The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday October 20th

UNC chooses next dean of Graduate School

Suzanne Barbour was selected to be the next dean of the UNC Graduate School. She will begin on Sept. 3, 2019, according to a press release from Provost Bob Blouin.

Barbour is currently serving as the dean of the University of Georgia’s graduate school where she is also a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. When she comes to UNC in the fall, she will also take on the role of professor of biochemistry and biophysics. 

Barbour was hired by UGA in 2015 in part because she had a strong vision to enhance the school's "national and international reputation as a leading research university," the UGA president said in a press release at the time. 

After graduating from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, she went on to get a doctorate in molecular biology and genetics from Johns Hopkins University.

In the release, Blouin said he has confidence Barbour will elevate the status of UNC’s graduate program, continuing a “trajectory of excellence.”

“A strong Graduate School is a vital part of Carolina’s tradition of excellence in research, undergraduate teaching and community-engaged scholarship,” he said in the release. 

In fall 2018, UNC had 8,417 students enrolled in the graduate school out of 30,011 total students — making up 28 percent of UNC’s student population.

Before Barbour was at UGA, she was a program director in a division of the National Science Foundation, and a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Also in the past, she directed research training at the Center on Health Disparities, and has been serving for over a decade on a committee of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

The previous dean of the Graduate School was Steven Matson, who joined UNC as a professor in the biology department in 1983. He led the Graduate School for 11 years. 

In the release, Blouin said Barbour "is particularly excited about engaging adult learners through both degree granting and non-degree granting programs, including micro-credentialing programs." Blouin said these tenets are part of UNC's digital and lifelong learning initiative.

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