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The Graduate School has named Brian Rybarczyk as its associate dean for professional development and funding, effective December 1.

Brian Rybarczyk will assume the role of associate dean for professional development and funding at The Graduate School on December 1—a key initiative for furthering The Graduate School’s commitment to its students as they emerge as the next generation of leaders.

Brian Rybarczyk, Ph.D.
Brian Rybarczyk, Ph.D.

In his new role, Rybarczyk will spearhead professional development and funding opportunities for graduate students. Rybarczyk, who joined The Graduate School in 2006, will support these initiatives, both of which are long-standing commitments of The Graduate School to increase access, affordability, and equity to graduate education in our state.  

“This opportunity showcases Carolina’s commitment to the future of graduate education,” Rybarczyk said. “It’s gratifying to lead this effort to support graduate students at the nation’s first public university.” 

Suzanne Barbour, dean of The Graduate School, said the associate dean position will bolster The Graduate School’s commitment to graduate students. 

“The future of work and of academia is changing rapidly—especially in response to the global pandemic,” Barbour said. “The Graduate School partners with the College of Arts & Sciences and professional schools to not only prepare graduate students in their chosen area of discipline training but also to provide them with discipline-neutral professional and career development.”

She said Rybarczyk has emerged as national leader in these areas.

“When coupled with Brian’s commitment to expanding fellowship support for graduate students, our graduate students are prepared from a more holistic perspective. Such initiatives will keep our University—and our state—at the forefront of higher education.” 

Professional development duties will include continuing to host workshops and seminars offered by The Graduate School, in addition to signature events, such as the Three Minute Thesis. Rybarczyk’s funding efforts will oversee both internal and external funding opportunities for graduate students who may face student debt as they continue their studies. 

The Graduate School oversees administration of more than 160 graduate degree-offering programs from all areas of campus; graduate students comprise nearly 30 percent of Carolina’s student body.  

Rybarczyk has served as The Graduate School’s assistant dean for academic and professional development since 2017. He is an alum of the University of Rochester, where he received both his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. At Carolina, he directs the Preparing International Teaching Assistants Program (PITAP) and is the program co-director for the SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellowship program. In May 2021, the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), selected Rybarczyk for its leadership team. 

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