Brian Merritt

2020-21 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow
Dr. Brian S. Merritt serves as vice president of learning and workforce development and chief academic officer at Central Carolina Community College in North Carolina. He joined the college in 2007 and has served as dean of student learning; director of grants, sponsored programs, and alumni relations; and distance education counselor.

He has previous experience at North Carolina Central University as associate director of orientation and first-year experience, in alumni affairs at Appalachian State University, and in admissions at Louisburg College.

In his role as vice president, Dr. Merritt provides leadership for all instructional departments, including curriculum, continuing education, and literacy programs for 16,000 students annually and over 900 employees. He also oversees academic support, secondary partnerships, recruiting, TRIO programs, and grants and strategic initiatives.

Since taking over the college’s grant department in 2011, he has led the growth of its portfolio to over $24 million from approximately $1.1 million, including a $9.2 million U.S. Department of Education First in the World project that formed a statewide 10-college consortium to examine the impact of success coaching on retention and completion. He serves on the board of the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce and currently chairs its Education and Workforce Development Committee.

Dr. Merritt holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary social sciences with a minor in English and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Appalachian State University. He also holds a Ph.D. in education with a higher education administration concentration from Walden University in Minnesota.

Merritt lives in Chapel Hill with his wife, Jessi; son, William; and daughter, Elizabeth.