For Journalists




Blackburn named provost and senior vice chancellor at UVa-Wise

April 20, 2004 -- Gilmer W. Blackburn, an historian with more than 30 years of experience in higher education, will become the next provost and senior vice chancellor at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, U.Va. President John Casteen announced Monday.

"I am pleased Mr. Blackburn has agreed to join the College at Wise," Casteen said. "He will arrive during a time of transition at the College and his leadership and experience in higher education will be key to helping guide the college community in the coming years."

Blackburn will assume his duties on July 1. An accomplished scholar, Blackburn will hold professorships in both history and education.

Blackburn's announcement comes a week after Casteen named Ernest H. Ern, a former University of Virginia senior vice president, interim chancellor beginning in May. At that time, Casteen said Ern would be charged with providing steady leadership and ensuring that the College continues the hard work already begun on reaccreditation, approval of a new software engineering program, and the physical development of the campus.

"With Ern and Blackburn in place," Casteen said, "I believe the College at Wise will be in the hands of two capable and visionary academic administrators."

Blackburn is currently coordinator of special projects at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C. He came to Gardner-Webb in 1968 as a professor of history and has continued to serve the institution in a variety of administrative roles including director of graduate studies, associate dean of academic affairs, and dean of academic affairs. Before being named to his current post in 2003, Blackburn spent a decade as vice president and dean of academic affairs. During his time at Gardner-Webb, Blackburn helped develop a new core curriculum, which was recognized as one of the most distinctive in the nation, and also oversaw the creation of an MBA program and graduate-level courses in education, counseling and nursing.

"I am extraordinarily excited about beginning my work at UVa-Wise,” Blackburn said. “I look forward to working to continue to enhance the quality of the College and to continue to expand its academic offerings.”

Blackburn was selected to become the College’s chief academic officer following an extensive national search process. He will fill the vacancy left by the departure of J. David Smith who resigned his administrative post last August.
A former Fulbright Scholar to Germany, Blackburn is the author of Education in the Third Reich: A Study of Race and History in Nazi Textbooks as well as numerous scholarly articles and presentations.

A North Carolina native, Blackburn completed the first two years of his undergraduate education at Gardner-Webb. He graduated from Wake Forest University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history and went on to earned his doctoral degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Blackburn and his wife, Martha Burke Blackburn, a retired kindergarten teacher. will move to Wise in June.

Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, UVa-Wise is ranked among the nation’s top ten public liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. The only branch campus of the University of Virginia, UVa-Wise is home to 1,700 students and offers under graduate and professional programs in the liberal arts tradition of Thomas Jefferson.

Contact: Carol Wood, (434) 924-6189

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


UVa News Sources UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa News Sources UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page

Top News site edited by Dan Heuchert (; maintained by Karen Asher (; releases posted by Sally Barbour (
Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-Nov-2005 10:39:48 EST
© 2003 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia
Top News Information: (434) 924-7676.


News Sources UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page News Sources UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa News Sources UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa News Sources UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar Uva Home Page