office: 101 Wood Street, 4th Floor (Green Building)
  • Phone: 412-355-7221
  • Email:


  • Bachelor of Arts, English Writing, University of Pittsburgh
  • Master of Science in Communications and Information Systems, Robert Morris University
  • Doctor of Education, in Higher Education Administration (Administrative & Policy Studies), University of Pittsburgh


Shari Payne, Ed.D. is the dean of Point Park University's School of Education and dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Dr. Payne brings a diverse array of professional teaching and leadership experience in higher education, working in the areas of enrollment, academic operations, financial aid and student support. Throughout her career, she has focused on providing an exceptional experience for students and fostered collaboration across university departments to implement improvements. 

Prior to joining Point Park, Dr. Payne served as the vice president of enrollment at Waynesburg University, where her key accomplishments included executing a multi-state recruiting strategy that resulted in the university's most geographically and ethnically diverse class in fall 2022 and creating a new, data-informed financial aid awarding strategy.

Dr. Payne is a Class XXXIX graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh and serves on the Peters Township School District Board of School Directors.


Selected Presentations and Publications

  • FAFSA Processing Today: A Discussion with Financial Aid Officers.” Panel moderator for the Western PA College Success Forum, Robert Morris University, Jan. 29, 2019.
  • Pathways to College.” Panel moderator for the Western PA College Success Forum, Robert Morris University, Jan. 31, 2017.
  • Community Engagement for Research and Teaching through Service: Lesson from South Western Pennsylvania’s Higher Education Community.” Joint panel presentation with Tracy Soska, Lina Dostilio, David Calvario, Jessica Friedrichs, Patricia Bramwine and Lila de Klaver at the International Workshop on Higher Education Reform, University of Pittsburgh, Oct. 12, 2012.
  • Creating community partnerships that help students meet learning goals.” Joint presentation with Donna Anderson at the SPRING Service-Learning Course Development Institute, California University of Pennsylvania, May 24, 2011.
  • Question and Answer Session About Partnerships.”  Joint panel session with Tendai Matambanadzo at the SPRING Service-Learning Course Development Institute, California University of Pennsylvania, May 24, 2011.
  • Building University Collaboration to Improve Nonprofit Excellence.”  Joint presentation with Peggy Morrison Outon, Garrett Cooper and Donna Anderson at the Benchmark 3.5 Conference: Nonprofit Educators and Students: Learning, Leading and Creating the Future,” Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC), San Diego, CA, March 26, 2011.
  • Student Engagement: Building Service Learning Neighborhoods through Strategies, Techniques and Best Practices.” Panel presentation with Jessica Friedrichs, Carrie Benson, and Kelly King at the Annual Conference for the Pennsylvania Communications Association (PCA), St. Vincent College, Latrobe, PA, Oct. 21, 2009.
  • Study of the Relationship Between Private Student Loan Borrowing and Persistence & Graduation Rates of Traditional Students at a Private University.” Dissertation presented and defended to the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh, March 30, 2009.

Professional/Committee Memberships

  • Member of the University Professional, Continuing and Online Education Association (UPCEA), 2023-present
  • National Member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), 2015-23
  • Institutional member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), 2015-23
  • Past member of the Liaison Advisory Board for The Washington Center (TWC) for Internships and Academic Seminars, 2009-14
  • Regional Member of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICUP) Student Aid Advocacy Council, 2015-23
  • Member of the Western PA College Success Roundtable, 2015-present
  • Member of the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC), 2015-23
  • Past member of the Pitt Alumni Recruitment Network (PART) for the University of Pittsburgh, 1997-14
  • Past member of the SPRING Community Engagement Network, 2009-14
  • Past member of the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE) Community Engagement Committee, 2009-14
  • Past member of the 74% Project: Exploring the Lives of Women Leaders in Nonprofit Organizations with the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management (BCNM), 2009-14
  • Past member of and private sector representative to the Pennsylvania Association Student Financial Aid Administrators (PASFAA), 2001-06
  • Institutional Chair of the Waynesburg University Enrollment Management Committee, 2015-23
  • Member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Self-Study Steering Committee, 2021-present
  • Member of the Waynesburg Institutional Assessment Committee, 2015-23
  • Past Chair of the Shepherd Enrollment Management Committee, 2014-15
  • Past Ex Officio member of the Shepherd Budget Advisory Council, 2014-15
  • Past chair of the RMU Student Engagement Transcript (SET) Advisory Board, 2008-14

Community Leadership

  • Graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, Class XXXIX, 2022-23
  • Serve as School Director and Vice Chairperson of the Finance Committee for the Peters Township Board of School Directors, elected Nov. 2021
  • Completed the Leadership Washington County program, 2019-20
  • Completed the Carnegie Bosch Institute Program, “Leading Innovation: Creating a Dynamic Organization," 2015