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Richard Starnes - Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, NC, US

Richard Starnes

Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs | Western Carolina University




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Richard D. Starnes became Dean of Western Carolina's College of Arts and Sciences in July 2012. He is a historian specializing in the American South. His books include Creating the Land of the Sky: Tourism and Society in Western North Carolina (University of Alabama Press, 2006), Southern Journeys: Tourism, History and Culture in the Modern South (University of Alabama Press, 2003, editor), and History and Hope in the Heart of Dixie (University of Alabama Press, 2006, co-editor). His articles and essays have appeared in Southern Cultures, the North Carolina Historical Review, and other journals. He won the College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Award in 2008, edits the Appalachian Echoes Series at the University of Tennessee Press, and serves on the North Carolina Historical Commission.

Education (3)

Auburn University: Ph.D., History 1999

Western Carolina University: M.A., American History 1994

Western Carolina University: B.S., History 1992

Media Appearances (8)

'Call Me MISTER' holds orientation at WCU

The McDowell News  online


“This is an important initiative here at Western,” said Richard Starnes, provost, in opening remarks. “Since 1889, Western Carolina University has dedicated itself to education. Educating students, certainly, but most importantly, educating those who educate. It is an ethic we still embrace.”

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WCU navigates pandemic fallout as enrollment shows signs of recovery

Smoky Mountain News  online


“We are in a better and brighter place,” Provost Richard Starnes told the Academic Affairs and Personnel Committee June 9. “That’s not to say we are without challenges, but they are becoming much more the normal variety.”

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CEAP gains accreditation through Spring 2029

WCU Stories  online


“Since 1889, WCU has been committed to training dynamic, well-qualified educators for North Carolina schools,” said Richard Starnes, WCU Provost. “This impressive reaccreditation shows that that commitment endures. This was the result of a great deal of hard work by many faculty, staff and students. Congratulations to Dean Winter and the entire College of Education and Allied Professions for this achievement.”

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Charles Thomas named dean of Hunter Library

WCU Stories  online


“Mr. Thomas’ experience in academic libraries, at a premier funding agency and at a major consortium, provide unique perspectives to this important leadership position,” said Provost Richard D. Starnes. “He will work closely with the Hunter Library faculty and staff to meet the contemporary challenges facing libraries, and develop innovative approaches to maintain the library’s essential position within our campus community.”

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WCU hires William Moultrie as its associate vice chancellor for student success

WCU Stories  online


“William Moultrie brings extensive experience on a wide range of student success initiatives,” Provost Richard Starnes said. “His commitment to students, his deep passion to student success, and his thoughtful, strategic approach reflect the values we have long held here at WCU. We are very excited to have him join us in Cullowhee.”

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WCU to resume ‘normal operations’ this fall

WCU Stories  online


“Students who attend Western Carolina University this fall can expect to have a traditional college experience as we work to expand their in-person course offerings,” said Richard Starnes, WCU provost. “More than a beautiful setting surrounded by the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, we continue to offer a supportive community that recognizes students’ full potential and provide nationally ranked programs to achieve their goals.”

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Chancellor appoints interim provost Richard Starnes to permanent position

WCU Stories  online


“Guided by strong commitments to our students and to the region we call home – commitments that have come to be referred to as ‘the Western Way’ – Western Carolina University is a very special place, indeed,” Starnes said. "I benefited immeasurably from this Western Way as a student, and I am humbled and honored to help lead WCU toward an even brighter future as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.”

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David Starnes, athletic bands director, departs WCU for Atlanta position

WCU Stories  online


“David’s leadership brought national prominence to the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band and this university," said Richard Starnes (no relation), interim provost. “Along with many others, I'd like to thank him for his contributions to WCU and our students and wish him continued success in his life and career.”

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