Brian Cole


Brian Cole will be the interim chancellor for the UNC School of the Arts.

Bill Roper, the president of the UNC system, made the announcement in a news release Wednesday. Cole is the current dean of the School of Music at UNC School of the Arts.

Cole will replace Lindsay Bierman, who is stepping down at the end of July after five years as the school’s chancellor. Roper appointed Bierman the new chief executive officer of UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina. Bierman will begin his new job on Aug. 12.

Cole takes over as interim chancellor of UNC School of the Arts on Aug. 1.

“Brian Cole’s impressive international background in the arts and his leadership experience made him the ideal candidate to step in and lead UNCSA,” Roper said in his statement.

“Throughout this selection process, I found Brian’s reputation and professionalism to be of the highest caliber, and many stakeholders at UNCSA have reached out to offer enthusiastic support for this appointment. Brian is an innovator, collaborator and deep thinker, and I have the utmost confidence that he will succeed in this new interim position.”

Cole has been dean of the School of Music since 2016, where he oversees operations at the school and all programs at the graduate, undergraduate and high school levels. He also oversees the Summer Intensive Programs and UNCSA’s Community Music School. He also has been executive director of two pre-professional graduate institutes at the school — the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and the Chrysalis Chamber Music Institute.

“I’m honored to be stepping into role of interim chancellor at UNCSA, an institution I so strongly believe in,” Cole said in a statement.

Cole said he has been inspired by the talent and dedication of the students, alumni, faculty and staff at the school and “by the collaborative and creative ethos that permeates the school.”

“I look forward to working closely with our Board President Ralph Womble, the Board and administration to propel the school forward during this time of transition, in particular supporting the UNCSA’s first comprehensive campaign in 20 years, which launches publicly this fall. This is a transformative time for UNCSA, and I look forward to continuing the momentum.”

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