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Needham Yancey Gulley, Ph.D.

Needham Yancey Gulley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

College of Education and Allied Professions

Human Services

Contact Information

Phone: 828.227.3372
Office: G22C McKee Building
Personal Website:
Pronouns: He / Him / His


Dr. Yancey Gulley is currently an Associate Professor and Program Director in the Higher Education Student Affairs Program at Western Carolina University. He also serves the institution as Chair of the Faculty.<br><br>Dr. Gulley spent 15 years as a college administrator (primarily in the two-year college settings) prior to moving into a faculty role. Most of his professional administrative career was in the area of student affairs. He has worked administratively at several institutions, including: Louisburg College, North Carolina State University, Long Beach City College, University of Georgia, and Athens Technical College. His first full-time faculty appointment was in the Community College Leadership Program at Morgan State University.<br><br>Dr. Gulley has a long history of advocating for social justice within educational contexts through his scholarship, teaching, publications, presentations, trainings, and volunteer endeavors. Past research endeavors not only contributed to the scholarly conversation in higher education and student affairs but have led to changes in the academy, including the opening of the LGBT Resource Center at North Carolina State University. He has one edited book published, <i>Using the CAS Professional Standards: Diverse Examples of Practice</i>, and a second was published in August 2022, entitled <i>Multiple Perspectives on College Students: Needs, Challenges, and Opportunities</i>. His work has been presented / published at all levels from local contexts to international platforms.<br><br>His service commitments are vast, including leadership positions in ACPA College Student Educators International; the same organization inducted him as a Diamond Honoree in 2019. He has served as the co-chair / chair of the College of Education & Allied Professions Diversity Committee while also serving on the WCU Faculty Senate and being a member of the WCU LGBTQ Working Group. Community service commitments have included HIV/AIDS serving organizations and being a founding member of a non-profit educating for anti-bullying policies aimed at protecting LGBTQ secondary school students.<br><br>He shares his life with his husband, Corey, and dogs, Sedgwick and Harvey. He enjoys travel, theatre, reading, fire pits, and time with good friends.


  • Ph D, University of Georgia, College Student Affairs Administration
  • MED, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Higher Education Administration
  • BA, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Communication Studies

Teaching Interests

In the Higher Education Student Affairs program Dr. Gulley teaches: <br><br>- History of Higher Education<br>- Diversity in Higher Education<br>- Program Assessment & Evaluation<br>- Legal & Ethical Issues of Higher Education <br><br>He also teaches a variety of special topics courses related to Community College leadership in the Educational Leadership doctoral program along with electives in the universities undergraduate Leadership Minor.<br> <br>His teaching pedagogy centers critical thinking, personal exploration, and pragmatic practice. He believes in the words of his great-grandfather Dr. N.Y. Gulley (the first), “Making a good life is more important than making a good living.”

Research Interests

Dr. Gulley focuses on three primary areas of research/scholarship: <br> <br>- The first area has to do with various aspects equity, diversity, and inclusion in the context of higher education. This line of inquiry spans across rolls of students, faculty, and staff.<br> <br>- A second area of interest is community colleges and the various ways that these institutions impact the larger context of higher education. These settings are greatly ignored by researchers despite the vast number of US college students attending them.<br> <br>- The third area is related to assessment in higher education. This was the focus of his first co-edited book.

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