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Whitworth University Names New Provost & Executive Vice President

February 19, 2020
Whitworth University President Beck A. Taylor announced Feb. 19 the appointment of Gregor Thuswaldner, Ph.D., as Whitworth’s next provost & executive vice president.

Thuswaldner is currently professor of humanities and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at North Park University in Chicago, a private Christian liberal arts university with more than 3,000 students.

“Dr. Thuswaldner impressed the search committee with his strong connections with Whitworth’s Christ-centered, mind-and-heart educational mission,” Taylor says. “Having served Christian colleges and universities for most of his career, he understands and can clearly articulate the value of the Christian liberal arts, as well as promote and champion growth in professional and graduate education. Gregor’s outstanding record of scholarship and his deep commitments to the integration of faith and learning make him a role model for our faculty and an important voice that will propel Whitworth into the future.”

Thuswaldner is from Salzburg, Austria. He earned his bachelor’s degree in German and English studies from the University of Salzburg; a master’s degree in German and English studies from the University of Vienna; and a Ph.D. in German literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds an additional Master’s in Higher Education Administration from North Park University.

“His experience as an immigrant to the U.S. and his scholarship that spans linguistics, religion and cultural criticism will bring important dimensions of diversity to Whitworth’s leadership team,” Taylor says. “Gregor is well-suited to help sustain Whitworth’s steep trajectory as one of the best Christian colleges and universities in the country.”

Thuswaldner’s career includes serving as a distinguished faculty member at Gordon College, where he also served as chair of the Department of Languages and Linguistics and as director of the Center for Faith and Inquiry. He was also a co-founder and senior fellow of the Salzburg Institute of Religion, Culture and the Arts.

“Dr. Thuswaldner’s impressive history as a teacher, scholar and leader caught the attention of the search committee from the start,” says Fred Johnson, search committee co-chair and Whitworth faculty president. “His thoughtful, well-grounded responses to the search committee’s questions steadily won us over.”

Thuswaldner says he has always admired Whitworth for its strong academics, excellent teaching and commitment to the Christian liberal arts. “Whitworth provides the perfect soil where students can grow both academically and spiritually,” he says. “I am very much looking forward to joining the Whitworth community in this role and working with its outstanding faculty to further the Christ-centered academic mission of the university.”

Thuswaldner’s research spans linguistics, religion and cultural criticism. He has published dozens of refereed journal articles and book chapters, as well served as author, editor and co-editor of seven books.

Whitworth’s search committee, comprised of faculty, staff and students, conducted an extensive nationwide search. The applicants included many talented current provosts and deans from reputable universities throughout the nation. The committee, as well as the entire Whitworth community, welcomes Thuswaldner and his wife, Pamela, a lecturer in German and Fulbright Program adviser at North Park University, and their two sons, 14-year-old Max and 11-year-old Alex, to Spokane. Thuswaldner’s first day as provost & executive vice president will be July 1, 2020.

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The university has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students and offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Ruth Pells, executive assistant to the president, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4665 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or