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About our Dean & Director
About our Dean & Director

In 2015, the Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville welcomed Michael Dempsey as its new Dean and Director.

Dr. Michael M. Dempsey was appointed in April 2015 as the Dean and Director of Lenoir-Rhyne University's Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville. The Center opened in August of 2012 in the Historic Montford area of Asheville and currently offers 12 graduate programs.

Dr. Dempsey came to Lenoir-Rhyne from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech), where he served in numerous capacities, most recently as director of educational partnerships. In this role, he provided leadership for the administration and growth of higher education-related academic programming and services for the college's dual-enrollment programs, which provide high school students with access to college coursework. In addition, Dr. Dempsey oversaw the installment, operation, and expansion of A-B Tech college readiness centers, facilities located in local high schools that are designed to improve students' math and English skills prior to high school graduation.

Dr. Dempsey's other collegiate leadership experiences include building multiple community partnerships, management of recruitment efforts, and aiding in the creation and growth of three area cooperative-innovative high schools (Buncombe County Early College, Madison Early College High School, and the Martin L. Nesbitt Jr. Discovery Academy).

He has also taught college world history for a number of years, with particular emphasis on ancient Rome and ancient/medieval China and Japan. In addition to his work in higher education, Dr. Dempsey has more than eight years of experience in journalism.

Dr. Dempsey holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the College of Charleston, a master's degree in history from the University of Charleston/The Citadel, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Western Carolina University. He and his wife, Jane Ann, are the proud parents of Harlan and Emma Rose. When he's not working, Dr. Dempsey enjoys kayak fishing on Lake Santeetlah, pulling for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Philadelphia Phillies, and enjoying live music and all of the other great things that Asheville and Western North Carolina have to offer.

Dr. Dempsey can be contacted at michael.dempsey@lr.edu or (828) 407-4269.