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Bearman, Alan




A first-generation student and a native of London, England, Dr. Alan Bearman holds a Ph.D. in History from Kansas State University, along with undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the University of Kentucky and Murray State University. He is a Professor in the History of Christianity and Early American History at Washburn University where he has, since 2008, served as Dean of University Libraries, a Unit that since 2013 also includes Washburn’s Center for Student Success and Retention.

Bearman teaches courses in early American, the History of Christianity and Civil Religion at Washburn University. He is currently conducting research into Billy Graham’s 1954 Greater London Crusade, Alan is also examining the importance of Library as Place and student success at an open-admissions University.

As Dean, Bearman moved the Washburn Libraries from a collection centric model of operations to a user focused model that promotes student success. Bearman’s thinking about the role of an academic Library is relatively simple: Libraries are propagators of active learning and the place where students develop their scholarly identity. In 2011, Bearman oversaw the merger of the University Libraries with the Center for Student Success and Retention. A model that ensures that Information Literacy is the key student learning outcome of Washburn’s First-Year Experience programming, while also co-locating a growing number of academic success services in the main University Library to ensure their accessibility for students. All of which has led, at Washburn University, to a tremendous growth in the use of the Library and Academic Success services and ongoing significant increases in student success and retention.

Alan is married to the former Shelley Von Ragan of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, they now reside in Topeka, Kansas with their two children, Nathan and Rebecca, along with a growing number of cats and dogs.