Barry Pearson and his wife, Carol Gillette, came to Purchase College from Decatur, Illinois, where he worked for 23 years at Millikin University. Barry began his career at Millikin University in 1989, and in 1996 became the artistic director and then chair and associate professor of its Department of Theatre and Dance. From 2005 to 2008, he served as the director of the university’s Kirkland Fine Arts Center; dean of the College of Fine Arts, from 2006 to 2010; and finally as vice president for academic affairs, from 2010 to 2013. Barry’s professional directing work includes premieres of new plays in Chicago and American classics in Texas and Michigan, including a re-edited version for the stage of Eugene O’Neill’s play A Touch of the Poet. Barry also collaborated on original music scores for Sam Shepard’s play The Tooth of Crime and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.
Barry has a comprehensive background in administration and management of academic programs, curriculum development, and budget planning. He was the lead facilitator and principal author of Millikin University’s strategic plan. During his tenure as dean and later as vice president, he oversaw several academic building and renovation projects and initiated and managed key capital campaigns.