Gardner-Webb Announces New Associate Provost of Arts and Sciences

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Faculty Member Dr. David Yelton Succeeds Retiring Dr. Earl Leininger  

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—A longtime professor of history at Gardner-Webb has been named to a position of academic leadership at the University.

Dr. Ben Leslie, Provost and Executive Vice President, announced that Dr. David Yelton will assume the post of Associate Provost of Arts and Sciences, effective Aug. 1.

“I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Yelton as a Gardner-Webb faculty member for the last decade,” Leslie stated. “He has a record of proven leadership along with the full faith and confidence of his colleagues. He brings with him to the position not only years of teaching experience but also a deep-seated commitment to student learning in the context of the liberal arts. I am excited about the future of the arts and sciences at Gardner-Webb under his highly competent direction.”

Yelton has served the University with distinction as Professor of History since 1990. Prior to that he served as a teaching and research assistant to the History Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his doctorate. Yelton established himself as a faculty leader at Gardner-Webb, serving as Chair of the Social Sciences Department from 2002-07 and Chair of the Faculty from 2007-09. He is author of numerous publications, including “Hitler’s Volkssturm: The Nazi Militia and the Fall of Germany 1944-45” (University Press of Kansas, 2002).

“I feel honored to have been chosen for the position,” Yelton asserted. “I don’t see the position as one of power but of responsibility, and I don’t intend to try to fundamentally remake Gardner-Webb’s Arts and Sciences programs but to encourage a commitment to quality, to mentoring and to preparing articulate, analytical and committed graduates. Moreover, I think it essential that Gardner-Webb communicate how the liberal arts, now more than ever before, are at the heart of producing graduates who are not only ready for a career, but who are ready to be informed and engaged as citizens, Christians and inhabitants of a changing, challenging world.”

As Associate Provost, Yelton will serve as chief academic officer for the College of Arts and Sciences. He will have a major role in faculty hiring, budget management and oversight of academic policies for the College, which accounts for about half of the full-time faculty at Gardner-Webb. Yelton will provide leadership, vision, and administrative support to the Dean of the School of Performing and Visual Arts as well as all of the department chairs. The College of Arts and Sciences houses programs in the arts and humanities and bears major responsibility for the University’s general education program. Yelton will report directly to the Office of the Provost at Gardner-Webb.

Yelton succeeds Dr. Earl Leininger, who retired from the position June 30. Leininger twice served the University as Associate Provost and also held the role of Provost. “Dr. Leininger has left an imprint on the character of this institution that will be with us for the next generation,” Leslie observed. “A champion of the liberal arts, of inter-disciplinary studies, and of the indispensable role that the fine arts play in a full education, he has done perhaps more than anyone over the last decade to preserve the full fabric and texture of a broad-based undergraduate education at Gardner-Webb.”

Yelton and his wife, Denise, reside in Rutherfordton, N.C., where they along with their three daughters attend Gilboa United Methodist Church. Katie, 21, is a recent UNC graduate; Allyson, 19, is a rising sophomore at UNC; and Emily, 17, is a rising senior at RS Central High.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).