University News

Message from Provost Blouin on Graduate School dean

After a thorough nationwide search, Suzanne Barbour has been named dean of the Graduate School.

Suzanne E. Barbour poses for a photo near a lake.

I am pleased to announce that Suzanne Barbour, dean of the Graduate School at the University of Georgia, will be dean of the UNC Graduate School and professor of biochemistry and biophysics, effective Sept. 3, 2019.

In this role, Suzanne will continue to build on our commitment to offering world-class graduate education. She is particularly excited about engaging adult learners through both degree-granting and non-degree-granting programs, including micro-credentialing programs — all tenets of Carolina’s digital and lifelong learning initiative.

An accomplished scholar in biochemistry and molecular biology, Suzanne has a passion for graduate education and an ability to connect with students and faculty across disciplines. Since 2015, Suzanne has overseen 250 graduate programs at UGA. Before that, she served as program director in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at the National Science Foundation and as a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the School of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Previously at VCU, she led the graduate program in biochemistry and molecular biology, directed research training at the Center on Health Disparities and held affiliate appointments in the departments of African American studies, biology, and microbiology and immunology.

Suzanne is committed to student success at the highest levels, including serving as a coach for the Academy for Future Science Faculty, a key National Institutes of Health initiative, and has served for over a decade on the education and professional development committee of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Throughout her career, she has mentored dozens of students and received numerous awards for professional achievement and teaching excellence.

Suzanne graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a doctorate in molecular biology and genetics from Johns Hopkins University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego.

Please join me in thanking Dean Steven W. Matson for his outstanding leadership and service. I am grateful that he will continue to contribute to our community when he returns to the College of Arts & Sciences and the Department of Biology faculty. I would also like to thank the search committee, chaired by Gary Bowen, dean of the School of Social Work, that conducted a thorough nationwide search and identified an outstanding field of candidates.

A strong Graduate School is a vital part of Carolina’s tradition of excellence in research, undergraduate teaching and community-engaged scholarship. I am confident that Suzanne will continue this trajectory of excellence. Please join me in welcoming her to Carolina.


Robert A. Blouin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost