UI University Counseling Service Director Barry Schreier to leave position, become full-time faculty member

Schreier, who is ending his current directing position on Feb. 11, will begin his new position as a full-time faculty member in the UI College of Education on Feb 14.


Ryan Adams

University of Iowa Counseling Services Director Barry Schreier is seen in his office at the Westlawn Building on December 12, 2019. Schreier recently was awarded the Association of University and College Counseling Center’s President’s Award for Meritorious Service in the National Field of Campus Mental Health.

Kate Perez, News Reporter

Barry Schreier, director of the University of Iowa University Counseling Services, is leaving his position to become a full-time faculty member in the UI College of Education.

Schreier said he would be stepping down to work as a clinical professor in the education college’s counseling psychology program full-time, after originally working approximately 75 percent of his time at UCS.

“Currently, my position as the counseling center director has a 25 percent appointment as faculty in the program of counseling psychology, so I already have a seat over in the faculty side of campus,” Schreier said in an interview with The Daily Iowan.

Schreier’s last day at UCS will be Feb. 11 and he will begin his new position in the education college on Feb. 14.

In addition to his new position, Schreier said he will begin working with the Iowa Center for School Mental Health as the director of higher education programming.

“[The Iowa Center for School Mental Health] has opened primarily at this point as a K-12 focus, and with my addition, we will also, then, take on the higher ed focus,” Schreier said. “It’s going to be focused initially at the University of Iowa and then the vision is to help move all of this statewide.”

Schreier said his decision to switch to a full-time faculty member position was prompted by the new Iowa Center for School Mental Health.

“It seemed like a great opportunity at [a] startup and it’s entrepreneurial in its big vision, and I thought, ‘Wow, after 30 years as a counseling center person, this would be a great capstone opportunity to take all of my experience and help start up something new,’” Schreier said.

Related: UI hires mental health counselors in response to student distress

Schreier was hired as the new director of counseling services in the summer 2015. Schreier originally came to the UI during his doctoral internship in 1992.

“My career is ending in the exact same place it started,” Schreier said. “My first year in a counseling center was in 1992, and that was when I was an intern at the University Counseling Service at the University of Iowa.”

He said he feels his past years of experience will benefit him going into his new position.

“One of the things I learned is that it is really much better to keep a higher, broader, well-being focus, in which mental health is a part,” Schreier said. “We highlight mental health, but mental health is only a part of a larger well-being picture. If we only focus on mental health, we tend to miss a lot of important pieces.”

Schreier said he learned that while people can struggle with their mental health, they can also be responding to something that is negatively occurring in their lives.

“Sometimes, what happens is I’m upset because I’m responding to something that’s upsetting, and it might, in turn, have the symptoms of anxiety, but I might just be upset about something that’s upsetting,” Schreier said. “If we frame it as anxiety then it makes the problem mine rather than I may be processing something awful.”

In an email to the DI, Schreier wrote there will be two co-interim directors, Kelly Clougher and Holly Davis, while UCS searches for a new director.

Schreier said he believes UCS will continue to do well after he leaves and recommends the faculty and staff keep doing what they are doing.

“It’s a smart, creative, proactive staff,” Schreier said. “I think if they keep going with their wisdom and knowledge and competency that the counseling center will continue to do really amazing things on this campus.”