Furman has five 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.

Marianne Pierce

Marianne Pierce

Senior Associate Academic Dean

Marianne Pierce is the senior associate academic dean. She joined the Furman faculty in 1997, and has served as director of undergraduate research and internships for the past six years. Prior to coming to Furman, she was director of graduate (MBA) programs and executive education programs at Wake Forest University.

During her time at Furman, she has served as interim director of the Center for Teaching Learning, director of the Brussels internship study away program, and chair of the individualized curriculum program. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

The senior associate academic dean position was created at the recommendation of the academic affairs administration reorganization task force. The position oversees 12 academic support areas such as continuing education, libraries, undergraduate research and internships, the Shi Center for Sustainability, and the other assistant and associate deans in academic affairs. In addition, Pierce oversees interdisciplinary programs and the first year seminars.


Brad Barron

Brad Barron

Associate Dean and University Registrar

Brad Barron has been an Associate Dean and University Registrar at Furman since 2002. He receive 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 school 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. He recently accepted an assignment as well to provide leadership for Furman's assessment efforts including coordinating the process to renew its regional accreditation.


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.


Kailash Khandke

Kailash Khandke

Assistant Academic Dean of Study Away and International Education

Kailash Khandke is the Assistant Academic Dean for Study Away and International Education at Furman University, a position he has held since July 2007. The Assistant Academic Dean for Study Away and International Education position was created on the recommendation of the Study Away Committee to the Implementation Task Force in its charge to consider the impact of the new academic calendar on Furman's existing and future study away programs. Dr. Khandke joined the Furman faculty in 1995 and is a professor and faculty member in the Department of Economics & also holds a position in the Department of Asian Studies. He holds a B.A. degree in Economics & Statistics from St. Xavier's College in Mumbai, India, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of California at Davis. At Furman, Dr. Khandke has served on several faculty standing committees and served as the chair of the Steering Committee & Implementation Task Force for Furman's new curriculum and academic calendar that began in the fall 2008. As the Assistant Academic Dean for Study Away and International Education, he administers the university's faculty-led study away programs and oversees the university's exchange and affiliate arrangements with partner universities and providers. He directs and supervises the university's international initiatives and works cooperatively with the Office of Admissions to identify, and recruit, academically qualified international students to Furman's campus. He has published papers on the effect of economic conditions on voting behavior, budgets and government expenditure, economics education and teaching pedagogy, and is an active member in the Association for International Education Administrators (AIEA).


Lesley Quast Furman University

Lesley Quast

Assistant Academic Dean

Lesley A. Quast is the assistant academic dean for advising. She is primarily responsible for the administration and implementation of the academic advising program. In addition, she works with students who are experiencing academic difficulties compounded by other life factors, and is the academic liaison to the engaged living program.

Quast earned her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from St. Andrews Presbyterian College, master of education in emotional disturbance from Virginia Commonwealth University, and doctorate of education in learning disabilities with a minor in administration and supervision from the University of Alabama.

After joining the faculty in 1976, Quast has spent her entire post-doctoral career at Furman University. Prior to her appointment as assistant academic dean, Quast served as director of university/school partnerships, coordinator of NCATE accreditation, and chair of the education department. She has been a member of numerous university committees, among the most recent are the faculty governance task force, the implementation task force for the new curriculum, student life strategic planning committee, the task force on the student experience, the first year experience committee, and co-chair of the Furman University Diversity Committee. Quast continues to teach a course on diverse school cultures as part of the senior block for elementary majors at Furman. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, hiking or walking, writing poetry, and small-sized organic gardening.

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