Graduate School dean Suzanne Barbour to step down at the end of August

"Suzanne always puts students first, and we are appreciative of everything she has accomplished at The Graduate School during the past three years."

Suzanne Barbour standing by lake.
(Photo by Nancy Evelyn)

Dear Carolina Community,

We are writing to share that Suzanne Barbour, dean of The Graduate School, has accepted the position of dean of The Graduate School and vice provost for graduate education at Duke University. She will leave Carolina at the end of August.

Suzanne has made many contributions during her tenure, and we are grateful for her leadership and service. Importantly, she advocated for policy change that allows graduate coursework to count toward both a baccalaureate and master’s degree. This change has opened the door for broader conversations about developing dual-degree programs that will innovate how we educate students.

Suzanne has also been a champion for access. She worked with her team to implement a pilot program to not require the GRE for incoming students. This gave individual programs the ability to opt out of requiring the GRE. While not the sole factor, we believe leaving the GRE optional for most degree programs helped lead to a significant increase in Graduate School applications over the past two years.

Under Suzanne’s leadership, The Graduate School also advanced its diversity and inclusion efforts. Last year, the school won the Educational Testing Service/Council of Graduate Schools Award for Innovation in Promoting Success in Graduate Education, which recognizes innovations in graduate education that have the potential to promote inclusivity and success. She also hired the first director for experiential professional development to help prepare graduate students for non-academic career paths. To aid in student success, she collaborated with the Center for Faculty Excellence and the School of Medicine to develop nine trainings for graduate faculty on best practices for mentoring graduate students.

Suzanne is also a gifted fundraiser helping The Graduate School exceed its $10 million Campaign for Carolina goal by 25%, and she has worked to provide students with the financial support they need. In collaboration with the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid, The Graduate School distributed $3.5 million to graduate students whose degree progression was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Suzanne always puts students first, and we are appreciative of everything she has accomplished at The Graduate School during the past three years. With the academic year fast approaching, we will announce plans for new Graduate School leadership in the coming days. In the meantime, please join us in thanking Suzanne and wishing her well in her new position.


Kevin M. Guskiewicz

J. Christopher Clemens
Provost and Chief Academic Officer