Dr. Catanzaro was the Associate Vice President for Academic Administration at Illinois State University until his retirement in 2021. Previously, he served as Assistant Vice President for Academic Administration from June 2011 to December 2016, then Associate Vice President for Academic Administration, Policy, and Faculty Affairs from January 2017 to March 2019. Prior to these appointments, he served as Executive Associate Dean in the ISU College of Arts and Sciences. As Assistant/Associate Vice President, he provided leadership on academic personnel matters, including the faculty Appointment, Salary, Promotion, and Tenure (ASPT) system, sabbaticals, and related policies; strategic planning; professional development programming; and policy review/federal compliance for the Division of Academic Affairs. He also supervised the Conference Services unit and the Assistant Vice President for Academic Administration, who coordinated faculty and staff professional development programming, supervised the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, and contributed to policy development, implementation, and compliance.
Much of this work advanced diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Dr. Catanzaro’s contributions in this realm include development of faculty recruitment and retention programs designed to enhance educational diversity; leading tenure and promotion policy revisions to reform the evaluation of teaching by de-centering student survey responses and to better recognize DEI in scholarship and teaching, including out-of-class mentoring of students. As Associate Dean, Dr. Catanzaro instituted College-wide professional development programming to support faculty and led a Diversity and Retention Implementation that increased transparency and equity in a number of faculty support processes.
Dr. Catanzaro completed the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in July 2014. He represented Illinois State University at the American Council on Education’s convening on Faculty Diversity in American Higher Education in April 2016. He was a member of the 2017-18 cohort of the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership, a partnership between Arizona State University and Georgetown University.
In 2008, Dr. Catanzaro was elected to the Board of Directors of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, an international organization dedicated to networking arts and sciences deans through professional development opportunities. As a member of CCAS, he pioneered the organization of poster sessions at the annual meeting to facilitate more presentation and informal discussion opportunities for member deans and associate deans. While on the Board, Dr. Catanzaro contributed to an extensive strategic planning process and developed the idea of a Dean’s Knowledge Base as an on-line resource. Dr. Catanzaro was re-elected to the Board in 2010 and served until he was appointed Assistant Vice President at Illinois State University.
Dr. Catanzaro received his BA in Psychology from La Salle University in 1982 and his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1988. He is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology, having served on the ISU faculty since 1988. His teaching and research interests lie at the intersection of personality and clinical psychology. He has most frequently taught courses in personality psychology, psychopathology, and research methods. His primary line of research investigates individual differences in the regulation of negative mood states, with a particular focus on how people’s general beliefs about their ability to do something to help themselves feel better when they feel upset influence coping and adaptation. Dr. Catanzaro and his long-time colleague, Dr. Jack Mearns, have developed a measure of these generalized expectancies that has been used extensively in research around the world, having been translated into German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, Turkish, and Hebrew. Higher scores on this measure predict more adaptive coping responses under stress, better performance under stress, quicker recovery from negative moods, and fewer symptoms of emotional distress and ill health. Increases in NMR expectancies early in psychotherapy are predictive of better outcomes for at least two conditions, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. More information is available at Dr. Mearns’s Negative Mood Regulation Research website.
Dr. Catanzaro is a Charter Member and Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.