Meet the Dean
Kathy T. Best, Ph.D., CPA is Dean of the Robert L. Tillman School of Business (TSB). As dean, she is committed to improving the quality of academic programs and enhancing the overall collegiate experience of business students. She has most recently focused on exposing students to a variety of career readiness opportunities through the Tillman Lecture Series, the Tillman Star Professional program and the Tillman Dean’s lunches. Her primary goal is to champion ethical leadership through service while building a culture of quality and integrity among business students and faculty.
A member of the University of Mount Olive community for more than two decades, Dr. Best has served in a number of positions. Having a Master of Applied Mathematics, she began teaching mathematics and working part-time as an accountant in order to get the necessary experience to be licensed as a Certified Public Accountant. Her initial career goal was to teach on the college level and practice accounting. The combined interest in mathematics and business led her to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematical Economics from North Carolina State University. After obtaining the terminal degree and being promoted to the rank of Professor, she became Dean of the Business School between 2001 and 2006. Desiring to spend more time as a practicing CPA, she returned to teaching. In 2013 she returned to administrative roles of program chair and division chair which resulted in her ultimately becoming Dean once again in Fall of 2015.
Having lived in Wayne County for most of her life, Dr. Best has served in various community organizations. As a CPA she has been treasurer of The Lighthouse of Wayne County, The Partnership for Children and most recently served on the Board for the new Charter School of Wayne County. The time commitment in her position as Dean at UMO led to her resignation from the Wayne Charter School Treasurer position.
Throughout her career, Dr. Best has been most interested in the application of her education through teaching and the practice of accounting in auditing and tax. In addition, she has been a consultant for the Town of Mount Olive in the area of governmental accounting. Her dissertation was on the Economics of Accounting for FASB 106. Most recently she has published, in conjunction with the Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center, the Wayne County Cost of Community Services Study and the Craven County Cost of Community Services Study.
Her husband is Doug and her two children are Casey and Jessica Best.