Gastle is new associate dean of graduate school

Brian Gastle, associate professor of English at Western Carolina University, will become associate dean of the Graduate School, effective Jan. 1.

Brian Gastle

Brian Gastle

Gastle will take an administrative position currently held by Gibbs Knotts, associate professor of political science and public affairs, who will be stepping down to return to the classroom.

“Brian has the skill set needed to move the Graduate School forward in the coming years,” said Scott Higgins, dean of the Graduate School and Research. “The knowledge and insight he gained from working closely with important campus initiatives will be invaluable.”

A member of the English department faculty at WCU since 1998, Gastle has served as director of the department’s professional writing and undergraduate studies programs. He recently was editor of the university’s compliance certification reaccreditation report for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“Brian understands our constituencies—resident and distance, full-time and part-time students,” Higgins said. “He understands the importance of continuing the work that we have started in updating and streamlining our policies and procedures.”

Gastle earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in medieval literature from the University of Delaware. In addition to teaching courses in early British literature, and professional and Web writing, he has been an editor for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and script editor for a PBS educational series on medieval and fantasy literature.

When Gastle moves to the Graduate School, he will be able to build upon a strong foundation left behind by Gibbs Knotts, said Higgins.

“Much of the success that the Graduate School has experienced since June 2005 is a reflection of Gibbs’ tireless work and commitment to graduate education,” he said. “While he will be missed by all who worked with him in his capacity as associate dean, his career goals and aspirations are paramount. He is destined to be successful in whatever he chooses to do.”

For more information about WCU’s Graduate School, call (828) 227-7398, toll-free (800) 369-9854 or visit the Web site at