As associate dean for student success, Dr. Brien Bolin’s main role is to support the dean in data-driven retention initiatives, student recruitment initiatives, and program assessment and program review. Dr. Bolin works with chairs on course scheduling and lecturer budgets to achieve efficiency, and monitors course enrollments. He also supports the curriculum committee and makes curriculum approvals. He is involved with college advising activities, meets regularly with department coordinators, and works with chairs and directors on student appeals. His direct student involvement includes advising the Fairmount College Student Advisory Council, participating in commencement-related activities, teaching a first-year seminar, and other student-focused programs.

He began his academic career teaching sociology at a faith-based liberal arts college. For the past 25 years, Dr. Bolin has devoted his career to teaching, student success and scholarship in the liberal arts tradition. His teaching analytic skills in research methods, theory and critical thought in human behavior courses is characterized by strong student support. His scholarship has focused on pedagogical techniques and curriculum in social work education. As an associate dean, student success will be the precursor of the position, promoting data-driven curricular decisions and student engagement.

Dr. Bolin’s academic career includes both administrative and academic positions. He has taught and conducted research in sociology and social work departments.  He has held several administrative posts at Wichita State University, first serving as the Masters of Social Work program coordinator, then as interim director of the Center for Teaching and Research Excellence, then as the Bachelors of Social Work program director, and then as the School of Social Work director for seven years. Bolin is a member of the Council on Social Work Education and has served as a site visitor for program accreditation for social work programs around the nation. He was also a Leadership Academic Fellow and an inaugural member of Pi Gamma Mu at Wichita State University. Further, Bolin has been awarded the Leadership in Advancement of Teaching Award at Wichita State University.

Dr. Bolin earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Oklahoma State University and a master’s in social work from Walla Walla College. He also earned a master's in sociology and a bachelor's in psychology from Oklahoma State University.


Academic Interests and Expertise
  • Social Work Education
    • Curriculum Development
    • Accreditation
  • Research Methods, Assessment and Evaluation
  • Data Driven Discission in Recruitment and Retention
  • Student Success
  • Applied Learning
Areas of Research Interest
  • Educational / Pedagogical Approaches
  • Identity Formation
  • Leadership and Academic Administration
Areas of Teaching Interest
  • Introduction to Research Methods
  • Program Evaluation
  • Advanced Generalist Practice Perspective
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment
    • Micro and Macro perspectives
  • Collective Behavior – Sociological Perspective
  • Social Psychology
  • Family

Selected Publications

Bolin, B.L., & GlenMaye, L.F., & Munoz-Vargas, T.  Assessing writing skills of MSW applicants:  Implications for admission decisions. Accepted December 2021, Professional Development the International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education.

Bolin, B.L. (2022, June), Social work as the academic stranger: Advancing professional identity. Spotlight on a discipline, slated for the June Issue, International Social Science Review. vol. 98, no. 2.

Crews, D., Bolin, B. L., Lee, K. H., & Groot, D. (2016). Research orientation, research anxiety, researchcourse, and empowerment among social work students. Professional Development: International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education. 19 (2). 29-37.

Bolin, B. L., & Cress, P. K. (2015). Sustaining the practicum seminar: Promoting reflective journaling and online discussions. Professional Development: International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, 18 (2). 6-14.

GlenMaye, L. F., & Bolin, B. L. (2015). Faculty perceptions of professional licensure: Implications for social work education. Professional Development: International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, 18 (1). 36-48.


Awards and Honors

Leadership in Advancement of Teaching Award, May 2011, Wichita State University

Areas of Service
  • Selected Current Wichita State University Service
    • University Assessment Committee
    • Institutional Review Board Member  
  • Selected Past Community Service
    • Community Engagement Institute Board Member (CEI formally Center for Community Support and Research), Wichita State University, Wichita Kansas.
    • Kansas Medical Service Bureau Board Member, Wichita, KS.
  • Past Professional Service
    • Council on Social Work Education Site Visitor.  Have conducted several site visits for BSW Programs Schools of Social Work.