news-category: Faculty & Staff

Gardner-Webb Names Steve Serck as University Counsel

New Position to Provide Guidance on Legal Affairs and Higher Education Compliance

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – “Steve Serck brings with him a wealth of legal experience to Gardner-Webb, and for thirty years he’s remained immersed in a wide range of higher education representation. We are fortunate to have Steve on board as University Counsel,” said GWU President, Dr. William Downs.

Serck comes to Gardner-Webb from East Carolina University (Greenville, North Carolina) where he provided direction on state and federal laws and training in all aspects of faculty, staff and employment issues. His work at ECU also covered a wide cross section of matters relating to student and athletic engagements, academic affairs, disability support, equality and diversity, academic freedom, and higher education fundraising laws.

“I feel blessed and honored to have this opportunity to join President Downs’ team as he builds on Gardner-Webb University’s tradition of excellence,” noted Serck.

Serck also served at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as in-house legal counsel, and at the Ahlers & Cooney Law Firm (Des Moines, Iowa), where his expertise in higher education law offered opportunities to work with several colleges and universities.

“We were looking for someone who could provide sound legal advice in a myriad of higher education-related topics, and there are many. Some of those include understanding interactions with the NCAA and the importance of Title IX and FERPA support. Gardner-Webb will benefit greatly from having an expert and leader like Steve here to guide us,” added Downs.

Among other items, Serck’s work will also cover legal aspects of contract law, matters of human resources, general policy compliance, tax laws, law enforcement on a Christian college campus, information technology, and privacy and data security. Serck is GWU’s first in-house legal counsel; in the past Gardner-Webb has utilized outside resources.

Serck holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Northern Iowa, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa College of Law. In his role as GWU Counsel, he will report directly to the president. Serck begins his work at GWU this month.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at

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