Office: 207 Carmichael
Nathaniel J. Bray is a Professor of Higher Education Administration and Associate Director of the Education Policy Center at The University of Alabama. He joined UA as an Assistant Professor in 2004, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010, and to Professor in 2018. Prior to joining the faculty at UA, he was a Research Analyst conducting Institutional Research at Virginia Tech. Dr. Bray earned his Masters (MEd) and doctorate (PhD) at Vanderbilt University at the Peabody College of Education, working with such mentors as John Braxton, Terry Deal, Jeff Milem, Kassie Freeman, Berta Vigil Laden, and Alma Clayton Pedersen. His undergraduate degree was in Biology at Harvard University, where he graduated cum laude in General Studies.
He has taught multiple courses in the Higher Education Administration program as well as in Educational Research, focusing on quantitative methods and research design. Dr. Bray has worked widely in mentoring students and has chaired over 50 dissertations through completion. He is currently finishing his second book, and has authored or co-authored over 60 different publications. His work at the Education Policy Center has involved work as co-PI on numerous grants, including a return on investment study for the Higher Education Partnership of Alabama (2015), and evaluation of the AGSC STARS transfer system, and a three-year NSF Broadening grant with Shelton State. The Education Policy Center received the ASHE 2016 Excellence in Public Policy in Higher Education Award for its efforts related to Pell grants and improving financial access to higher education for students.
Dr. Bray's efforts have been acknowledged with the 2017 Dr. Charles Eberly Oracle Award for outstanding research and the 2020 Ross Palmer Service to Students Award for the College of Education. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of College Student Development, Innovative Higher Education, Journal of General Education, Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy, Journal of Higher Education Athletics & Innovation, and on the advisory board for the ASHE Higher Education Report Monograph Series.
When not teaching or conducting research, Dr. Bray enjoys reading and writing, hiking, sailing and canoeing, photography, and travel.