SOE News

Henry Frierson retires from Carolina, accepts deanship at University of Florida

After 33 years as a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Henry Frierson left on April 30, 2007, to assume a new position at the University of Florida. He will be associate vice president and dean of the Graduate School at UF. 

At Carolina, Frierson served on the faculty of the School of Medicine from 1974-93, where he was a professor and where in 1977 he founded the Learning and Assessment Laboratory, an academic support unit that he directed until 1990.

Since 1993, he has been a professor of educational psychology and program evaluation at the School of Education.

Throughout his career, Frierson has focused on recruiting, mentoring and supporting minority students. In 1996, he became director of the Research Education Support Program, a large multi-faceted initiative largely funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support minority students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

In 2004, he was lead principal investigator on a $10 million grant awarded by NSF to establish the North Carolina Alliance to Create Opportunity Through Education (NC OPT-ED), a three-campus, multi-year project to increase the number of underrepresented minority students in North Carolina who earn doctoral degrees and ultimately enter the faculty ranks in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through NC OPT-ED, he initiated and helped develop a collaborative network of projects at colleges and institutes that exceed $40 million in grants. 

In 2005, he received another $2.2 million grant from NSF to extend this work to underrepresented minority students in the social, behavioral and economic sciences.

In his research, Frierson has investigated the effects of intervention on licensing examinations, access to graduate education, undergraduate minority students' perceptions of research experiences, mentoring in higher education and culturally responsive evaluation.

Frierson also served the University as assistant, then associate dean of The Graduate School from 1989-96. During those years, he obtained considerable funding for graduate student support and special research programs.

In 2006, he received the Dean’s Award from The Graduate School, recognizing his “exemplary leadership, service and commitment to the University and its graduate students.”

“I’m very excited about the new position and the university but not so excited about leaving Chapel Hill,” Frierson said. “It has been an incomparable experience building programs, getting grants and contributing to the lives of young people through our work on this campus and beyond.”