Dr. David Lee was named provost and vice president for Academic Affairs in August 2015. Prior to becoming provost, Dr. Lee was dean of the Potter College of Arts & Letters from 1992 until 2015. He came to Western Kentucky University in 1975 after completing his PhD at The Ohio State University and joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of History specializing in 20th century American History. A historian and advocate for the arts and cultural affairs, he serves on advisory boards to the University Press of Kentucky and the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center (SKyPAC).
Dr. Lee’s research interests center primarily on American society, politics and economics in the first half of the 20th century. His published works include scholarly articles and two books, Tennessee in Turmoil: Politics in the Volunteer State, 1920-1932 and Sergeant York: An American Hero. His recent scholarship has included aviation history, particularly the role of the federal government in the development of commercial aviation in the 1920s and 1930s. Articles on this research have appeared in The Historian, Business History Review and in collections of essays published by the University of Iowa Press and the University of North Carolina Press. Dr. Lee has received research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association.