Dr. Alfred Bryant named next School of Education dean

Former administrator, professor at UNC-Pembroke to take over in June 2020

Dr. Alfred Bryant will be the next dean of Campbell’s School of Education, the University announced on Monday. A longtime administrator and professor at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke and the founding director of Pembroke’s Southeast American Indian Studies program, Bryant will succeed Karen Nery, who led Campbell’s school for 20 years before her retirement last summer. 

He will assume the role beginning in June of 2020.

Bryant, a 1990 graduate of UNC-Pembroke who earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in counselor education at North Carolina State University, comes to Campbell after 18 years as a professor and dean at his alma mater. He said Campbell’s reputation and his familiarity with the school are key factors in his decision to take this next step in his career. 

“I understand the vision of Campbell’s leadership and really look forward to being a part of its future,” he said. “Campbell is unlike any other private institution in this state, and I am so excited about this next stage in my life.”

During his career, Bryant’s research and scholarship has focused on racial identity development, multicultural counseling and cultural differences in parental emotional communication. Bryant is a member of the American Counseling Association and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, and he is a certified school counselor and licensed professional counselor with experience in community settings and schools.

A member of the Lumbee American Indian tribe, Bryant was named founding director of UNC-P’s Southeast American Indian Studies program in 2013. In his role, Bryant established new initiatives and worked to establish and strengthen relationships with tribes of the Southeast, with academic institutions and with state and federal entities to promote and enhance the program.

In 2018, UNC-P’s School of Education received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase the number of American Indian administrators in the state’s public school districts with large American Indian student populations. The grant is currently providing financial assistance, professional development and mentoring support to American Indian students pursuing a Master of School Administration degree or an Add-on Licensure in School Administration at UNC-P.

His accolades at Pembroke were many, but Bryant says his biggest accomplishment there was “having the opportunity to be involved in the hiring of so many great people.”

“I found as an administrator that people make the success of an organization,” he said. “It was a blessing to be able to work with my colleagues at UNC-Pembroke for the past 18 years.”

He said his first impression of Campbell and its School of Education was how “genuinely kind and caring the people were.” 

“I decided Campbell was the right fit for me after spending a full day on campus, meeting lots of great people, experiencing the beautiful campus and the physical growth of the campus, as well as meeting the faculty, staff and students,” he said. “I was truly impressed and could see myself working in that positive environment.”

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Mark Hammond said he was “elated” with the hire of Bryant, whom he said is “uniquely prepared to build upon the school’s fine foundation and traditions of excellence established by Dr. Karen Nery, dean emerita.”

“Dr. Bryant’s two decades of experience at UNC-Pembroke include demonstrated success as a faculty member, department chair, associate dean and dean, all of which have prepared him well for this important role,” Hammond added. “We are grateful for the outstanding work of Dr. Sue May and Alyssa Perez at Storbeck-Pimentel with the national search that led us to find Dr. Bryant, a humble and accomplished educator who is a wonderful fit for Campbell’s mission and all of the programs in our school of education.”

Campbell’s School of Education is home to both professional education degrees and service-oriented professional programs in psychology, social work and counseling. The School blends theoretical, professional and practical concepts for expertise in education and service.

The School has added several new programs in recent years — adding masters programs in gifted education and curriculum and instruction, and add-on licensure programs in instructional technology and English as a second language. It also added a residency licensure program this fall.