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Harries Named Interim Graduate School Dean

Peter Harries by Lake Raleigh
Peter Harries, dean of the Graduate School (Freeman Fotographics)

Peter J. Harries has been named interim dean of the Graduate School. Harries came to NC State in 2015 as the Graduate School’s senior associate dean, where he was responsible for graduate student academic affairs.

Before coming to NC State, Harries was assistant dean of graduate studies at the University of South Florida. His research field is paleobiology, and he is also a professor in NC State’s marine, earth and atmospheric sciences department.

Harries earned a bachelor’s degree in geology and geophysics from Yale University in 1984, and a Ph.D. in geological sciences from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1993. During 1990-91, he was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany.

As senior associate dean, Harries has been dealing with student issues, promoting graduate student success and revising the Graduate Handbook, which includes policies and regulations regarding graduate education at NC State. Revisions are being reviewed, and the updated handbook will soon be available on the Graduate School’s website.

In addition, he has been involved with a number of college, university and national committees, including NC State’s graduate operations council, administrative board and enrollment Planning Committee. Harries was among those who were instrumental in bringing the application software Slate to campus as a customer relationship management platform. The Graduate School will begin using Slate in spring 2018 to admit students for spring 2019. Slate also will provide graduate programs with a communications package to reach prospective through admitted students.

“The CRM allows us to send much more effective streams of communication to prospective and admitted graduate students,” Harries said.

Harries recently has served as the Graduate School’s faculty representative to the Graduate Student Association. The regular GSA meetings are, “a great place to hear students’ concerns firsthand,” he said.

Harries joined the faculty of University of South Florida in 1992 as a visiting assistant professor in the geology department and rose to the rank of full professor. He served as interim associate dean for the Graduate School at USF in 2011-2013, and as assistant dean in 2013-2015.

In addition, he has served as curatorial affiliate at the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, since 2001, and was a curatorial assistant for the American Museum of Natural History, 1984-85.

Harries’ research, teaching and outreach activities focus on mass extinction events and comparing greenhouse and icehouse paleoclimatic, paleoceanography and paleontologic conditions. He is a member of several geology professional associations and societies and served as treasurer for the Paleontological Society and chair of the grants in aid of research committee for Sigma Xi, the international scientific honor society.

Harries has published in a broad range of top peer-reviewed publications, including Science and Nature Geoscience, as well as paleontology journals. He is a co-editor of the Topics in Geobiology series and an associate editor of Cretaceous Research, the Journal of Paleontology, and Acta Geologica Polonica.

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