Dr. Neva J. Specht

Dr. Neva J. SpechtActing Provost 

Dr. Neva J. Specht is a well-known and widely respected member of the Academic Affairs leadership team, who was appointed to the position of senior vice provost of faculty policies, development and training in the Academic Affairs division in October 2021.

From 2017 to 2021, she served as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. She was the college's senior associate dean from 2013 to 2017 and associate dean from 2010 to 2013. She has been a professor in the Department of History since 1996 and served as the assistant chair of the department from 2007 to 2009.

As dean, Dr. Specht led the development of a strategic plan for the College of Arts & Sciences and the college's Student and Faculty Excellence Fund, which supports students and faculty in their research and creative activities endeavors. She also wrote the first history of the college.

As senior vice provost, Dr. Specht worked closely with Faculty Senate members to complete an update of the faculty handbook, and the Academic Affairs Standard Operating Procedures. In this role, she also provided new professional development opportunities for program directors, assistant chairs and associate deans.

Dr. Specht has been a trustee and board chair on the North Carolina Humanities Council. Locally, she has served on the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum's board, the planning board for the Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary project and on the Town of Boone's Cultural Resource Advisory Board. For six years, she served as the university's liaison to the Blue Ridge Parkway. During that time, she completed projects that included a Historic Furnishing Report for the Blowing Rock home of Moses and Bertha Cone and a number of oral histories for the National Park Service, and directed two National Endowment for the Humanities Landmark workshops on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including, notably, the Transforming North Carolina Faculty Research Award in 2010 and the Appalachian State University Board of Governors' Teaching Award in 2009.

Dr. Specht received her Ph.D. in United States history and material culture studies from the University of Delaware, where she also earned her Master of Arts in United States history with a certificate in museum studies. She received her bachelor's degree from Grinnell College, with a double major in history and American studies.