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Alan Bearman

Alan Bearman

Vice Pres StrategicEnrollmentMgmt/Dean of StudentSuccess and Libraries/Professor
Mabee Library
Mabee Library
Rm 306
1700 SW College Ave
Topeka, KS 66621-1117
Degrees & Certifications
Murray State University, Bachelor of Arts
University of Kentucky, Bachelor of Science
Murray State University, Master of Arts
Kansas State University, Doctor of Philosophy
Academic History

Dean of University Libraries, Washburn University, 2008-present

Associate Professor of History, Washburn University, 2009-present

Assistant Professor of History, Washburn University 2005-2009

Lecturer, Washburn University Department of History 2003-2005

Scholarly Interests/Activities

Anglo-American Christianity

Colonial America

Service Interests/Activities

Role of Libraries and Learning in the 21st Century

First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Career Accomplishments

A native of London, England, Dr. Alan Bearman is a First-Generation college student who has a Ph.D. in History from Kansas State University, an M.A. and B.A. in History from Murray State University, and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Bearman attended the University of California, Berkley’s Executive Leadership Academy in the summer of 2016, receiving a certificate in "Leading in a Multicultural and Global Environment." At Washburn University, Alan teaches classes in the History of Christianity and Early American History, and the First-Year Seminar for new students: The Washburn Experience.

Dr. Bearman became the Dean of University Libraries in January 2008, was the founding Dean of the Center for Student Success and Retention in 2011, and Washburn’s first Vice-President for Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success in April 2023.  Among his many awards, Dr. Bearman was named a "Kansas ACT College and Career Readiness Postsecondary Champion" in 2019.  He received, in 2017, an "Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate" award from The National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition and Cengage Learning. 

Programs that Alan leads have also received national recognition. The Ichabod Success Institute was recognized in 2016 by University Business as a "Models of Excellence," and then in 2019 as an "Examples of Excelencia" program by Excelencia in Education. In 2020, Washburn’s Center for Student Success and Retention received a "Technology Pioneer" award from EAB for its work in using data analytics to improve student success outcomes.  NASPA recognized Washburn as a member in its inaugural 2019-20 cohort of First-Gen Forward institutions for the impact of its high-impact programs, and in 2023 Washburn became a NASPA First Scholars Institution after demonstrating its ongoing commitment to advancing First-Generation student outcomes.

Dr. Bearman has and continues to serve both on multiple local civic boards and is a popular public speaker in the Topeka and Northeast Kansas region. Alan is married to the former Shelley Von Ragan of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. They now reside in Topeka, with their children, Nathan, a sophomore at Washburn University, and Rebecca, a senior at Topeka West High School. 

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