G. David Gearhart

G. David Gearhart

Professor of Higher Education and Chancellor Emeritus

College of Education and Health Professions

(RHRC)-Rehabilitation, Human Resources, and Communication Disorders

Phone: 479-575-5235

Fax: (479) 575-4913

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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 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 that established the Honors College and endowed the Graduate School. As chancellor, Dr. Gearhart instituted the first tuition freeze in 24 years; implemented a $500 million campus building renovation, refurbishment, and construction plan, as well as a campus-wide energy savings and utility system upgrade plans; and led a sustainability campaign across the entire campus.   He has also undertaken a renewed emphasis on the arts on campus, including the establishment of the “All Steinway Campus” and the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center.  He is well known for his emphasis on “Students First,” a philosophy which resonated across campus. With enrollment topping 28,000 students during his tenure and an 80 percent increase in diversity since 2008, the University of Arkansas was recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education as the 7th fastest growing public research university in the country and by U.S. News and World Report as an “up and comer” public institution.  In 2011, the Chronicle named the university on its list of “Great Colleges to Work For,” and in 2010 the Carnegie Foundation awarded the university its highest research classification. During his tenure, Dr. Gearhart has promoted transparency and accountability as well as implemented a major cost savings program that has already resulted in over $80 million in cost reduction and savings. Dr. Gearhart has been a passionate advocate in the promotion of the Dream Act on both the national and state levels. In 2015 the Board of Trustees named a major academic building on campus the G. David Gearhart Building. The Board also named the on campus full circle food pantry after Jane Brockmann Gearhart. He and Jane, have two children and five grandchildren.



  • College administrative and leadership dimensions 
  • Faculty involvement in institutional governance and academic democracy 
  • Capital Campaigns in higher education settings
  • Finance, management, and administration of higher education
  • Governance
  • Development, Advancement, External relations
  • university presidency
  • Change in Higher Education
  • non - profit management
  • Ed.D., University of Arkansas, Higher Education Administration
  • J.D.,   University of Arkansas, Law
  • B.A.,  Westminster College


Gearhart, G. D., & Miller, M. T. (2020). Case Studies on the College President, Critical Issues, Critical Discussions. (In Process).

Gearhart, G. D., & Miller, M. T. (2018). Case Studies in Higher Education Fundraising, Critical Issues, Critical Discussions. Stillwater, OK: Oklahoma State University New Forums Press.

Gearhart, G.D. (2006) Philanthropy, Fund Raising, and the Capital Campaign: A Practical Guide, National Association of College and University Business Officers.

Gearhart, G.D. (1995) The Capital Campaign in Higher Education—A Practical Guide for College and University Advancement, National Association of College and University Business Officers.


Gearhart, G.D., Miller, M.T., Nadler, D.P., Presidential Interaction with Faculty Senates: Expectations and Practices, (in process).

Miller, M. T., Lu, M. Y., & Gearhart, G. D. (in press, Fall 2020). From the chalkboard to the bank: Teaching educational leaders to be effective fundraisers. Educational Leadership and Administration, 31.

Smith, E. A., Gearhart, G. D., & Miller, M. T. (2019). Understanding alumni relations programs in community colleges: An analysis of practice. International Journal of Higher Education. 8(5), 176-184

Gearhart G.D., Miller M.T. (in review) Centralized or decentralized prospect management system at major public universities.

Gearhart, G. D., Abbiati, M., & Miller, M. T. (2019). Higher education’s cyber security: leadership issues, challenges, and the future. Journal of New Trends in Education, 10(2), 11-18.

Gearhart G.D., Miller M.T. (2019) Faculty Senates and College Presidents: Perspectives on Collaboration. (In Process).

Gearhart, G. D., & Miller, M. T. (2018). Perspectives on time commitment to fundraising by community college presidents. Journal of Research on the College President, 2, 40-47.

Smith, E. A., Gearhart, G. D., & Miller. M. T. (2018) Community College Crowdfunding: New strategy or Latest Fad?

Community College Journal of Research and Practice.

Gearhart, G. D., Mamiseishvili, K., & Murry, J. W. (2018). Involvement of academic department heads and chairs in fundraising at U.S. public research universities. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 18(5), 34-40.

Gearhart, G. D., Nadler, D. P., & Miller, M. T. (2018). An Exploration of the Benefits and Challenges of Public Higher Education Systems. Journal of Academic Administration in Higher Education., 14(1), 29-36

Smith, E. A., Gearhart, G. D., & Miller. M. T. (2017). Planned Giving in Community College Development Efforts: Plans, Strategies, and Luck. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice[GDG1] . 18(2), 45-152

Smith, E. A., Miller, M. T., & Gearhart, G. D. (2017). Using Feasibility Studies in Capital Fundraising Campaigns: A National Survey of Community Colleges. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 24(2), 13-25.

Smith, E. A., Miller, M. T., & Gearhart, G. D. (2017). Understanding Alumni Relations in Community Colleges, in submission.

With Gloriana St. Clair, “Library Development Structures in CIC Institutions: The Search for Constituents,” College and University Libraries, 1993.

With Michael Bezilla, “Fund-Raising Success Takes Teamwork,” Fund-Raising Management, March 1991.

“Executive Search Invades the Academy,” CASE Currents,
February 1991.

With Roger L. Williams, “Our Reputation for Campaigning: Do We Make Ourselves Look Greedy?” AGB Reports, January/
February 1991.

With Roger L. Williams, “The British are Coming,” CASE Currents, October 1990.


Gearhart, G. D., & Miller, M. T. (in submission). Higher education’s cyber security: Leadership issues, challenges, and the future. Mid-South Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Miller, M. T., & Gearhart, G. D. (in submission). To centralize? The perceived advantages of centralized and decentralized approaches to university fundraising programs. Mid-South Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Smith, E. A., Miller, M. T., & Gearhart, G. D. (2019, March). Governing and giving: Exploring the correlation between governing board selection and fundraising responsibility in the contemporary community college. 61st Annual Council for the Study of Community Colleges Conference, San Diego, CA.

Miller, M. T., & Gearhart, G. D. (2019, February). Faculty senates and college presidents: Perspectives on collaboration. 42nd Annual Meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Myrtle Beach, SC.

Miller, M. T., Gearhart, G. D., & Grover, K. S. (2018, October). What college presidents need to know about adult students: Priorities for the next decade. American Association for Adult and Continuing Education Annual Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC.

Gearhart, G. D., & Gearhart, J. B. (2018, October). Fireside chat. Association of Fundraising Professionals Annual Conference, Fayetteville, AR.

Miller, M. T., Gearhart, G. D., & Smith, E. A. (2018, April). Community college crowdfunding: New strategy or latest fad? Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges, Dallas, TX.

Smith, E. A., Gearhart, G. D., & Miller, M. T. (2018, April). Planned giving in community college development efforts: Plans, strategies, and luck. Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges, Dallas, TX.

Smith, E. A., Miller, M. T., & Gearhart, G. D. (2017, April). A national study of feasibility study use in community colleges. Presentation at the 59th Annual Conference of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges, Ft. Worth, TX.



Gearhart has authored four books as well as numerous articles. He has been a featured speaker for many professional organizations.

He is an "of counsel" senior member of a nationally prominent philanthropic management consulting firm with current client fund-raising goals totaling in excess of $10 billion. Clients include institutions of higher education and health care; cultural, regional and national institutions; and other nonprofit organizations.

He is licensed to practice law – Arkansas Jurisdiction.

Gearhart’s primary line of inquiry has been a process study of the major elements of planning and conducting capital campaigns for colleges and universities. Running a successful campaign can fundamentally transform an institution by keeping it on the cutting edge of higher education.

Oustanding teacher award from department - 2017