Oliver to lead Georgia Gwinnett College’s School of Education

Pic of Bernard Oliver

Dr. Bernard Oliver

New leadership, an innovative strategic plan and solid community partnerships attracted Dr. Bernard Oliver to Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC). A diverse background in both higher and K-12 education made Oliver perfect for GGC. 

After completing a nationwide search, Oliver has been named dean of GGC’s School of Education.

Oliver comes to GGC from Valdosta State University where he is a professor and dean of the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education & Human Services. In that role, he oversaw the accreditation of the college and led its restructuring efforts. Oliver provided leadership in implementing and developing strategic plans and initiatives, diversity and school-university partnerships and student success initiatives, focusing on student retention and recruitment.

Before his time at Valdosta State, Oliver was a professor and dean of education at the United Arab Emirates University, where he led more than 60 faculty and staff members as he oversaw accreditation initiatives, established research centers and national conferences and strengthened partnerships with national and international agencies.

Oliver spent time at the University of Florida, Washington State University, St. Cloud State University and Syracuse University. He was dean and the University of Missouri-Kauffman endowed chair, professor and director of the Center for Educational Partnerships at University of Missouri-Kansas City. His K-12 experience includes a leadership role at Virginia Beach City Public Schools as assistant superintendent for high schools. He had teaching and coaching roles at Jefferson Union High School District in Daly City, California, and Aragon High School in San Mateo, California. 

His expertise is evident through his more than 20 published articles which provide information on topics such as teaching education programs, leadership, educational reform and African-American perspectives on recruitment and retention. The seasoned educator has also contributed to books and technical reports and given more than 200 scholarly presentations. 

Oliver’s vision for GGC’s School of Education includes focusing on three major areas. 

“I’d like to look at the development of new leadership and teaching programs that enhance the partnership with Gwinnett County Public Schools,” he explained. “I’d also like to explore the development of partnerships with private-sector business agencies focusing on workforce development and adult education and providing professional development opportunities for educators beyond Gwinnett County. I also want to explore potential revenue streams and other resources to augment our programs and support our faculty.”

A California native, Oliver earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University Hayward (now California State University, East Bay) and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University.

While his two sons remain on the West Coast, Oliver said he’s looking forward to relocating to the Atlanta area, where he will be close to his two daughters—one who is a school teacher in Cobb County and the other, who is an attorney for Delta Airline pilots.

He’ll also be closer to his eight grandchildren. “I’m really excited about that!” he said.

Oliver begins his new role July 1.

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