Dr. Bryan DePoy

Dr. Bryan DePoy, Academic Affairs

One might wonder what path led Dr. Bryan DePoy, a classical musician by training, to his current position as vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Lake Erie College. As he will tell you, this career progression came about rather naturally.

Though he was born in Louisville, Ky., Bryan grew up in a small farming community in southern Indiana, an upbringing he credits for teaching him the value of hard work and dedication. His passion for music began at a young age and ultimately influenced the academic pathway he would come to take.

Bryan holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree from the University of New Mexico and a Doctor of Music degree from Florida State University. He has performed professionally with ensembles such as the Memphis Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Spoleto Festival Orchestra and the New Mexico Brass Quintet, as well as various professional ensembles in and around New Orleans. He was also afforded the opportunities to serve on a journal editorial staff for ten years, publish several articles and book reviews, and even perform on two CD recordings for the New Mexico Brass Quintet and the vocal group Five by Design.

Apart from his musical pursuits, Bryan earned a certification in mediation and conflict resolution with a focus on workplace conflict from the University of Richmond’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies, and he has been involved with several nonprofit organizations. Most recently, he served as chairman of the board for Western Reserve Public Media, the largest public television affiliate in Ohio, and has co-chaired an Ohio regional arts advocacy and public policy group Power of the Arts.

While his musical and academic career was incredibly fulfilling, Bryan ultimately chose to enter the world of higher education administration more exclusively. In this realm, he began working as a coordinator for graduate studies, assistant dean, interim dean, dean, and interim associate provost for research and dean of graduate studies. “My well-rounded and diverse background at institutions of varying sizes, in different parts of the country, and in a variety of roles has given me a unique sense of perspective on leadership in higher education,” he said.

Bryan joined the team at Lake Erie College because he was drawn to LEC’s size and location, not to mention the tremendous opportunity to guide an academic division to a new era of collaboration and growth. “I am happy and honored to be a part of the LEC community, which, while rich in tradition, is poised for a very bright future. I will also add that my family and I are now proud citizens of Lake County,” he said. “It is important that everyone see that I am deeply committed to the institution and community that I serve,” he stated regarding the relocation.

In his time here, Bryan has grown to love many things, foremost of which is the opportunity to collaborate and work with the College’s faculty members. “Partnering with the faculty to propagate student success, academic excellence and academic innovation is among my greatest joys,” he said. “I feel privileged to work with such an outstanding group.” 

When asked when he is most successful in his job, Bryan emphasizes the rewarding nature of collaboration. “Curricular innovation and academic entrepreneurship are very important to an institution, and I am most successful when I am surrounded by individuals with whom I can work to nurture those opportunities,” he said.

For Bryan, the best thing about LEC is the value placed on the individual student. “This distinction sets us apart from other colleges and universities,” he said. “The community focus on our students as individuals really positions them for success upon graduation.”

Unsurprisingly, one of Bryan’s favorite places on campus is the Helen Rockwell Morley Memorial Music Building, one of the most acoustically sound buildings in the area. “Not only does it serve as a connecting point for my profession and academic background, but it also symbolizes the importance of culture, creativity and intellectualism that are so important to a higher education environment,” he said. Bryan is also fond of the fountain in front of Kilcawley Hall where his office is located, as it reminds him of the donors and supporters who are so vital to the College’s continued growth.

To prospective students of the College, Bryan would like to stress the idea that the major you choose is only one piece of the academic journey, noting that his own experiences in music have afforded him valuable skills that can be applied to multiple careers. “In music I learned the value and importance of dedication and the pursuit of excellence; the art of compromise, teamwork and negotiation; and the importance of clear and honest communication,” he said. “Know that the academic pathway is different for every person, and whatever major you choose, you must pursue it with vigor, enthusiasm and joy. Choose what you love to do, commit yourself entirely to excellence and the academic experience, and you’ll find that most things will fall in place.”  

Strongly committed to his academic roots, Bryan continues to practice nearly every day, performs occasionally and also teaches periodically. “It’s important that I remember why I got into this business, and that mindset makes me a better, more effective and well-grounded vice president,” he said.