Daniel K. Paulien


Dan Paulien founded Paulien & Associates in 1979, having previously served as Director of Planning and Student Auxiliary Services for the Auraria Higher Education Center. That three-institution campus, built as an urban renewal project in Central Denver, now serves over 40,000 students. Dan prepared the 16 program plan documents that served to achieve state approval for all construction on the campus. He then chaired the Auraria Planning Board, which met weekly during the development of the campus and included key planning representatives from the three institutions.

Dan operated Paulien & Associates for 38 years, 35 of them as sole owner. Paul Leef began serving as president in December 2017. In his role as Founder, Dan continues as one of four partners in the current organizational structure.

Paulien & Associates has provided services to over 700 campuses across the US and in nine countries internationally.

Key Clients and Achievements

  • Dan served on the Board of Directors of the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP), the leading national association for campus planning, and was elected president. He also received recognition for distinguished service and leadership.
  • Paulien has provided over 50 planning projects for the University of Missouri System throughout the lifetime of this business.
  • The University of Colorado Boulder engaged Paulien as the only outside consultant in three master planning efforts over three decades and for over 30 individual program planning projects.
  • When the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system was first created out of four separate systems, Paulien & Associates provided complex system-wide studies.
  • Space needs analysis was provided to the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education when their higher education system was consolidated.
  • Paulien & Associates twice conducted state-wide higher education studies for the State of Utah, was the outside consultant engaged in the development of updated space planning guidelines for the City University of New York system, and was the lead consultant in the development of a higher education master plan for the North Dakota University System.
  • Paulien & Associates was engaged to provide space analytics consulting for leading private universities including Harvard University, Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, Cornell University, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Notre Dame. Leading private liberal arts institutions served include Swarthmore College, Middlebury College, Lewis & Clark College, Ithaca College, Agnes Scott College, and Loyola University in Maryland.
  • Paulien & Associates was a key consultant in the development of master plans for all the campuses comprising the Colorado Community College System and has continued to provide services to specific colleges within that system over four decades.
  • When the State of Indiana gave Ivy Tech Community College a state-wide mandate to provide two-year education, Paulien & Associates was engaged to analyze demographics and workforce needs for each of the College’s regions, develop capital construction evaluation metrics, and calculate space utilization and needs for all their campuses. A follow up study was conducted approximately five years later.
  • At two different points in time, Paulien & Associates conducted similar comprehensive studies for Pima Community College in Arizona, including the impacts of adjusting where academic programs were delivered across their multi-campus institution.
  • Separately contracted master plan needs analyses were conducted for the Connecticut State University institutions and for the campuses of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.


Dan has been married to Susan for 51 years. Their daughter, Pamela, joined him on a bucket list expeditionary cruise to Antarctica in 2017, where they walked among the penguins at four different locations. His granddaughter Sonia attends Vassar College and granddaughter Marina is in the International Baccalaureate program at George Washington High School in Denver.

He looks forward to more time for travel, reading history and current affairs, attending visual and performing arts events and following Olympic sports.


Contact Dan