The Biography of Dr. G. David Gearhart
G. DAVID GEARHART
Biography ~ October 2012
Dr. G. David Gearhart became the chancellor of the University of Arkansas on July 1, 2008, following 10 years of service to the university as vice chancellor for University Advancement. Previously he served as senior vice president and managing director of the international consulting firm Grenzebach Glier & Associates, Inc. Before his service at GG&A, Dr. Gearhart was senior vice president of Penn State University, during which time he was named a Fulbright Scholar, studying at Oxford University in Oxford, England.
His Bachelor of Arts degree is from Westminster College in Missouri where he was named a distinguished alumnus in 1992. Both his law degree and his Doctor of Education degree are from the University of Arkansas. He is a native of Fayetteville.
Prior to being appointed chancellor, Dr. Gearhart oversaw the Campaign for the Twenty-First Century, the most successful capital campaign in Arkansas history, which raised more than $1 billion for academic programs. That campaign included a $300 million gift to found an Honors College and endow the Graduate School.
As chancellor, Dr. Gearhart instituted the first tuition freeze in 24 years and implemented a $350 million campus building renovation and refurbishment plan, as well as a campus-wide energy savings plan. He has also undertaken a renewed emphasis on the arts on campus, including the establishment of the “All Steinway Campus” and building a new performance hall. He is well known for his emphasis on “Students First,” a philosophy which has resonated across campus and beyond.
In 2010, the Carnegie Foundation awarded the university its highest research classification; in August 2011, the Chronicle of Higher Education named the University of Arkansas on its list of “Great Colleges to Work For”; and most recently, U.S. News and World Report recognized the university as being among public institutions’ “up-and-comers.”
During his tenure, the university has undertaken a dramatic marketing program and has promoted transparency and accountability. Dr. Gearhart has additionally implemented a major cost savings program that has already resulted in over $30 million in cost reduction and savings to the flagship campus. Campus enrollment has also grown dramatically to almost 25,000 students. At the same time, diversity in the student body has increased significantly. Dr. Gearhart has been heavily involved in the promotion and advocacy of the Dream Act on both the national and state levels.
He and his wife of 37 years, Jane, have two children and three grandchildren.