David O. Belcher assumed the role of chancellor of Western Carolina University on July 1, 2011. As chancellor, he oversees an institution enrolling nearly 9,400 students and employing approximately 1,400 faculty and staff. The most important priority of his initial year as chancellor is the completion of a new strategic plan, which will result in a clear focus for the institution at a moment of fiscal challenge, will envision strategic enrollment growth complemented by increasing admissions standards, and will reinforce the institution’s historic commitment to Western North Carolina.

Prior to his arrival at WCU, Belcher served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a position he assumed in July 2003. In this role, he served as the second officer in charge of the university and oversaw the academic mission of the institution. He twice led UALR in strategic planning. His priorities as provost included strengthening UALR’s research mission, curricular development at the master and doctoral levels, faculty development and student success. Belcher began his career on the faculty of Missouri State University, where he served for 15 years, the last nine as dean of that institution’s College of Arts and Letters. In that capacity, he served as the founding director of the Missouri Fine Arts Academy, a three-week, intensive program of study for some of Missouri’s most talented high school arts students.

An accomplished pianist, Belcher has appeared throughout the United States as recitalist and chamber musician. He holds degrees from Furman University, the University of Michigan and the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. In 1981 Belcher was awarded a Rotary Foundation Graduate Fellowship to study in Vienna, Austria. While a student at Eastman, he held a one-year appointment to the school’s piano faculty and was named the recipient of the Jerald C. Graue Memorial Scholarship for excellence in musicological research. Belcher holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School.

Active in civic life, Belcher serves on the boards of directors of the North Carolina Arboretum and the Accademia dell’Arte. He has served as chair of the Little Rock Arts and Culture Commission, president of the boards of directors of the Springfield (Missouri) Regional Opera and the Springfield Regional Arts Council and as a member of the boards of directors or steering committees of the National Conference of Governors’ Schools, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Missouri Citizens for the Arts, Missouri Alliance for Arts Education and Urban Districts Alliance. He was a member of the 1997 class of Leadership Missouri and the 1999 recipient of the Ozzie Award, which recognizes significant contributions to the arts in Springfield, Mo.

Read: Feature in the university magazine
Watch: Videos of Chancellor Belcher
Curriculum Vitae: David O. Belcher (pdf)



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