M. Lindsay Bierman

Lindsay Bierman is Chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he leads nearly 450 faculty and staff and serves more than 1,200 exceptionally talented students in high school, undergraduate, graduate and summer programs at the nation’s first state-supported arts conservatory.

I came here because this school unleashes creativity, beauty, passion, and joy with such unfettered abandon. People seem more alive here than in other places. There’s more focus, greater intensity, and a sense of dedication to a cause … For 50 years the School of the Arts has aspired to great art. Let us cherish and support this institution for the next half-century, and never stray from our founding mission born of a good and earnest want for all of us to experience and appreciate the overwhelming fullness, inspiration, joy, and passion of life.

Mr. Bierman was named the eighth Chancellor in the spring of 2014, assuming his post on July 21, 2014. In fall 2015, Mr. Bierman and his team unveiled transformational strategic initiatives to enhance the institution’s rigorous professional training, expand its economic and cultural impact across the state, and deepen its engagement with the global arts and entertainment industry. He is Chairman of the Board for the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, and serves as a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Reynolda House Museum of American Art; the Search Committee for the next General Manager of UNC-TV; and the Winston-Salem Alliance.

Mr. Bierman transitioned to higher education in 2014 after 25 years in high-profile design and media organizations. He began his career in New York City as a designer, researcher, and writer for one of the world’s most famous architects, Robert A.M. Stern (1987-90; 1995-96), and got his start as an editor in the early 1990s by reporting for top trade magazines on the most prominent architectural commissions in North America.

Mr. Bierman’s creative vision, business acumen, and distinct editorial voice led to key leadership roles on major magazine launches with publishing giant Time Inc., including a lifestyle brand named “2005 Startup of the Year” by Adweek. By 2010 he had worked his way up to Editor in Chief of the Birmingham, Alabama-based flagship, Southern Living, where he led a top-to-bottom repositioning of the beloved cultural icon; drove diversified, eight-figure revenues; oversaw print and digital editions reaching more than 18 million consumers each month; and built out numerous franchises ranging from licensed home goods to a hotel collection. Mr. Bierman’s team at Southern Living won more than two dozen first-time industry awards and attracted widespread consumer acclaim.

Growing up near Detroit, Mr. Bierman enjoyed a short, successful run in high school musicals until his voice changed—after that, he poured his creative energy into musical training, drawing, and painting. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in history and French, and earned a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia (1993). He also studied abroad at the Institut d’Études Sciences Politiques de Paris and completed internships at Sotheby’s, the National Gallery of Art, and on Capitol Hill. Mr. Bierman maintains his peak performance by doing CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting, frequent visits with his parents in San Diego, California, and gradually renovating a mid-century house on North Carolina’s scenic Lake Norman.


M.Arch.University of Virginia

B.A. History, FrenchGeorgetown University