Furman has four academic deans who support the university's academic and administrative operations. Providing leadership for academic programs, procedures and policies, these deans help shape the academic experience of the university's students.

Ken Peterson

Kenneth Peterson

Interim Dean of Faculty

Kenneth D. Peterson is the new Interim Dean of Faculty and the John D. Hollingsworth, Jr., Professor of Economics. He joined the Furman economics faculty in 1990 and chaired the department for twelve years. As Interim Dean of Faculty he will be responsible for the faculty, academic departments, interdisciplinary minors, and the units that support all undergraduate programs. His teaching interests include microeconomic theory, urban economics, population economics, environmental economics, and research methods in economics. He is particularly fond of introducing students to economic ideas in the introduction to economics course.

An outstanding teacher and mentor, Professor Peterson was the recipient of the Alester G. Furman, Jr. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Teaching. His recent research interests have been in the areas of hedonic house pricing, parking policies and environmental impacts, and social capital. Professor Peterson has also supervised numerous undergraduate research projects through the Economics Department’s summer research program.

He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his B.S. in economics from Iowa State University. His research examines the extent to which property values are affected by environmental and neighborhood traits, the causes and consequences of varying social capital levels within neighborhoods, the economics of higher education, and the economics of college athletics. A graduate of Leadership Greenville Class XXI, he resides in Greenville with his wife, Chirinjev.


Brad Barron

Brad Barron

Associate Dean and University Registrar

Brad Barron has been an Associate Dean and University Registrar at Furman since 2002. He received a B.S.Ed. in social studies education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1990 and an M.A. in higher education administration from Ohio State University in 1993.

Barron began his professional career as an Enrollment Data Coordinator for the Ohio Board of Regents, the coordinating board for higher education in that state and served close to five years as the Registrar at Muhlenberg College, a small liberal arts college located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, before arriving at Furman. Active in his profession, Barron presents frequently at state, regional and national workshops and meetings on a variety of topics including leadership, working with information technology staff, and managing commencement exercises. He has also served on the executive committees for both the Carolina Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (CACRAO) and the Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (SACRAO). 

Barron also acts as Furman's chief privacy officer, helping to ensure that all of the data Furman collects and stores, is appropriately protected. 


Paula Gabbert Furman University

Paula Gabbert

Associate Academic Dean

Paula Gabbert is an associate academic dean and professor of computer science. She earned her B.A. in Computer Science/Management from Goucher College (Md.) and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in systems engineering from the University of Virginia. She joined the department of computer science in 1996 and was appointed associate academic dean in 2009.

As associate academic dean, Gabbert ensures that academic regulations are followed, manages students on academic probation, oversees cases involving violations of academic integrity and appeals of academic regulations, and assists faculty, students, and parents with concerns about academic issues. She also supervises the assistant academic dean, the disability services office, and the office of academic assistance. She continues to teach one class a year in the computer science department.


Brad Harmon

Brad Harmon

Assistant Academic Dean

Brad Harmon is the Assistant Academic Dean for Advising and is primarily responsible for the development and implementation of the academic advising program. He also serves as Academic Liaison for Furman's Engaged Living learning communities program and is responsible for the overall strategic vision and development of the academic content for this program. He chairs the Academic Advising Committee and First-Year Experience Strategic Planning Committee and works with students experiencing academic difficulties. He also collaborates with Student Life staff to plan new student orientation programs as well as first year, sophomore year and junior-senior year experiences.

Harmon is a Furman graduate of the class of 1997, where he earned a B.A. in history, and he has an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. in Counseling and Student Personnel Services from the University of Georgia. His career has included work in both academic affairs and student life. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Academic Dean in 2015, Harmon spent six years working in Furman's Division of Student Life where he served as the administrative director for Engaged Living, had oversight of the residence life program, and developed the Student Conduct Board.

Harmon's research focuses on the peer mentoring of first-year undergraduate students, a passion that was cultivated from his experiences as a First-Year Advisor (FRAD) while he was a student at Furman. He continues to collaborate with Housing and Residence Life staff on the development of effective peer mentors in the first-year experience.

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