David Kinner


The Western Carolina University Board of Trustees appointed David Kinner as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences as part of its special-called meeting April 27. Kinner, who served as the interim dean, started in his new position May 1.

“For nearly 18 challenging months, David Kinner has provided strong leadership for the university’s largest college,” said Provost Richard Starnes. “His commitment to enhancing the student experience, supporting faculty and deepening our commitment to the region will guide the College of Arts and Sciences to an even brighter future.”

A WCU associate professor of geology, Kinner has led the College of Arts of Sciences as its interim dean since 2019. His accomplishments in that role include leading the largest college at WCU during the beginning of the pandemic. Kinner also led the last phase of equipping and furnishing the new Apodaca Science Building, which opens this fall, and planning for renovations on the Stillwell Building.

Kinner earned both his doctorate and master’s degrees in geology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from Amherst College. Prior to coming to Western, Kinner also studied post-fire hydrology and erosion in watersheds, as a Mendenhall Post-Doctoral Scholar at the U.S. Geological Survey.

He first came to work at WCU in 2006 as an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resources and was promoted to associate professor in 2012. Kinner was the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2014 through 2019 until his appointment as the interim dean.