University hires provost


Gilda Gely. Courtesy Davenport University

A local university has named an experienced college administrator as its next provost.

Davenport University hired Gilda Gely to be provost and EVP for academic affairs, beginning in July, according to the school this month.

Gely is replacing Linda Rinker, who is retiring in July after holding the position for the last eight years.

Over her 30-year career, Gely’s accomplishments include leading efforts for strategic planning and the design and development of academic degrees.

She has also advanced partnerships with other educational institutions, including community colleges and public school systems.  

“Dr. Gely is a proven leader in higher education,” said Richard Pappas, president, Davenport University. “She will be instrumental in helping Davenport University further its mission of transforming the lives of our students by preparing them for the world’s fastest-growing careers.” 

Gely is returning to the Grand Rapids area after two years at Cambridge College in Massachusetts, most recently as provost and VP for academic and student affairs.

Previously, Gely was provost and EVP for Aquinas College, as well as provost and EVP at Grand Rapids Community College.

Gely has also been interim dean of academic affairs at the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao and held positions as the vice chancellor and director of the languages department at the Universidad del Este, Carolina in Puerto Rico. 

She holds a doctorate in Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master’s in Spanish from Middlebury College and a bachelor’s in radio/TV and Spanish from Kansas State University.

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