UA Little Rock hires new Graduate School dean

Dr. Brian Berry has been named vice provost for research and dean of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Graduate School effective July 1.

After a competitive internal search, Berry was selected to lead UA Little Rock’s efforts in fulfilling its research mission and enhancing graduate studies at UA Little Rock. He will assume the post held by Dr. Abhijit Bhattacharyya, who is leaving to be the inaugural dean for the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Arkansas State University, beginning July 1.

Berry has served as graduate coordinator in the Department of Chemistry, director of the interdisciplinary Applied Science program, and chair of the Faculty Senate’s Graduate Council. In research, he has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on several sponsored research projects totaling nearly $1.5 million. His administrative experience includes three years as chair of the chemistry department where he led faculty in several student success initiatives while continuing to mentor many students who have since become accomplished scientists and educators.

Over the past several years, Berry has also been active in institutional level initiatives. He served as a member and then as the faculty co-chair of the Higher Learning Commission Steering Team and as a member and co-chair of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee. He previously served as a member of the Strategic Planning Task Force, the Faculty Workload Task Force, and the Task Force on Program Coordination.

“Dr. Berry has a wide range of experience in both research and graduate education that has prepared him well for his new role,” said Christy Drale, interim executive vice chancellor of academic affairs and provost. “I am confident that his broad experience in research and graduate studies, combined with his comprehensive institutional perspective, will enable him to provide excellent leadership as our new vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School.”

Berry earned a Ph.D. in applied science/chemistry and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, both  from UA Little Rock. He completed a postdoc at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a National Research Council postdoc fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) before returning to UA Little Rock as an assistant professor in 2008. Berry has 28 publications in well-respected peer-reviewed journals, and he won the UA Little Rock Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching in 2014.


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