Paul Olson, PhD



Academic Affairs



PhD in Sociology, University of Nebraska

MA in Religious Studies, University of Kansas

BA in History, University of Northern Iowa

Paul Olson

Contact Information


Dr. Paul Olson joined the University of Jamestown in the summer of 2014 after teaching sociology at Briar Cliff University for nine years and serving as the Chair of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Since coming to the University of Jamestown, Provost Olson have overseen the development of several new academic programs, including the Ph.D. in Clinical Research, masters’ degrees in Teacher Leadership, Clinical Counseling, and Leadership, and bachelors’ degrees in Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Digital Design, and Behavioral Health. He has also played important roles in the expansion of the University of Jamestown in Fargo, North Dakota, and to Phoenix, Arizona, and the establishment of the Unruh School of Character in Leadership.

Dr. Olson earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Nebraska with specializations in the sociology of religion and racial, ethnic, and gender inequality. His research has been published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Innovative Higher Education, The Journal of Popular Culture, and the Journal of Religion and Society. Prior to earning his Ph.D., Dr. Olson completed a master’s degree in religious studies from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Northern Iowa.

Provost Olson and his wife, Teresa, have three daughters: Phoebe, Siddha, and Daphne. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, running, traveling, and reading. If you want to endear yourself to him or get him off topic during a meeting, he is always more than willing to discuss popular music since the 1950s, places he wants to visit, literature, and why American professional sports need a system of relegation like English football/soccer has.